Coronavirus Centre Update 10: Calculated Results Bookings are now live. See all of our centre updates on our 'News' page.

Centre update 8: FAQs for adapted Speech assessments under the Extraordinary Regulatory Framework – June 1st, 2020

What assessments are being adapted?

  • ESB Level 1 Award in Speech (Grades 1, 2, 3)
  • ESB Level 2 Certificate in Speech (Grades 4, 5)
  • ESB Level 3 Certificate in Speech (Grade 6, 8)
  • ESB Level 3 Award in Travel and Tourism Oral Communication Skills for Overseas Resort Representatives
  • ESB Level 4 Award in Professional Presentation Skills
  • ESB Level 1, 2, Awards in Using Oral Skills for Interviews
  • ESB Entry Level Award in Graded Examinations in Speech (Entry 1, 2, 3) (EAL-A1, A2, B1)

The following speech qualifications are not in scope of the Extraordinary Framework and we are seeking clarification to offer them as adapted assessments:

  • ESB Level 1, 2, 3 Awards in Debating
  • ESB Level 1 Award in Group Speaking
  • ESB Level 1 Award in Oral Skills for School Interviews
  • ESB Level 3 Award in Using Oral Skills for Interviews
  • What are the possible adaptations?

ESB is offering three forms of adaptation:
1) Synchronous assessment via video conferencing.
1.1 The assessor is remote, but the learners and teacher are in the centre together, or
1.2 The learners, teacher and assessor are all remote, in different locations.

2) Asynchronous assessment. Learners are filmed performing their assessments, with a teacher acting as interlocutor and facilitating the interactive phase of the assessment. Videos are submitted to ESB International for assessment. This could be for a situation when teachers and the learners can be at school together, but an external assessor is not permitted to come in.

3) Asynchronous assessment for more independent learners who are still based at home. Learners or their parents film the performance and send it to the teacher, who will submit the videos.

What are the technical requirements for each type of adaptation? Type 1: Synchronous assessment via video conferencing
We envisage that schools and centres who choose this option will already be using a video conferencing platform with which they are familiar and which is secure and safe. The centre will be responsible for ensuring that all the learners, the teacher and the assessor can access the platform, and that the platform conforms to the centre’s safeguarding, security and privacy policies.

Type 2: Asynchronous assessment: learners and teacher together and Type 3: learners and teacher are all remote
Filming can be done using a good quality smartphone or tablet, or any good quality audio-visual recording device (e.g. digital video cameras, laptops) which will allow the assessor to accurately complete the assessment. Centres will be told where to upload the videos to a location will they will be stored securely by ESB and then deleted.

When can we start to make a booking?
You can start to make booking for adapted Speech assessments from Monday, June 15th. Please do not attempt to make a booking prior to this date as the system will not yet be live.

Who will select the extract in the assessments where the learner has to read an extract aloud?
The teacher can choose the extract.

What about the discussion parts of the assessments where learners are supposed to show they can listen and ask questions?
If you are doing asynchronous, filmed assessments, we will ask you to submit a calculated result for the discussion stage, based on the assessment criteria and grading criteria in the Specifications. For the ESB Level 3 Award in Travel and Tourism Oral Communication Skills for Overseas Resort Representatives, the face-to-face complaint will also be a calculated result. ESB International will provide centres with a pro-forma document for the submission of these calculated results.

Do we need to book an assessment for a specific date?
Yes, you need to register your learners on the system and book for the day on which you will hold your synchronous assessment, when an assessor will be assessing your learners via video-conferencing. If you are doing an asynchronous assessment and submitting pre-recorded videos to ESB, your booking should be for the date on which you will upload the videos.

When will we get our results?
We are working towards the usual time-frames for results and certification.

What about learners with special educational needs and disabilities?
Where learners have an agreed reasonable adjustment or an agreed access arrangement, the assessment should be conducted accordingly. If there is a calculated result component, this should take account of their likely achievement with the reasonable adjustment/access arrangement in place.

There may be an opportunity for learners with significant special educational needs and disabilities – and therefore unable to complete any of the adapted assessment options – to have calculated results using evidence of learning and teacher judgements. This would need to be approved by Ofqual, please contact if you wish to discuss further.

Will there be guidance for parents if they are helping their children with filming?
Yes, guidance will be provided. Videos should not be edited and should be filmed without pausing or stopping. If the learners make a mistake, they should just carry on, as they would in a live assessment.

When will there be more guidance?
ESB will send guidance for centres to share with learners and parents on Monday 8th June.

Who can I contact if I have any questions?
For any further information, please contact us at and a member of the team will be in touch as soon as possible.

Oracy Social Mobility Speech


Recent News