BPEC Level 3 Diploma in Plumbing Foundation

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Country
  • England
Purpose

This qualification is listed on the DfE 16-19 performance tables in the Tech Level category.

This qualification does not meet the full requirements for reformed Tech Levels which, qualifications will have to meet for inclusion in the 2018 performance tables.

Tech Level qualifications are primarily developed for learners aged 16-19 studying on either a full or part-time basis.

Tech Levels are aimed at learners with a keen interest in a particular industry, occupation, or occupational type.

Along with developing transferable skills required to work in a number of job roles, these qualifications are designed to equip learners with the high level specialist technical knowledge and skills to enable them to work in a specific industry.

They can help provide entry into employment in a particular sector, onto an apprenticeship, or into higher education in a related vocational area.

As a Tech Level qualification, the Level 3 Diploma in Plumbing Foundation requires the completion of knowledge and practical assessments designed to provide individuals with the basic skills and understanding to allow a progression route to completion of the Level 3 NVQ Diploma in Plumbing and Heating, Domestic Heating, or a trailblazer apprenticeship. 

The qualification is intended for 16-19 year old learners who are in full-time education. It is for someone who wants to work in the building services engineering industry, and envisages a career as a plumber or plumbing and heating engineer. The qualification may also be suitable for other learners, such as adults, who are interested in plumbing or changing their career path.

Learners should be at least 16 years of age, with appropriate literacy and numeracy skills, and have completed the Level 2 Diploma in Plumbing Foundation.  

The qualification requires the learner to complete six units, all of which are mandatory, and include the assessment of both practical skills and knowledge.

This qualification will not automatically qualify learners to work as a plumber or plumbing and heating engineer, but may provide a platform for employment and further study.

This qualification is supported by The Chartered Institute of Plumbing and Heating Engineering.

Education context

Following the Wolf review of vocational qualifications in England in 2011, the Department for Education announced a number of characteristics that Level 3 Tech Level qualifications have to demonstrate to feature in performance tables from 2016 onwards.

As a result, over 90% of the Level 3 qualifications previously recognised in performance tables are now not recognised.

The intention was to make reformed qualifications more rigorous and robust. As a result, they have to meet specific requirements in respect of purpose, size, recognition, content, assessment, and grading.

Between 2016 and 2018, awarding bodies have been permitted to phase in the reforms.

This qualification does not meet the full requirements for reformed qualifications in respect of content, grading, and assessment.

Learners will develop transferable skills, knowledge, and disciplines in the building services industry.  

The qualification demonstrates a commitment to working the the plumbing industry, giving who that hold it an advantage in respect of gaining an apprenticeship. 

Learners can progress to an industry, recognised NVQ at Level 2 or 3, or a trailblazer apprenticeship.

Learners complete this qualification may be interested in progressing to HNC/HND in Construction and Civil Engineering, or degree-level qualifications in Construction and the Built Environment.

Awarding organisation
  • BPEC
Qualification code
Structure

Mandatory units with an approximate 50:50 split between practical and theoretical learning.

Subject areas

Understand how to organise resources in the Building Services Environment.

Understand and apply domestic cold water system installation, commissioning, service, and maintenance techniques.

Understand and apply domestic hot water system installation, commissioning, service, and maintenance techniques.

Understand and apply domestic central heating system installation, commissioning, service, and maintenance techniques.

Understand and carry out electrical work on domestic plumbing and heating systems and components.

Understand and apply domestic sanitation system installation, commissioning, service, and maintenance techniques.

Levels

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

A levels are also Level 3 qualifications regulated to the Regulated Qualifications Framework.

Level 3 is the same level as the Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework (SCQF) Level 6.

Grading

Pass/Fail

Assessment

Multi-choice knowledge, written response knowledge, and simulated practical. This applies to all units.

All simulated practical assessments must be completed to industry standards. The assessment decision is made by the centre assessor, internally verified, then subject to BPEC External Quality Assurance processes.

Knowledge is assessed by centrally set, centrally marked, online multi-choice exam. The pass mark for all knowledge assessments is 60%.

Contribution of assessment components to overall grade

This qualification is not graded. To achieve the qualification, all components must be passed.

Resit arrangements

Resits are available on demand. However, retraining may be required, depending on the candidate’s assessment performance.

Guided/notional learning hours
450 hours
Guided/notional learning hours notes

Tech Levels require a minimum size of 300 GLH to provide learners 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

BPEC Level 3 Diploma in Plumbing Foundation

Grade Points
P 32
Key issues for UK HE admissions

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.

Applicants holding Tech Level qualifications may not have had experience of external and synoptic assessment. 

This is a progression qualification and is not recognised as ‘qualified’ by industry. Learners can progress to an industry recognised NVQ at Level 2 or 3, apprenticeship or, when available, a trailblazer apprenticeship.  The content of this qualification can be transferred directly into:

  • BPEC 600/6284/8 – Level 3 NVQ Diploma in Domestic Plumbing and Heating (Gas Water Heating and Wet Central Heating Appliances)
  • BPEC 600/6286/1 – Level 3 NVQ Diploma in Domestic Heating (Gas Water Heating and Wet Central Heating Appliances)
  • BPEC 600/6863/2 – Level 3 NVQ Diploma in Domestic Plumbing and Heating (Environmental Technology)
  • BPEC 600/6871/1 – Level 3 NVQ Diploma in Domestic Heating (Environmental Technology)
Timing of assessments/results for learners

All assessments/results are on demand, subject to moderation.

Qualification date
This is a current qualification. (Qualification review date 31 December 2018)
Reporting and certification information

The results of many UK qualifications are reported to UCAS through Awarding Body Linkage (ABL).

  • A levels and results from larger awarding bodies are reported automatically
  • IB results are only reported with the candidate’s permission
  • Some results are not reported through ABL, this does not reflect the validity of the qualification.

View the results available through ABL

Where results are not available through ABL, HEPs will need to ask applicants to provide their own evidence of achievement.

BPEC submit qualification information to Ofqual only.

Progression information

This qualification offers progression to higher education, an industry, recognised NVQ, or an apprenticeship.

Progression to HE will probably be in the vocational area of the qualification, and may be to a foundation degree.

Additional qualifications may be needed for progression to higher education.

Learners complete this qualification may be interested in progressing to HNC/HND in Construction and Civil Engineering, or degree-level qualifications in Construction and the Built Environment.

Tech Level qualifications are supported by at least five employers from the job sector of the qualification.