Active IQ Tech levels (reformed)

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This QIP covers all Active IQ Tech level qualifications that meet the full requirements set by the Department for Education (DfE) and contribute towards performance measures from 2018.
Country
  • England
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. 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 characteristics that must be met by Tech level qualifications as detailed in the DfE criteria are as follows:

 

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

 

These changes include, but are not limited to:

  • Size: Tech level qualifications must require at least 300 guided learning hours (GLH). Applied General qualifications must require at least 150 GLH.
  • Appropriate content: A qualification specification must state the specific content that students must pass to achieve the qualification. Mandatory content and the associated contribution to the overall grade must make up at least:
    • 40% of a Tech level
    • 60% of an Applied General
  • Appropriate assessment: Tech levels must have at least 30% external assessment. Applied General must have 40% external assessment. Students will also be given one opportunity to resit.
  • Synoptic assessment.
  • Grading: All vocational qualifications must be graded using three grading points or more, such as Distinction/Merit/Pass.
  • Employer involvement: Tech levels must be recognised and endorsed by a trade/professional body or at least 5 employers registered with Companies House.

Tech levels and Applied Generals, whilst both being vocational qualifications, differ in size and purpose. Tech levels are larger (minimum 300 GLH), are aimed at students with an interest in a particular industry or occupation, and help provide entry into employment, onto an apprenticeship, or into higher education in a related vocational area.  Applied Generals are smaller, are for students who want to continue their education through applied learning, include a higher proportion of external assessment and may help students enter to a range of higher education courses.

HEPs should take care when reviewing vocational qualifications for entry, see ‘Key issues for UK HE admissions’.

Further information about Tech level qualifications, and the range of qualifications that meet these 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.  Tech level 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 qualifications.

Awarding organisation
  • Active IQ
Qualification codes
601/9003/6 (Active IQ Level 3 Diploma in Personal Training for Health, Fitness, and Performance)
601/9002/4 (Active IQ Level 3 Extended Diploma in Personal Training for Health, Fitness, and Performance)
601/6042/1 (Active IQ Level 3 Diploma in Physical Activity, Fitness, and Exercise Science)
603/1162/9 (Active IQ Level 3 Diploma in Fitness Instructing and Physical Activity)
Structure

Active IQ Level 3 Diploma in Personal Training for Health, Fitness, and Performance

Students must complete all 12 mandatory units (86 credits). For detailed information on the qualification structure, download the qualification guidance.

Active IQ Level 3 Extended Diploma in Personal Training for Health, Fitness, and Performance

Over the two year programme, students must complete the 14 mandatory units (93 credits) and a minimum of 40 credits from any of the optional units. For detailed information on the qualification structure, download the qualification guidance.

Active IQ Level 3 Diploma in Physical Activity, Fitness, and Exercise Science

Over the two year programme, students must complete the 14 mandatory units (91 credits) and a minimum of 40 credits from any of the optional units. In total, a minimum of 131 credits must be achieved. A minimum of 66 credits must be achieved at Level 3 - year 1 of this qualification (65 credits) are at Level 2. For detailed information on the qualification structure, download the qualification guidance.

Active IQ Level 3 Diploma in Fitness Instructing and Physical Activity

Students must complete all 8 mandatory units (55 credits) and one of the optional units (8 credits). A total of 63 credits must be achieved for the qualification. For detailed information on the qualification structure, download the qualification guidance.

https://www.activeiq.co.uk/qualifications/level-3/active-iq-level-3-diploma-in-fitness-instructing-and-physical-activity/

Subject areas
  • Sports sciences and the active leisure industry
  • Principles of anatomy, physiology, and fitness
  • Planning and instructing gym-based exercise
  • Health and safety in a physical activity, fitness, and sport environment
  • Applied human biology for exercise and fitness
  • Principles of nutrition for healthy lifestyles
  • Conducting consultations with personal training clients
  • Programme design and delivery for personal training
  • Delivering exceptional customer care
  • Enterprise and entrepreneurship
  • Marketing products and services
  • Technology in sport and exercise
  • Managing personal and professional development
Levels
  • Level 3

Level 3 qualifications are regulated to the Regulated Qualifications Framework (RQF).

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

Grading

Active IQ Level 3 Diploma and Extended Diploma in Personal Training for Health, Fitness, and Performance

The combined outcome of the Level 3 multiple choice theory exams, the video analysis of a client consultation, and personal training session, determine each learner’s overall grade when all the other units (requirements of the qualification) have been completed. 'All other units' refers to the successful achievement of all the mandatory units and the appropriate number of optional units / credits, however, the grade is calculated from the assessments.

Grades awarded are Pass, Merit, or Distinction.

Active IQ Level 3 Diploma in Physical Activity, Fitness, and Exercise Science

The combined outcome of the Level 3 multiple choice theory exams determine each learner’s overall grade when all of the other units (requirements of the qualification) have been completed. 'All other units' refers to the successful achievement of all the mandatory units and the appropriate number of optional units / credits, however, the grade is calculated from the assessments.

