Ofqual announced in September 2019 that all Awarding Organisations (AOs) are required to introduce a Centre Assessment Standards Scrutiny (CASS) strategy no later than September 2021. This approach forms part of Ofqual’s overall strategy to improve the quality assurance that AOs have in place where an assessment is marked by a centre (Condition H2).

AOs need to determine the most appropriate CASS approach for each of their qualifications and must meet Ofqual’s minimum requirements.

CASS involves periodically checking the marking of an assessment by a Centre either before results are issued after results are issued or a combination of these which relates to Direct Claims Status. This is done along with a range of other quality assurance checks.

The Learning Machine (TLM) has as part of its CASS strategy, reviewed our portfolio of qualifications to identify levels of risk, moderation, and other quality assurance approaches. So for example, qualifications delivered in schools will tend to attract a higher rating than those taken for leisure purposes. We also assign a risk rating to Centres – based on delivery models, time with TLM and other quality assurance factors.

A defined set of risk factors is used to determine whether the qualifications offered by a centre fall into a higher-risk category. Typically, these include: new qualifications in a new subject area; qualifications that have a pattern of low outcomes; and qualifications with a pattern of reported maladministration and/or malpractice.

We use a range of categories of quality assurance criteria to identify areas of risk for Centres – including data from past verification events. Centres will receive one of the following overall outcome ratings: Low risk, Medium risk, and High risk.

Once the qualification and Centre risks are known, they are considered together to form an overall rating of higher or lower risk for each Centre’s quality assurance checks — as illustrated in the diagram below:


We expect that the majority of quality assurance activities will remain ‘as is’ for most of our Centres.

Changes may mean lower or higher scrutiny – but we certainly do not anticipate any increased burden on Centres.

We plan to communicate your risk ratings and the overall risk of your qualification offer shortly – which will enable you to understand the rationale for our level of scrutiny and checks.