These qualifications are not listed on the DfE 16 – 19 performance tables because they are not designed to meet the requirements of the Key Stage 5 performance tables.
- Northern Ireland
Vocational qualifications are either work-related qualifications designed to enable learners 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 learners.
EAL’s suite of qualifications in engineering technologies have been specifically designed for learners undertaking a range of pathways in an advanced apprenticeship, or 16 – 19 year old learners in full-time education who are interested in pursuing a career in the engineering sector.
The qualifications are relevant to a range of occupations and job roles such as maintenance engineer, mechanical engineer, welder and/or fabricator, and electrical and/or electronic engineer. They may also be suitable for other learners, including adults, who are interested in engineering technology and/or are considering a career change, or progression to a higher education course.
EAL is the specialist skills partner and awarding body for industry, offering a large number of qualifications across a range of sectors, including, engineering, manufacturing and construction.
EAL has also developed a Level 3 Advanced Diploma in Engineering Technology, which meets the requirements for Tech level qualifications for inclusion in performance measures, with which these qualifications share the same unit content. UCAS has published a separate QIP for the EAL Level 3 Advanced Diploma in Engineering Technology.
Additionally these qualifications have advanced mathematics and science content, and advanced knowledge and understanding of the practices and processes of engineering technologies, which provide a platform for a learner to progress to a higher education course.
These qualifications are designed for post-16 learners and fall 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 learners 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.
These qualifications have not been subject to the same reforms as Applied General and Tech Level qualifications (which are specifically designed for 16-19 year old learners). 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.
The three EAL Level 3 Diplomas in Engineering Technologies are taken over two years. They will be awarded to learners once they have successfully completed:
- EAL Level 3 Subsidiary Diploma in Engineering Technologies – one mandatory core unit (externally set and externally marked online examination), one mandatory pathway unit (externally set and internally marked) and three optional units (externally set and internally marked).
- EAL Level 3 Diploma in Engineering Technologies – one mandatory core unit (externally set and externally marked online examination), one mandatory pathway unit (externally set and internally marked) and five optional units (externally set and internally marked).
- EAL Level 3 Extended Diploma in Engineering Technologies – one mandatory core unit (externally set and externally marked online examination), one optional unit from Group A (externally set and internally marked) and eight optional units from Group B (externally set and internally marked).
Mandatory core unit content:
Engineering and environmental health and safety – this unit focuses on the essential knowledge required to ensure a comprehensive understanding of key aspects of both health and safety practices, and environmental management.
Mandatory pathway unit content, to include:
Electrical and electronic principles, fabrication and welding principles, maintenance engineering principles and mechanical engineering principles.
Optional pathways, to include:
Aerospace technology – which includes: principle of rotary-wing aircraft flight, further engineering mathematics, further engineering science, rotary-wing aircraft structures and transmissions, etc.
Mechanical engineering technology – which includes: mechanical engineering principle, further engineering mathematics, further engineering science, advanced manufacturing techniques, engineering design process, etc.
Maintenance engineering technology – which includes: maintenance engineering principles, further engineering mathematics, further engineering science, maintenance of mechanical systems, maintenance techniques and mechanical engineering principles, etc.
Fabrication and welding technology – which includes: fabrication and welding principles, further engineering mathematics, further engineering science, principles and practices of manual metal arc welding, metal inert gas welding and tungsten inert gas welding, etc.
Electrical and electronics technology – which includes: electrical and electronic principles, further engineering mathematics, further engineering science, analogue electronics, digital electronics, microelectronics, etc.
Engineering technical support technology – which includes: engineering design process, further engineering mathematics, further engineering science, CAD techniques, CNC programming, engineering inspection and quality control, etc.
Engineering technology – which includes: engineering organisational efficiency and improvements, further engineering mathematics, further engineering science, programmable logic controllers, etc.
More information on the structure and subject area of the qualifications can be found in the qualification specifications in section 'Further information' of this QIP.
- Level 3
These are Level 3 qualifications 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, Merit, Distinction
Externally set and externally marked online examinations for the one mandatory core unit:
- Engineering and environmental health and safety (40 minute examination sat in exam conditions)
- Learners are assessed against four learning outcomes within the Engineering and environmental health and safety unit:
- Understand health and safety roles and responsibilities
- Understand the application of health and safety in the engineering environment
- Understand the safe moving and storing of materials
- Marks are allocated in accordance with the detailed externally set marking criteria.
- All examinations are subject to moderation.
All mandatory units in one of the pathways (Externally set and internally marked)
- Specific assessment time is given within each of the units that make up the optional pathway.
- Learners are assessed against all of the learning outcomes within all of the units within the specified optional pathway.
- Marks are allocated in accordance with the detailed externally set marking criteria.
- All assessments are subject to moderation.
Learners must achieve a Pass in all components for the qualification to be awarded.
If learners are unsuccessful in one or more of the assessment components then the overall result for the qualification will be "referred", and a certificate will not be awarded.
Provided learners are successful in all assessment components, the final grade for the qualification will be determined from the grades achieved in the external examination in the mandatory unit, and the externally set and internally marked assessments in the optional units.
A grading criteria matrix is provided for each individual unit; all units are graded individually.The grades for each unit carry equal weight.
The overall grade for the qualification is determined by utilising the grading criteria matrix and additional information contained in the Qualification Manual.
The grades are subject to moderation.
Externally set and externally marked online examination for the one mandatory core unit: If any learners fail to reach the required standard in the external assessment for a given unit, they will be permitted to retake this assessment after feedback and appropriate tuition has taken place.
Externally set and internally marked mandatory units in one optional pathway: If any learners fail to reach the required standard in the internal assessment for a given unit, they will be permitted to retake this assessment after feedback and appropriate tuition has taken place.
EAL Level 3 Subsidiary Diploma in Engineering Technologies – 480 Total Qualification Time (TQT), including research
EAL Level 3 Diploma in Engineering Technologies – 680 Total Qualification Time (TQT), including research
EAL Level 3 Extended Diploma in Engineering Technologies – 980 Total Qualification Time (TQT), including research
EAL Level 3 Extended Diploma in Engineering Technologies
EAL Level 3 Diploma in Engineering Technologies
EAL Level 3 Subsidiary Diploma in Engineering Technologies
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 learners 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 first cohort with the suite of EAL Level 3 Diplomas in Engineering Technologies completed their qualifications in June and July 2017, for application to higher education for September 2017 entry.
Learners may combine the suite of EAL Level 3 Diplomas in Engineering Technologies with other qualifications, such as AS and A levels, BTECs or Cambridge Technicals.
Learners are assessed throughout the duration of their course.
Results are available after moderation has taken place between the deliverer of the qualification and EAL. This is usually in July.
These are current qualifications.
The results of these qualifications 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.
Certificate information on candidate number and grade distribution are made available by EAL through its website after first results are issued.
Progression information is available in the Qualification Specification, Qualification Manual and via EAL’s Customer Service Team.
Further information on the suite of EAL Level 3 Diplomas in Engineering Technologies can be found here: