In this blog about Cambridge Nationals we wanted to share the key aspects of the administration for Cambridge Nationals aimed at centres who have just started teaching from this September. Aimed at teachers, this is ideal for exams officers to share with their teaching staff.
In this post we walk you through the generic processes, which apply to all Cambridge Nationals.
The administration is very straightforward and mirrors many of our GCSE processes, so if you already teach our GCSEs it’s likely to be familiar to you.
Processes such as making entries and submitting marks for moderation are the same as GCSE. In addition, entry, mark submission and results release dates have all been aligned so there’s less to burden you with.
We’ve put together a short film that summarises how the administration for Cambridge Nationals works.
Our key takeaways are...
Bookmark our Cambridge Nationals admin overview page. This lists the main steps required for Cambridge Nationals and includes links to more detailed information for each step of the administration process. Your exams officer will also require the entry codes booklet.
Your students don’t need to be registered for the qualification in advance; you simply enter each individual unit in the series you want them to be assessed. At the end of the course, a certification entry (‘cash-in’) must also be made to pull together all of the unit results into an overall subject grade.
Although you do not need to register students, to ensure you get regular email updates, submit the ‘intention to teach’ web form - it takes minutes to complete.
Your exams officer can make your entries via A2C using basedata or via our secure extranet, Interchange. Make sure you and the exams officer are aware of the entry deadlines (which we’ve listed below) to avoid any unwanted late fees.
Cambridge Nationals are series based and all units, both externally and internally assessed, are available every January and June. A limited number of internally assessed units are also available in November. November availability does vary between subjects so check the specification or the entry codes document for the availability for your subject.
The entry deadlines will be familiar if you are already delivering GCSEs as they follow the standard general qualifications entry deadlines for the November, January and June series:
Entries can be accepted after these dates but will attract late fees.
An extended entry deadline of 21 March is available for students who have sat an examination in January and may wish to resit in June of the same year. This enables you to wait until the January results are available before deciding whether to re-enter for the same unit in the June series whilst avoiding late fees.
The administration area on our website walks you through each step.
Marks are submitted to OCR via A2C or Interchange by the deadline for your chosen moderation method. It is a raw mark that is submitted to OCR and not a grade.
Once you have submitted your marks, your exams officer will receive a sample request via email, if you have chosen the postal option, you will also receive the address to post the sample to. If you are using the OCR Repository, you only need to upload the sample to the Repository and not the whole cohort (the sample will be highlighted in the repository as well as being included on the email to the exams officer).
For more information, including sample sizes, your exams officer can check the internal assessment section of the website.
So, to conclude, we hope this post has helped you know where to begin and we welcome your comments below. You can also get in touch via our mailbox firstname.lastname@example.org.
Don’t forget to sign up to receive email updates and, finally, if you're intending to teach let us know by completing the intention to teach web form.
Paul Jones - Senior Customer Support Manager
Paul is the Senior Customer Support Manager. The Customer Support Team provides support, training and guidance for centres administering OCR qualifications. Before joining the Customer Support Team Paul worked in the Operational Hub and as a Qualifications Manager. His experience in these roles has given Paul a diverse range of knowledge that helps to assist and support our customers.