ABC Level 3 Diploma in Fabrication and Welding Practice Tech level (interim-reformed)

Last updated
Last verified
The QIP covers the ABC Level 3 Diploma in Fabrication and Welding Practice Tech level (interim-reformed) qualification that does not meet the full requirements set by the Department for Education (DfE) and does not contribute towards performance measures.

This qualification meets the interim-reformed requirements for 2016 and 2017 performance tables.

Countries
  • England
  • Northern Ireland
  • Wales
Purpose

The Department for Education (DfE) describe Tech level qualifications as follows:

Tech levels are rigorous advanced (level 3) technical qualifications on a par with A Levels and recognised by employers. They are for students aged 16 plus who want to specialise in a specific industry or prepare for a particular job. They cover jobs and careers where employers recruit people at this level or where a level 3 qualification is needed before students can progress to a related higher education course. Tech levels give students an opportunity to develop specialist knowledge and skills to help them get an apprenticeship or job, for example in engineering, IT, accounting or professional cookery, or progress to a higher level qualification. In some cases, a tech level qualification is a ‘licence to practise’ or can exempt someone holding the qualification from a professional exam. Tech levels are recognised by trade or professional bodies or at least five employers. Alternatively, the qualification may be accepted by a national licensed professional registration scheme.

Education context

Some vocational qualifications offered at Level 3 have been reformed as a result of changes to school performance tables. Vocational qualifications must meet the criteria set by the Department for Education (DfE) in order to count towards school performance tables. These reforms mean that 91% of the Level 3 qualifications that previously counted towards school performance tables were removed from performance tables in 2016.

For accountability purposes, vocational qualifications are now be classified as:

  • Tech level qualifications: The purpose of these qualifications is to lead to a ‘recognised occupation’. Examples provided by the DfE include engineering, accounting, construction, manufacturing, agriculture and IT. These qualifications must meet a number of criteria, including the endorsement of five employers registered at Companies House.
  • Applied General qualifications: The purpose of these qualifications is to provide a broader vocational education. They ‘are designed for students wanting to continue their education through applied learning.’ These qualifications must meet a number of criteria, including endorsement by at least three universities and colleges.

The reform to vocational qualifications is being conducted in two stages: an interim stage and full stage. Each of these stages introduced new criteria for vocational qualifications to meet in order to count towards school performance tables.

The first teaching of the qualifications reformed on an interim basis was from 2014 and these counted towards school performance tables in 2016. Only qualifications that meet the full criteria count towards performance tables from 2018. The qualifications listed in this QIP are classified as Tech level qualifications however do not meet the full criteria to count towards performance tables from 2018 in respect of content, assessment and grading. Schools and colleges may offer qualifications that are not included in the performance tables, if the qualifications are approved for teaching by the Secretary of State under Section 96.

Read Section 96.

The 2016 ABC Level 3 Diploma in Fabrication and Welding Practice meets the interim requirements set by the DfE and therefore may be offered in schools and colleges alongside the 2018 fully reformed versions:

 

Interim Requirement (for qualifications counting in 2016 performance tables)

Full Requirement (for qualifications counting in 2018 performance tables)

A. Declared Purpose

X

X

B. Size

X

X

C. Recognition

X

X

D. Synoptic Assessment

 

X

E. External Assessment

 

X

F. Grading

 

X

G. Employer involvement (Technical Level Qualifications only)

 

X

H. Progression

 

X

I. Proven Track Record

 

X

 

As noted in the table above, the 2016 and 2018 versions of Tech level qualifications are fundamentally different.

For more information on the specific changes to 2018 Tech levels, please refer to a reformed QIP. Please also see ‘Key issues for UK HE admissions’ for some additional considerations when assessing these qualifications.

Further information about Tech level qualifications, and the range of qualifications that meet the 2018 requirements, can be found on the DfE website.


Regulation of Tech level and Applied General qualifications

The regulation of Tech level and Applied General qualifications delivered in England is the responsibility of Ofqual.

The regulatory approach undertaken for Tech level and Applied General qualifications differs to A levels. This is because there are no specific qualification-level criteria for Tech levels, as there are for GCSEs, AS and A levels currently.  Applied Generals is a category introduced by the Department for Education for accountability purposes rather than a specific type of regulated qualification.  To be included in the Tech level category, qualifications have to demonstrate particular features outlined in the table above.

Tech levels must comply with Ofqual’s general rules, as is the case with all regulated qualification.


The ABC Level 3 Diploma in Fabrication and Welding is part of a larger suite of fabrication and welding qualifications which cover Levels 1, 2 and 3.

The ABC Level 3 Diploma in Fabrication and Welding is a knowledge qualification within the Advanced Apprenticeship in Engineering Manufacture (Craft and Technician) in England and Wales.

