EOA proposal to Ofqual on the Access Arrangements issue


Following the recent combined EOA and Association of Colleges survey on Access Arrangements and after discussions with Ofqual , the JCQ and various teaching unions, the following proposal is being made by the EOA.


The present JCQ documents dealing with the delivery of the Access Arrangements is based upon government requirements and policies such as the Equality Act 2010 and a code of practice agreed with Ofqual, through cooperation with individual awarding organisations. 


As these policies and regulations have been altered, and as experience of the working of the Access Arrangements has been grown, the JCQ documents have themselves been amended to take these factors into account.  This has been undertaken on a case by case basis with the consequence that these regulations have become ambiguous or even contradictory in some places.


In addition, there has also been a growth in the number of requests for Access Arrangements.  In the light of these two developments, Ofqual has agreed to review these original points of reference so adjustments can be made to the JCQ documents upon which exams centres depend for help and guidance.


A major outcome of this review process, it is hoped, will be that Examination Officers in centres will be able to apply all the help and guidance on Access Arrangements from the JCQ more effectively and efficiently.  The consequence of this should be a significant reduction of workload, stress, misunderstanding and constant interpretation within exam centres, which in turn should result in a far better outcome for candidates.


This is vital because, if we are to continue to operate a successful Access Arrangements process, especially for all those candidates with genuine needs, we must all work together to support that outcome and ensure that this exam system is secured and promoted as world class.