JCQ Guidance on malpractice for awarding in summer 2020

22nd May 2020

The JCQ awarding bodies very much value your cooperation with the centre assessed grade process and appreciate that you will be working hard to make sure this is a success. We are all eager to ensure that we issue results which are a fair and accurate reflection of learners’ abilities. The integrity of the
results are particularly dependent on robust procedures within schools and colleges.

There may some instances where a few individuals fail to act appropriately in the conduct of the centre assessed grade process. To support schools and colleges in these challenging times, we wanted to provide some information regarding when we might need to investigate.

Centres/centre staff

The awarding bodies may investigate credible allegations that raise concerns about the failure to follow due procedures in the centre assessed grade process. Examples (for General and Vocational qualifications) include:

• A Head of Centre fails to submit the required declaration when approving and submitting their Centre Assessment Grades and rank orders.
• A failure by a centre to appropriately manage Conflicts of Interest (COIs) within a centre.
• Centre Assessment Grades and/or rank orders being released to learners (or their parents/carers) before the issue of results.
• If new exam entries are created for learners who had not intended to enter for June 2020 or if tier changes are made to gain an unfair advantage rather than as an accurate reflection of a learner’s ability.
• A failure to submit Centre Assessment Grades and rank orders which honestly and fairly represent the grades that students would have been most likely to achieve if they had sat their assessments as planned. This might include situations in which centre staff have been unreasonably pressured into making changes to their Centre Assessment Grades and rank order judgements or making such changes themselves without reasonable grounds.
• A failure to accurately report grades of completed units for vocational qualifications.

Learners

It is possible that some learners may attempt to influence their teachers’ judgements on their Centre Assessment Grades and/or rank order. Learners might try to do this by submitting false evidence of performance or by applying pressure. The awarding bodies anticipate that the majority of such
instances will be dealt with by the centre internally. However, if the learner’s behaviour continues then please inform the relevant awarding body using the JCQ M1 form. The awarding bodies will contact your centre directly if we receive credible allegations that such pressure has been applied.

In all the scenarios listed above, as well as any others that have not been explicitly identified here, the JCQ Suspected malpractice policies and procedures 2019-2020 continues to apply.

The awarding bodies would like to thank you in advance for your commitment to working with them to ensure all learners receive the results they deserve in these difficult circumstances.

Should you have any questions or concerns regarding malpractice, please contact the appropriate awarding body via the contact information detailed at the end of the JCQ Suspected malpractice policies and procedures 2019-2020.