Annual Admissions Conference 2018

Date and location
This event has now finished

Applied General qualifications and access to HE – debating the external assessment

Wednesday 28 March 2018 10:50 - 11:50
Breakout session


The DfE’s technical qualifications guidance introduced a new requirement for Applied General qualifications to include a minimum of 40% externally assessed content for 2018 performance measure recognition. This change resulted in a qualifications market split: while some schools, colleges, and students opted for the new externally assessed performance measure qualifications (such as the 2016 OCR Cambridge Technicals), others decided to remain with the existing internally assessed qualifications (including the 2012 OCR Cambridge Technicals). Decision makers reported the retention of choice allowed the selection of the most appropriate assessment method for their students, even at the potential expense of performance points recognition.

As the first cohort of students in that split Applied General market reach higher education entrance, OCR will take the opportunity to lead a debate on the potential impact of these qualification changes on HE access. Specifically, participants will be invited to consider the role of external assessment in HE preparedness, and discuss the consequences of a potential ‘external assessment hurdle’ to access. To frame and inform this discussion, OCR will present an overview of the pertinent policy changes, of the research literature on internal versus external assessment, and the recent Ofqual Applied Generals research.

Learning outcomes:

By the end of the session participants will:

  • understand the current Applied Generals policy and qualifications market context, and the choice currently presented to schools, colleges, and students
  • recognise the potential implications of an ‘external assessment hurdle’ for higher education access • be equipped to consider the implications of the current Applied Generals policy and market for their own context