Arts Award’s new assessment model: Your questions answered!

Arts Award’s new assessment model: Your questions answered!

Picture of Nicola King

BY: Nicola King
18 Mar 2024

Following on from the changes made to the Arts Award assessment model last December, many of you have got in touch with queries as you begin to work in this new model. In this blog we will try to answer the most common questions we have received about the assessment process, to help you get up to speed with the changes as soon as possible.

If our centre is selected for moderation, how do we submit portfolios?

Portfolios can be submitted directly to our new portfolio submission platform. All arts logs and portfolios must be provided in digital format however you can still produce hardcopy portfolios, scrap books and other physical evidence, they just need to be digitised before submission. You can do this by scanning or photographing hard copy evidence in order to upload it to the submission platform.

When scanning, check that PDF files are in the right order, photographs and video evidence is navigated the right way up, and handwritten work is legible in digital format. Portfolios could also be collated into a PowerPoint format.

The updated Arts Award toolkits are your go-to resource for full details of how to prepare the portfolios. Don’t forget to include our new Evidence Locator Form, which should accompany each portfolio and signpost evidence for each part of the award.

Can we still create digital portfolios using our own choice of platforms?

You can still gather your evidence using a digital platform of your choice.  However, when you submit work for moderation, you will need to convert the files into a format that can be uploaded to our submission platform, ensuring that you don’t exceed the maximum number of files and they are organised in a logical order.

Unfortunately we cannot accept links to password-protected, private websites or learning management systems (LMS) or to platforms where the moderator will need to create an account or download the files.

If portfolios are created digitally, for example in a blog or WordPress format, then the submission platform allows you to include hyperlinks to websites, rather than uploading copies of evidence. When providing hyperlinks to external digital platforms, you must ensure that evidence is clearly collated using folders, labelling and page/slide numbering, and organised in a coherent order. You’ll need to ensure that portfolios are easily navigated and the link is accessible, otherwise this will cause to delays to receiving your moderation outcome. Please refer to the Arts Award toolkits for guidance on how to organise portfolios for moderation. 

How will these changes affect learners with SEND?

The Arts Award qualification is designed to be accessible to children and young people with a range of abilities, backgrounds, and individual learning requirements. The flexible ways in which Arts Award can be delivered and evidenced have not changed, and so you will still be able to support your learners in the same ways as you have previously.

If you are selected for moderation, it is important that the portfolio is able to ‘speak for itself’ and that the moderator is able to easily identify evidence. You can facilitate this through good signposting, clearly completing the evidence locator form, and annotating or scribing evidence where necessary, for example if a young person uses PECS to communicate you would need to support this evidence with annotation or translation, so that it is clear what the evidence is communicating.

When can I enter young people for Arts Award?

You can enter young people at any point in the year, and do not have to wait for advertised dates, as was the case with some previous moderation options. However, you should only enter young people once your Arts Award programme is complete, and the portfolios have been assessed so that you have the marks available to submit to Trinity.

What timelines do I need to be aware of when entering young people for Arts Award?

If you are entering young people for Discover certificates are dispatched in paper format within four weeks from the date you entered.

If you are entering young people for Explore, Bronze, Silver, or Gold, you will receive an email within two-three working days from the date you entered that lets you know whether you have been selected for moderation.

If your centre has not been selected to be moderated certificates will be issued digitally, to the email address provided for each young person, within four weeks from the date you entered.

If your centre has been selected for moderation, we will provide full details about next steps, including the names of the young people we have selected for moderation. Centres must submit the selected portfolios and accompanying evidence locator forms within two weeks of the notification email via our online portfolio submission platform.

You should receive the results of your moderation within two weeks of submission. Certificates will be issued digitally to the email address provided for each young person within four weeks from the date you received your results.

Always allow eight weeks from the point of providing young people’s details and marks via the centre portal to the issue of certificates in the event moderation is required.

Do you have any resources to help with the new assessment process?

Alongside the resources already mentioned, our Arts Award moderation guide will take you through the process of moderation from end to end, and our Best Practice Guidebook also contains details of everything from delivering to assessing Arts Award. Our completed examples of the evidence locator forms will support you to complete these forms in the detail needed, should you be selected for moderation. We will be developing further support resources over the year which will be available via our resource library.

We hope that this has answered some of your questions about Arts Award’s new model. Please do get in touch if you have other queries that aren’t covered by this blog post.

For questions relating to booking and entering young people:

For general Arts Award queries:

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