Guidance

Ofqual: rolling update

Information on qualifications which have been disrupted by coronavirus (COVID-19).

Applies to England

Level 3 BTEC and Cambridge Technicals results

Our immediate priority has been to make sure that Pearson and OCR got results to students promptly, so they can progress. We have been monitoring the situation closely and have asked Pearson and OCR to give us regular updates so that we can be confident that they are swiftly issuing results.

Pearson and OCR have confirmed that they have identified all students who are dependent on their result for a higher education place. The awarding organisations have told us that results have been issued to these students, where they have been able to, or that they have informed schools and colleges why these students are not eligible to receive a result where that is the case. In a small number of cases, schools and colleges are working with awarding organisations to confirm the eligibility of some students to receive a result.

It is important that, as regulator, we review what has happened to make sure that students in future years receive results when they expect them, so they can progress in their education, apprenticeship or employment. We will continue to work across the sector, in addition to using our regulatory relationship with awarding organisations, to this end.

Colleges and schools should contact awarding organisations, and students should contact their college or school.

For updates and help with BTEC qualification results, contact Pearson on 0345 618 0440 or via @PearsonBTEC on social media, or visit Results Day 2022 FAQs.

For updates and help with Cambridge Technicals qualification results, visit the Cambridge Technicals update website or contact support@ocr.org.uk.

Vocational and technical qualifications (VTQs) come in different shapes and sizes. They are flexible by design, so students can sit individual modules when they are ready, and they can get their results at different times of the year when they have completed the required number of units. These flexibilities are valued by students, employers and schools and colleges. This does mean awards are more complex, and particularly so this year, due to the arrangements put in place to mitigate the effects of the pandemic. This does not, of course, excuse delays where students were expecting to receive results.

Level 1/2 and Level 2 vocational and technical qualification results

Results for BTEC First, Technicals and Tech Award Qualifications, and Cambridge Nationals are issued throughout the year. More than 350,000 results have been awarded for Level 1/2 and Level 2 vocational qualifications since March 2022.

Many students have received results for Level 1/2 and Level 2 qualifications this week, to enable them to progress to further study, apprenticeships and work. These results are normally issued on, or before, 25 August.

Students should talk to their college or school if they have any queries about their results.

For updates on BTEC Firsts, Technical and Tech awards, visit Pearson’s FAQs. For updates on Cambridge Nationals, visit OCR’s website.

Unhappy with your exam results

If you’re not happy with your exam results in some subjects, you have the options to appeal your results or retake your exams in those subjects. Your school or college will be able to tell you about the process for both of these.

Anxiety and mental health support

We understand that this has been a difficult time for students and you have shown great resilience in the face of the challenges presented by the pandemic. Always make sure you speak to somebody if you are feeling anxious or struggling with your mental health. This might be a parent, carer or someone else you trust.

You can also contact:

Subject content and assessment arrangements: 2022 to 2023

Ofqual and the Department for Education have confirmed the arrangements for subject content in GCSEs, AS and A levels and non-exam assessment in qualifications taking place in the academic year 2022 to 2023.

This means that the assessment arrangements for GCSE, AS and A level qualifications being awarded in 2023 will be as follows:

  • for GCSEs in English literature, history, ancient history and geography, students will study and be assessed on all the usual topics and content
  • for dance, design and technology, drama (and theatre), food preparation and nutrition, film studies, media studies, music, music technology, physical education (PE), students will carry out the usual non-exam assessment activities
  • for art and design, students will be assessed by an exam board set task and a portfolio as usual
  • for geography, geology, and science subjects, students will carry out the usual fieldwork and practical science activities
  • for GCSEs in English language, students will carry out spoken language assessments as usual and some of these will be recorded by their teachers
  • for GCSEs in modern foreign languages, students will take formal speaking tests as usual

New guidance for exam boards on producing accessible assessments

Ofqual has published new guidance for exam boards and awarding organisations on making assessments accessible for students.

The guidance supports awarding organisations to design and develop assessments to meet rules on accessibility. It explains that, in their exams and assessments, awarding organisations should:

  • use accessible and appropriate language  
  • use clear and consistent layout 
  • use source material, context, images and colour in ways that do not disadvantage students 
  • consider how Reasonable Adjustments could be made to the exam or assessment to make sure disabled students are not disadvantaged

Replacement certificates

Ofqual does not hold copies of your certificates – we can’t tell you your grade or provide replacements. Certificates are held by the exam board you sat your qualification with. If you don’t know which exam board you took your qualification with, ask your school. If your school don’t know you will need to ask each exam board to do a search for you – they will charge you for this.

Contact your exam board to get a replacement certificate. If your exam board no longer exists, your certificates will have moved to an existing board. Find out who now holds your certificates.

Contact your exam board

Published 8 July 2021
Last updated 21 September 2022 + show all updates
  1. Information about the 2022 summer exam series has been removed as it is no longer relevant. Details about assessment arrangements for GCSE, A level and AS levels in 2023 have been added to the "Subject content and assessment arrangements: 2022 to 2023" section.

  2. Updated information regarding Level 3 BTEC and Cambridge Technicals results and Level 1/2 and Level 2 vocational and technical qualification results.

  3. Updated information regarding Level 1/2 and Level 2 vocational and technical qualification results & BTEC and Cambridge Technicals results.

  4. An updated statement on delayed BTEC and Cambridge Technicals results.

  5. Details regarding the delayed BTEC and Cambridge Technical results have been added, along with contact details for the relevant awarding organisations.

  6. Added information abour A level and GCSE results weeks in 2022.

  7. Removal of content related to exams and contingency arrangements, now that the 2022 exam summer series has been completed.

  8. Added update: "Checking exam papers"

  9. Added an advice note for students on fake exam papers offered on social media.

  10. Added information on plans for subject content and assessment arrangements next academic year, and on new guidance for awarding organisations on making their assessments accessible.

  11. Updated with additional information for teachers on collecting evidence for use in contingency arrangements.

  12. Added in links to this year's student guide to exams and assessments.

  13. Taking out information regarding the autumn series results days for GCSEs and A levels, which have now passed.

  14. Added information about the support measures available to students taking GCSEs, AS and A levels this year.

  15. Added information on special consideration for Applied Generals, Tech Awards, Tech Certs and Tech Levels in England.

  16. Update to the private candidate section which states that the Joint Council for Qualifications (JCQ) has published a list of schools, colleges and other exam centres that will accept private candidate entries for GCSEs, AS and A levels in summer 2022.

  17. Updated reference to autumn GCSE exams, which have finished.

  18. Added information about January assessments for vocational and technical qualifications.

  19. Updated to include a link through to our guidance for schools, colleges and training providers on awarding vocational and technical qualifications in the academic year 2021 to 2022.

  20. Updated to include information on contingency measures should exams and assessments not go ahead in 2022.

  21. Removing guidance on submitting appeals for GCSEs and A levels as the appeal deadline has passed.

  22. Removed the table advising the dates of results days.

  23. Added note about legal advice being unnecessary when appealing qualification results.

  24. Added links to additional guides about appealing GCSE, AS and A level results and added information about consultations on arrangements for qualifications awarded in 2022.

  25. Added details of 2 consultations for how exams should take place for the next academic year (2021 to 2022).

  26. First published.