Vocational qualifications are either work-related qualifications designed to enable students to gain the skills required to perform a particular job, or qualifications that may be taken as part of a wider study programme or an apprenticeship.
Schools and colleges may offer qualifications that are not included in the DfE performance tables, if approved for teaching to 16-19 year olds by the Secretary of State for Education in England under Section 96, where this is in the best interests of individual students.
British Institution of Facilities Management (BIFM) is the professional body for facilities management. BIFM has invested in building clear career development pathways through its range of facilities management (FM) qualifications.
The purpose is to support both individuals and organisations in developing facilities management expertise towards the achievement of a benchmark of excellence in the facilities management industry.
BIFM Level 3 qualifications in facilities management develop students’ ability to identify and use relevant understanding, methods and skills to complete tasks and address problems that, while well defined, have a measure of complexity.
- taking responsibility for initiating and completing tasks and procedures
- exercising autonomy and judgement within limited parameters
- reflecting awareness of different perspectives or approaches within an area of study or work.
Achieved or not achieved.
All centres must gain BIFM recognition to deliver and assess the BIFM qualifications.
All assessment criteria of the unit must be achieved in order to achieve the unit and its credit value.
A minimum of 48 credits must be achieved to complete the BIFM Level 3 Diploma.
The following methods for the internal assessment of BIFM units can include:
- a requirement for the application of knowledge of a facilities management work-based scenario whenever possible
- review of evidence from work
- review of evidence from simulated work (i.e., course assignments or projects, including making presentations)
- review of coursework
- oral questioning to supplement other evidence
- professional interviews
- written tests.
BIFM centres can also use any other methods that will provide valid and reliable assessment, subject to the BIFM’s approval.
Assessment can be for an individual unit or for groups of units in combination, although in the latter case there remains a requirement that the results can be disaggregated so that credit can be awarded or withheld for the individual units in the group.
BIFM does not allow centres the final decision on awarding the qualification. Assessment is subject to moderation by BIFM (depending on the centre’s risk rating a 10-20% sample is taken from the centre’s upload of provisional results).
There are a number of key considerations for HEPs when reviewing vocational qualifications that are not listed on the DfE 16-19 performance tables for England:
- Some of these qualifications are occupational, and may not be designed specifically for progression to HE.
- Applicants holding these qualifications may be school or college leavers, however, some may be more mature students who are likely to have other relevant experience alongside these qualifications.
- These qualifications may have been taken as part of a wider study programme or an apprenticeship.
- If they are presented for admission to HE it is likely to be in conjunction with other qualifications.
Achievement of this qualification can support progression to a foundation or full degree in Facilities Management or a related subject, depending on the learner’s overall programme.
Further details on the BIFM Qualifications can be found here: http://www.bifm.org.uk/bifm/careerdevelopment/newbifmqualificationnetwork/level3