New Covid-19 guidance

GQA Qualifications has rolled out clear new Covid-19 guidance to its network of more than 100 approved centres.

The guidance aims to minimise disruption and inconvenience for students while maintaining and monitoring the validity and integrity of qualifications sought.

Mick Clayton, GQA’s chief executive officer, said: “In our guidelines for our approved centres we have drawn attention to the need for flexibility from assessors. For example, there is a lot of technology that can be used to help reduce the need for physical visits or meetings. Assessors can pick one of several tools such as audio recordings, Skype, WhatsApp, Zoom and other platforms to record question and answer sessions or professional discussions.

“Additionally, we have guidance on how remote video and photography can be used as evidence of practical activities. We are also advising assessors to encourage candidates themselves to submit photographic/video evidence and detailed personal statements on work carried out so that assessors can use one of the tools above to ask relevant underpinning knowledge questions.

“Other areas covered in our guidelines include for example using communications technology to gather meaningful witness testimonies from supervisors. As many centres move away from traditional, hard copy portfolios, other options are encouraged such as e-portfolio, uploading to GQA online and scan then email.

“Here at GQA we are confident that many of the suggested ways of working during this time will be continued going forwards. Indeed, some of the feedback we have had has been along the lines of ‘we will probably be asking ourselves why weren’t we doing this before?’.

“We’re also very pleased to report that our guidelines have been warmly received by our approved centres.”