RQF Latest News and Updates

New Awarding Organisation rules around Centre Assessment checks 

February 2020

Ofqual has confirmed that awarding organisations (AOs) must introduce Centre Assessment Standards Scrutiny (CASS) processes by no later than 1 September 2021. This is the new term to cover the arrangements AOs must have in place to scrutinise assessment judgements made by schools, colleges and training providers (centres) offering their qualifications.

The announcement comes as part of the outcomes of an earlier consultation on how Ofqual will regulate AOs on their control of assessment judgements made by centres.

All of the proposals in the original Ofqual consultation will be implemented, subject to some minor changes to the wording to address points of clarity. In summary, Ofqual’s new requirements include:

  • AOs must put in place Centre Assessment Standards Scrutiny (CASS) arrangements for all assessments marked by centres and be fully compliant with the related Ofqual requirements by 1 September 2021.
  • All other forms of CASS must take place before or after results are issued and AOs must consider the appropriate action to take for any results discovered that are not in line with the required standard.
  • AOs must put in place, comply with, and keep under review a CASS strategy for all qualifications that are marked by centres (including those that are subject to moderation).
  • Where an AO discovers an incorrect result, it must be corrected where necessary in line with Ofqual guidance. AOs must revoke certificates where they are found to reflect an incorrect result which has been corrected.

If an AO already carries out the minimum requirements for centre monitoring, centres may not notice any difference. Ofqual has produced guidance on what these decisions mean for centres.

Ofqual has published the minimum requirements needed for all CASS strategies and activities. They are also keen to ensure that awarding organisations have the ability to increase these where and when necessary (i.e. when identified risks requires an increased approach). The minimum evidence is required for these areas:

  • Annual activities
  • Sampling
  • Training and competence
  • Risk-based approach

Amongst these, awarding organisations must explain their overall approach, how they approve and allow centres to mark their assessments, their approach to monitoring centres and managing risk, plus how and when they need to take action or make adjustments based on evidence.