Awarding organisation
  • ABC Awards
Qualification code
600/5030/9 (Level 3 Diploma in Fabrication and Welding Practice)
Structure

The ABC Diploma in Fabrication and Welding consists of mandatory units and optional units as follows:

  • mandatory unit – Science and calculations for fabrication and welding practice
  • optional unit – seven units from a range of specialist content

For detailed unit and structure information, please view the qualification specification on the ABC website.

Subject areas

Fabrication and welding

Levels
  • Level 3

This is a Level 3 qualification regulated to the Qualifications and Credit Framework (QCF). ¹

Level 3 is broadly aligned to the Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework (SCQF) Level 6 / 7.


¹ The QCF was a credit-based transfer system which recognised qualifications and units by awarding credits. It has now been withdrawn for all new qualifications and replaced by the RQF. The RQF is the new system for cataloguing all qualifications regulated by Ofqual, indexing them by level and size.

Grading

Overall the qualification is Pass or Fail.

Assessment

The mandatory Science and calculations for fabrication and welding practice unit is assessed by an internally assessed workbook and an externally assessed short answer question (SAQ) 1.5 hour examination.

The seven optional units are assessed internally and subject to internal and external moderation.

For detailed assessment information, please view the qualification specification on the ABC website.

Contribution of assessment components to overall grade

All units must be passed in order to achieve a Pass overall; this is a criterion of the QCF.

Resit arrangements

All units can be resat.

Guided/notional learning hours
ABC Level 3 Diploma in Fabrication and Welding Practice: 480 hours
Guided/notional learning hours notes

90 of the published GLH are allocated to assessment.

For comparison, the size of one A level is 360 GLH.

UCAS Tariff points

ABC Level 3 Diploma In Fabrication and Welding Practice (QCF)

Grade Points
P 32
Key issues for UK HE admissions

Tech level qualifications are advanced (Level 3) qualifications, mainly taken by 16-19 year old students who want to develop transferable knowledge and skills.

There are a number of key considerations for HEPs when reviewing Tech level qualifications that do not meet the full DfE criteria from 2018:

  • Applicants holding interim reformed Tech level qualifications may not have had experience of external or synoptic assessment.
  • The reformed and interim reformed qualifications will be delivered by schools and colleges at the same time (see ‘Education context’). Therefore, HEPs may wish to consider their approach to setting and listing entry requirements for the specific qualifications.
  • The dual running of the qualification may result in applicants declaring the incorrect version within their application. UCAS will be working to support applicants and advisers in this area.
  • These qualifications are fundamentally different to the reformed versions and likely to result in learners developing different skills and aptitudes. HEPs should review their understanding of these qualifications to ensure it remains up to date. HEPs may also wish to consider their approach to setting and listing entry requirements for the specific qualifications, and any differences should be clearly articulated. The exact curriculum studied depends on the choice of optional units taken.

Tech Levels are designed to support progression to employment, an apprenticeship, or to higher education.

Progression to higher education is generally within the vocational area of the Tech Level, and may be to a foundation degree.

The exact curriculum studied may depend on the choice of optional units taken.

The majority of applicants holding these qualifications will have completed their Level 3 qualifications in 2016 and 2017.

Timing of assessments/results for learners

There are three windows in each academic year for learners to complete the Science and Calculations exam: autumn, spring and summer. Each window lasts a fortnight.

The remaining units can be completed at any time.

External moderation, quality assurance and issue of results are completed at the end of the course.

Qualification date
Until 30 Sep 2017
Reporting and certification information

The results of ABC Level 3 Diploma in Fabrication and Welding Practice are reported to UCAS through Awarding Body Linkage (ABL).

View the results available through ABL.

Certification: n/a

Progression information

Tech level qualifications differ in size; some may meet the entry requirements for higher education in their own right in a related area and some may need to be offered in conjunction with other Level 3 qualifications, for instance A levels. In addition, some higher education courses may require specific levels of achievement in particular units or ask for additional qualifications to satisfy subject knowledge requirements.

These qualifications offer progression to higher education, an apprenticeship, or employment.

Progression to HE will probably be in the vocational area of the qualification, and may be to a foundation degree or a Higher National qualification (HNC/HND).

Tech level qualifications are supported by at least five employers from the job sector the qualification is related to. All students have to take part in meaningful activity involving employers in the course of their study. Examples are work placements, taking part in projects, or some of the course being taught by someone who works in the industry.

Learners could continue their development by covering critical welds or by seeking to achieve approval under European standards. Learners who successfully complete this qualification could progress to an Advanced Apprenticeship in Engineering Manufacture (Craft and Technician) or directly into employment. Depending on a learners’ full study programme, they could progress to higher education in Engineering or a related field.