JCQ awarding body centre contact arrangements for summer 2024

Although most awarding body queries can be dealt with during term time using the standard centre contact details, occasionally, awarding bodies need to contact schools and colleges during the summer holidays. If awarding bodies are unable to resolve these queries quickly, this can put students’ results at risk.

Each summer, the JCQ collects the details of ‘senior designated contacts’ who can be available outside of term time to resolve any results-related issues. This allows awarding bodies to work with schools and colleges to enable students to receive their GCSE, A Level and vocational qualification results on time.

We understand implementing this requirement can be challenging and greatly appreciate the efforts of schools and colleges to support this work to enable all students to receive their results as planned.

Why do the awarding bodies occasionally need to contact schools and colleges during the summer holidays?

Although the JCQ awarding bodies can resolve almost all results-related queries before the end of term, as the marking and moderation processes do not end until the middle of August, there will always be a very small number of cases where we need additional information to make sure all your students receive their results on results day.

How many senior contacts do schools and colleges need to provide?

Schools and colleges need to have at least one contact who is available to manage emergency requests during the summer holidays. However, they have the flexibility to provide the number of contacts they wish, for example, to reduce the risk of this falling on one individual throughout the holidays.

How will the JCQ awarding bodies use these contact details?

  • Awarding bodies will use the senior designated contacts for urgent, results-related issues.
  • Awarding bodies will try to contact the National Centre Number (NCN) contact first – usually the exams officer – and use the senior designated contact details if they do not receive a response within 24 hours. In 2024, we will also ask for the last day of term so awarding bodies know for how long the main NCN contact will be available.
  • The contact details provided each summer will be stored until 30 September when they will be securely destroyed.

What do the senior designated contacts need to do?

  • Contacts must have the authority to access information and be able to mobilise the appropriate resources to resolve any awarding body query or issue quickly.
  • Contacts must be prepared to respond to queries that include suspected malpractice, safeguarding concerns where students may be at risk, ineligible claims, invalid order of merit or missing script queries.

What do centres need to do?

  • Each centre must identify senior staff who will be available outside of term time. Centres may choose to manage this in different ways and can identify as many contacts as they wish but at least one contact must be available throughout the holiday period. There is no expectation for contacts to be on call at all times.
  • Each centre must provide the name, role, contact details and availability of each senior designated contact.
  • Centres can also specify how they would like to be contacted. For example, if contacts would prefer to be contacted by phone if monitoring emails is not practical or possible.
  • Centres must make sure each contact is aware they have been nominated and when they need to be available to ensure at least one senior designated contact is available outside term time.

How will centres provide the details of the senior designated contacts?

  • The JCQ NCN team (managed by OCR) will send a link to a form in early May for all Heads of Centre to complete by 24 May 2024.

If you have any queries, please contact the JCQ National Centre Number Team at ncn@ocr.org.uk.