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  • England
  • Northern Ireland
  • Wales

The City & Guilds TechBac provides 14 – 19 students with a strategic, forward-thinking curriculum that addresses some of the key challenges identified in the 14 – 19 reforms.

These include learner destinations and outcomes, employer engagement and adopting digital delivery.

The City & Guilds TechBac has been developed with and supported by leading employers.

It offers clear progression pathways into further learning, employment, apprenticeships and university.

The Level 3 Technical qualifications within it have met DfE requirements and appear on the 2018 performance tables for 16 – 19 year olds. These requirements include external assessment, synoptic assessment, grading and employer involvement in delivery and/or assessment. These qualifications have also been approved for funding under section 96.

It is closely aligned to the new Ofsted Common Inspection Framework.

It reflects recommendations set out by FELTAG (Further Education Learning Technologies Action Group).

Education context

City & Guilds is a global leader in skills development, providing services to training providers, employers, and trainees across a variety of sectors to meet the needs of today’s workplace. Its qualifications and apprenticeships are valued by employers across the world, helping individuals develop their talents and abilities for career progression.

City & Guilds has developed a suite of Tech level qualifications (City & Guilds Technicals) which meet DfE requirements and feature in performance tables from 2018. These requirements include external assessment, synoptic assessment, grading and employer involvement in delivery and/or assessment.

To augment and support the Technical qualifications, City & Guilds have developed the TechBac Programme as a gold standard approach to 16 – 19 Professional and Technical education.  The programme allows students to develop not just the advanced technical skills and knowledge covered by the Technical qualification but equips them with a range of additional skills to progress into HE, higher level apprenticeships or into employment.

It has been approved for funding under Section 96.

Awarding organisation
  • City & Guilds

The City & Guilds TechBac programme consists of the following components:

A City & Guilds Level 3 Technical qualification:

  • These are accredited qualifications listed on the Register of Regulated Qualifications
  • These qualifications also meet the requirements for the 16 –19 performance tables in the Tech Level category

UCAS will publish a separate QIP for the new City & Guilds Tech Level qualifications meeting 2017 and 2018 performance measures.

City & Guilds Extended Project Qualification

  • This Level 3 qualification is assessed through a project that involves planning, research, critical thinking, evaluation and presentation skills
  • The qualification is highly regarded by universities for promoting independent learning and is listed on the UCAS Tariff.

UCAS has published a separate QIP for the Extended Project Qualification (EPQ):

City & Guilds Skills Zone – this platform is the gateway to Workplace Skills, which comprises the following main elements:

  1. My Skills – rich e-learning content that uses gamification to engage and motivate students. They include 24 workplace skills which are mapped to the seven core employability skills of City & Guilds, which are: self-development, communication, digital skills, enterprise, innovation, workplace literacy and delivering results.
  2. Team Challenge – a national competition that allows students to work together on a task that is set and judged by leading employers, such as the BBC.
  3. Work placement support – provided through Skills Zone and gives students access to e-learning to help them get the most from their placement. It also includes an interactive logbook to help them track and review what they’ve learnt.
  4. Online CV Builder – an online CV, showcasing everything the learner has achieved including prior learning.
  5. Open Badges – digital credentials that verify a learner’s skills and achievements on their online CV.

City & Guilds Workplace Skills has been developed with employers to identify and address the key attributes and behaviours that are lacking from young people in the workplace.

Subject areas

The City & Guilds TechBac is offered in 11 sector areas:

  • Engineering
  • Construction
  • Health & care
  • Childcare
  • Automotive
  • Land
  • Hospitality & catering
  • Business
  • Hair & beauty
  • Travel & tourism
  • Building services.
  • Level 3

The overall TechBac outcome is not graded. However individual elements of the outcome are graded as follows:

Technical qualifications, covering the core technical knowledge and skills for a particular vocational area are graded Distinction*/Distinction/Merit/Pass.

The Extended Project Qualification (EPQ), allowing the candidate to complete an extended piece of work, including preparation, planning, and delivery of the project is graded A*, A, B, C, D, E.


The City & Guilds TechBac outcome contains a mix of assessment methods across the different components.

The key components are as follows:

  • technical qualification, assessed by externally set and marked examination papers delivered under exam conditions, and externally set and moderated synoptic assignments, delivered in controlled conditions.
  • Extended Project Qualification (EPQ), assessed by an internally marked and externally moderated project.
  • SkillsZone workplace skills, internally assessed by the centre and externally verified by City & Guilds.
Contribution of assessment components to overall grade

Candidates must achieve all components to be awarded achievement of the TechBac outcome.

Resit arrangements

The Technical qualification allows only one re-sit for any given assessment (this applies to both examinations and synoptic assignments).

The Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) can be re-taken although this is an extended piece of work and this would require considerable investment in time.

The SkillsZone work place skills are built up over time until the centre signs off that the candidate has achieved at the required level.

Guided/notional learning hours notes

Technical qualifications range in size between 360 GLH and 1080 GLH, and are expected to be delivered over either one year or two years.

The Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) is 120 GLH.

The SkillsZone work place skills can vary in terms of time taken to achieve, but are expected to be delivered in between 20 and 120 GLH.

Key issues for UK HE admissions

TechBac is the generic term given by City & Guilds to a suite of qualifications and skills development rather than a focus on a particular occupation or subject.

Two of the six components are accredited qualifications listed on the UCAS tariff - the Technical qualification and the EPQ.

The other four components add value by focusing on students achieving the employability and wider social skills required to progress on to apprenticeships, employment or higher education.

Timing of assessments/results for learners

The TechBac outcome will be awarded on a yearly basis, with results being released at the beginning of August each year.

There is no overall result but individual components are graded as listed in the Grading section.

Qualification dates notes

All the components within the City & Guilds TechBac are current.

Reporting and certification information

City & Guilds does not currently publish grade distribution information or number of certifications for the TechBac components.

Progression information

Upon completion a learner will have acquired the knowledge and skills to progress to:

  • study related subjects full time in higher education
  • high level apprenticeships in related subjects
  • employment in related sectors
Further information

Link to the City & Guilds TechBac webpage: