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UAL Awarding Body - Results Day FAQs for Level 3 and 4 qualifications

Written by UAL Awarding Body
Published date 12 August 2020

Please note: This information only applies to pre-degree students completing UAL Awarding Body qualifications this summer.

This year, our Level 3 and Level 4 results day is Thursday 13 August 2020. If you are a student completing a UAL Awarding Body Level 3 or Level 4 qualification this summer, you may find the following information useful.

This has been an extraordinary year for students and teachers across the UK. We have been inspired by your creativity, resilience and integrity. We understand this has been an anxious time for students and that many of you will have questions following results. Even so we applaud your achievements and are delighted that we can finally support so many people to continue their journey into Higher Education, further study or employment.

We are anticipating a large volume of enquires on and following results day. If you contact us and we are unable to resolve your problem immediately, please be patient and we will get back to you as soon as possible. Our whole team will be focussed on helping students and centres at this time.

A Levels and GCSEs have reverted to Centre Assessment Grades. Is that possible for UAL Awarding Body qualifications?

The approach we have taken to results this year is in line with Ofqual’s Extraordinary Regulatory Framework. Different types of qualifications are being dealt with in specific ways under this framework. UAL Awarding Body qualifications are categorised as Vocational Technical Qualifications (VTQs) as they are structured and assessed differently to A levels and GCSEs. The statistical standardisation approach – including any grading algorithms – used in A Levels and GCSEs were not used in UAL Awarding Body qualifications.

In the case of UAL Awarding Body qualifications, the use of robust evidence and the subsequent quality assurance process have strengthened the fairness of specific judgements made about individual students and groups of students. Anonymous adjustments have not been made without specific dialogue with centres and scrutiny of specific student assessment evidence.

We asked tutors to produce Centre Assessment Grades (CAG) based on a wide range of evidence produced prior to closures on 20 March 2020. This included evidence from previous banked mandatory units and offered a high-quality approach to grading. This was an entirely new grade judgement produced specifically in light of the situation this year. There was significant guidance and flexibility to ensure teachers could access the maximum amount of reliable evidence in arriving at a grade.

Our model did not use algorithmic adjustments to Centre Assessment Grades to bring them in line with an expected or preferred pattern. We understand the frustration of students in situations where these Centre Assessment Grades have been overruled by an algorithm. Instead we compared the Centre Assessment Grades provided by centres with the expected pattern of grades, and where there was significant variation asked centres to evidence why this variation was justified this year. In the vast majority of cases this evidence was judged robust and Centre Assessment Grades approved. In a small number of cases where evidence was not sufficient we asked centres to review and resubmit the grades initially presented, by mutual agreement based on the available evidence. Because of this we are currently not in scope for a fallback to the Centre Assessment Grades produced prior to our quality assurance process. We will comply with any instructions from our regulators and government. We believe, however, that the process we have followed is more fair, valid and evidence-based than a fallback to Centre Assessment Grades which have not been scrutinised.

One of the great strengths of our approach is that we train and support teachers every year in understanding our grading standards. Teacher grading decisions always form the first part of our quality assurance process in normal years, supported by a robust moderation process. We believe this approach has reaped benefits this year as tutors submitted grades that were closely aligned to our standards. Our collaborative work with teachers still formed the cornerstone of our awards despite some significant challenges and adaptations owing to COVID-19.

The only exception to this approach is our Level 3 Applied General Diploma in Art and Design which is externally assessed under controlled conditions. A fair and robust set of grades has also been produced for this qualification, but because of the nature of its assessment approach we are making retake opportunities available for this qualification this Autumn.

How can I access my results?

Please contact your college in order to obtain your results. If your college is unable to provide your result please email our Operations team at operations.awarding@arts.ac.uk with your name, college name and the title of your qualification.

I haven’t achieved the grade I need for my University course. What do I do?

We encourage you to contact UCAS, or the admissions department of any institution to which you applied directly. UCAS has published this helpful guidance for what to do on results day, including the option to enter UCAS Clearing.

Why aren’t my results visible on UCAS?

Your results will not be visible on UCAS, however confirmation decisions from Universities or other providers will be visible as released by UCAS.

When will I receive my certificate?

Certificates will be issued to students by the end of September.

I am unhappy with my grade and would like to appeal. How do I do this?

This Summer, appeals will not be considered on the basis of challenges to professional assessment judgements made in centres. Rather they will focus on whether the approved processes for this year have been followed correctly. The only exception to this is that bias and discrimination will also be valid grounds for an appeal in themselves.

If you would like to appeal your grade, you can read further information about the grounds for appeal and find out how to submit an appeals application by reading our Appeals policy.

To find out more about why there are limited grounds for appeals this year, please visit Ofqual’s explainer for students, which includes the Vocational and Technical Qualifications (VTQ) category which UAL Awarding Body qualifications fall under.

I would like to retake my qualification. Is this possible?

In accordance with Ofqual’s Extraordinary Regulatory Framework, we are not offering autumn assessment opportunities for most of our qualifications this year. The only exception to this policy is for the Level 3 Applied General Diploma Art and Design. Details for the Level 3 Applied General Diploma Art and Design will be issued directly to centres.

Further information regarding our retake policy is available in our process for awarding results in Summer 2020 summary on our website.

How has my grade been arrived at this year?

Our approach to quality assuring grades differed significantly from that taken for A Levels and GCSEs. Our model for awarding grades this year did encourage tutors to give some consideration to historic benchmark data from previous years when generating Centre Assessment Grades, however this was not the decisive factor in whether Centre Assessment Grades were accepted.

Our External Quality Assurers sampled Centre Assessment Grades and supporting evidence extensively. Where Centre Assessment Grades differed significantly from expected grade distributions, we requested additional justification and trusted evidence. In the vast majority of cases the initial grades submitted were upheld. In a minority of cases, we asked centres to reconsider if those grades were truly accurate given the available evidence, and changes were made by mutual agreement in view of the evidence. We did not rank students as part of this process or apply algorithmic grade adjustments.

A full explanation of our process for awarding results in Summer 2020 is available on our website.

I have just completed the first year of a UAL Level 3 Extended Diploma qualification. When will I receive my results for the first year?

Students who have completed the Diploma year and are moving on to the Extended Diploma next year will not receive a full qualification result this year as they are only part way through the qualification. You will instead receive a mid-point grade. These will be made available to students via centres by the 28 August.
We call this a mid-point grade as you are working towards the Extended Diploma qualification. We are issuing mid-point grades to ensure that you have evidence banked towards your Extended Diploma in case of any disruption next year. We apologise for any confusion regarding this.

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