CIH Level 3 Certificate in Housing Services

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This QIP covers a vocational qualification which is not listed on the Department for Education (DfE) 16 – 19 performance tables for England.

This qualification is not listed on the DfE 16 – 19 performance tables because it is not designed to meet the requirements of the Key Stage 5 performance tables.

  • England
  • Northern Ireland
  • Scotland
  • Wales

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.

The Level 3 Certificate in Housing Services is aimed at preparing individuals for work in front-line housing management roles. The qualification aims to:

  • serve core housing worker roles
  • allow a variety of combinations of units to match the core specialist housing functions undertaken at different housing organisations
  • cover functions such as anti-social behaviour, community development repairs and maintenance, tenure, rents, planning and development, and professional practice
  • prepare students for further study in housing related qualifications at Levels 3 and 4

Housing management requires specific knowledge and skills and the Level 3 Certificate in Housing Services has been developed to enable individuals to perform specific roles.

Housing management is a broad occupation, so the qualification contains a number of units that can be combined in a variety of ways to meet the requirements of specific roles e.g. community development, income management, anti-social behaviour etc.

Education context

This qualification is designed for post-16 students and falls under the oversight of the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA). A significant number of students will undertake these qualifications post-19.

Following its 2012 review of post-19 qualifications the ESFA removed 1,800 qualifications from public funding and a further 1,000 in 2014. In March 2014 the government published a Reform Plan for Vocational Education.

This qualification has not been subject to the same reforms as Applied General and Tech Level qualifications (which are specifically designed for 16-19 year old students), however the ESFA has implemented a new set of business rules for the approval of qualifications for funding, based on the 2013 Review of Adult Vocational Qualifications in England. These rules recognise that adults may have different needs, aspirations and ambitions to younger people and include that qualifications should be:

  • relevant to individuals and employers and affordable for all sizes of business and for individuals
  • rigorous and based on a robust future-looking occupational standard designed and assessed by the sector
  • recognised as worthy of investment, giving a clear signal of the economically valuable skills, knowledge and understanding required in an occupation now and in the future.

Regulation of vocational qualifications

The regulation of vocational qualifications is the responsibility of the respective regulators in each UK country – Ofqual (England), CCEA Regulation (Northern Ireland) SQA (Scotland) and Qualifications Wales (Wales). The regulatory approach undertaken for vocational qualifications is different from A levels. This is because there are no specific qualification criteria for vocational qualifications, as there currently are for GCSEs, AS and A levels. Vocational qualifications must comply with the regulator’s general rules, as is the case with all regulated qualifications.

Awarding organisation
  • CIH
Qualification code
600/5239/9 (Level 3 Certificate in Housing Services CIH)

The Level 3 Certificate in Housing Services is a modular qualification that requires students to complete one mandatory unit and three optional units.

Subject areas

Mandatory unit

  • Professional practice skills for housing

Optional units from which students choose three:

  • Community development
  • Customer service in a housing context
  • Dealing with anti-social behaviour in housing
  • Housing maintenance systems
  • Involving housing service users
  • Managing leasehold tenancies
  • Managing neighbourhoods
  • Occupancy, tenure and lettings
  • Planning and development for housing regeneration
  • Prevention and management of rent arrears
  • Regeneration and renewal
  • Repairs and maintenance in housing organisations
  • The legal framework for housing
  • The social context of housing in the UK
  • 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 and the Credit and Qualifications Framework for Wales.


Pass, Refer, Fail


The mandatory unit is assessed is by an externally set assignment.

Optional units are assessed by internally set assignments that are externally moderated.

Centres design assignments that are related to real world tasks.

Contribution of assessment components to overall grade

To pass the qualification, students must demonstrate that they have met all learning outcomes and assessment criteria.

Resit arrangements

Students are allowed to resubmit each internally set assignment twice.

They must resit the whole mandatory unit should they fail to meet the required standard.

Guided/notional learning hours
102 hours
Guided/notional learning hours notes

13 credits

UCAS Tariff points

CIH Level 3 Certificate in Housing Services (QCF)

Grade Points
P 8


Key issues for UK HE admissions

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.

The Level 3 Certificate in Housing Services has been delivered in schools since 2014 and there will be applicants for higher education for September 2016 entry onwards with the qualification.

Students usually combine this qualification with other qualifications, such as AS levels, A levels and BTECs.

Timing of assessments/results for learners

Assessment takes place throughout the course, usually at the end of each unit.

Students receive their result with feedback before completing the next assessment task.

Qualification dates notes

This is a current qualification. There was a full review of the qualification during 2016.

Reporting and certification information

The results of this qualification are not reported to UCAS through Awarding Body Linkage (ABL). This does not reflect the validity of the qualification. HEPs will need to ask applicants to provide their own evidence of achievement.

View the results available through ABL.

The Level 3 Certificate in Housing Services is a relatively new qualification and has had 248 certifications to date.

The certificate includes details of the units and pathways completed.

Progression information

Successful students can progress to other housing qualifications such as the Level 3 Certificate in Housing Practice and the Level 4 Certificate in Housing.

The qualification can also support higher education, generally in conjunction with other qualifications.

Delivery of the qualification in schools is usually supported by a housing organisation that provides guest speakers and opportunities to shadow housing management officers in the workplace.