Grades awarded are Pass, Merit, or Distinction.

Active IQ Level 3 Diploma in Fitness Instructing and Physical Activity

The combined outcome of the multiple-choice theory exams and the video analysis of a gym based exercise session will determine each learner’s overall grade when all of the other units (requirements of the qualification) have been completed.

Grading awarded as Pass, Merit or Distinction.

Assessment

As noted in Education Context, to be classified as a Tech level qualification the qualification in question must meet certain criteria. This includes:

  • A minimum of 30% external assessment
  • A minimum of 40% mandatory core content
  • An element of synoptic assessment
  • There is a single resit opportunity

The above is the minimum requirements set out by the Department for Education. However, the application of this may differ by awarding organisation, therefore if you require full assessment detail, please review the specification of the individual qualification on the Active IQ website.

Contribution of assessment components to overall grade

Active IQ Level 3 Diploma and Extended Diploma in Personal Training for Health, Fitness, and Performance

External assessment makes up more than 30% of this qualification and comprises multiple-choice theory exams, and a video analysis of a client consultation and personal training session.

The combined outcome of the Level 3 multiple choice theory exams, and the video analysis of a client consultation and personal training session, determine each learner’s overall grade when all of the other units (requirements of the qualification) have been completed.

Active IQ Level 3 Diploma in Physical Activity, Fitness, and Exercise Science

External assessment, comprising multiple-choice theory exams, makes up 30% of this qualification. The combined outcome of the external assessments determine each learner’s overall grade when all of the other units (requirements of the qualification) have been completed.

Active IQ Level 3 Diploma in Fitness Instructing and Physical Activity

External assessment makes up more than 30% of this qualification and comprises multiple-choice theory exams, and a video analysis of a client consultation and gym based exercise session.

The combined outcome of the multiple-choice theory exams and the video analysis of a gym based exercise session will determine each learner’s overall grade when all of the other units (requirements of the qualification) have been completed.

Resit arrangements

Reformed Tech level qualifications are only allowed one resit opportunity per unit. The resit must be a new task or assignment, different to the original assessment.

Guided/notional learning hours
Active IQ Level 3 Diploma in Personal Training for Health, Fitness, and Performance: 755 hours
Active IQ Level 3 Diploma in Physical Activity, Fitness, and Exercise Science: 1102 hours
Active IQ Level 3 Extended Diploma in Personal Training for Health, Fitness, and Performance: 1217 hours
Active IQ Level 3 Diploma in Fitness Instructing and Physical Activity: 543 hours
Guided/notional learning hours notes

Tech levels require a minimum size of 300 GLH to provide students with sufficient time for meaningful skills development that will equip them to follow a particular trade or profession; for comparison, the size of one A level is 360 GLH.

UCAS Tariff points

Active IQ Level 3 Diploma in Personal Training for Health, Fitness and Performance

Grade Points
D 96
M 64
P 32

Active IQ Level 3 Extended Diploma in Personal Training for Health, Fitness and Performance

Grade Points
D 144
M 96
P 48

Active IQ Level 3 Diploma in Physical Activity, Fitness and Exercise Science

Grade Points
D 72
M 48
P 24

Active IQ Level 3 Diploma in Fitness Instructing and Physical Activity

Grade Points
D 72
M 48
P 24

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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 specialise in a specific industry, occupation, or occupational group. They equip students with specialist knowledge and skills.

There are a number of key considerations for HEPs when reviewing Tech Level qualifications that meet the full DfE criteria from 2018:

  • These qualifications are fundamentally different to their predecessors and Applied General qualifications, and are likely to result in students developing different skills and aptitudes. HEPs should review their understanding of these qualifications to ensure it remains up to date.
  • The reformed qualifications include both external and synoptic assessment, as well as changes to resit processes. These changes are likely to result in fewer students passing the qualification. Equally, it is likely that grade distributions will change. In light of this, HEPs may wish to review their entry requirements, offer making and decision-making strategies in relation to these qualifications.
  • The reformed and unreformed 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.
  • A larger mandatory core means that HEPs who require certain levels of achievement in particular units or ask for specific units to satisfy subject knowledge requirements should familiarise themselves with the new content specifications to ensure that these requirements are still valid. It should be noted that not all students will be able choose their optional units and these may be prescribed by the school or college, therefore HEPs should be cautious if requiring achievement in optional modules as part of their entry requirements, offer making and decision-making strategies.

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

Applicants holding reformed Tech Level qualifications will have had experience of external and synoptic assessment. 

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.

Timing of assessments/results for learners

The assessments take place on demand.

When the qualification is complete, the centre will submit a certification claim. Once quality assurance has taken place, successful students will receive their qualification certificates. There are no fixed timeframes.

Qualification date
Starting from 01 Sep 2016
Qualification dates notes

These qualifications are current.

Reporting and certification information

The results of Active IQ Tech level qualifications are not reported to UCAS through Awarding Body Linkage (ABL). This does not reflect the validity of the qualification. HE providers will need to ask applicants to provide their own evidence of achievement.

View the results available through ABL.

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.

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).

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.