EAL Tech levels 2016

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  • England
  • Wales
  • Northern Ireland

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.

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.

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 demonstrate in order to feature in performance tables from 2016.

As a result, over 90% of the Level 3 qualifications previously recognised in performance tables will not be recognised in 2016 and beyond.

The new characteristics for Tech levels included in 2016 performance measures define purpose, size, and recognition.

These qualifications will generally have been delivered during the academic years 2014 – 16.

EAL has replaced these qualifications with a new suite of Advanced Diplomas for 2017 completion.

The Advanced Diplomas meet further requirements in respect of content, assessment, and grading.

UCAS has prepared a separate QIP for qualifications for inclusion in the 2017 and 2018 performance measures.

Awarding organisation
  • EAL
Qualification codes
600/9331/6 (EAL Level 3 Diploma in Electrical Installation)
600/8595/2 (EAL Level 3 Diploma in Plumbing and Heating)

EAL Tech levels are taken over two years.

The Diploma in Electrical Installation consists of six mandatory core units and one optional unit.

The Diploma in Plumbing and Heating consists of six mandatory units.

Subject areas

Electrical installation

Plumbing and heating

  • Level 3

UK Level 3 Qualifications regulated to the QCF

A levels are Level 3 qualifications regulated to the RQF

Level 3 is equivalent to SCQF Level 6


Pass, Refer.


These are externally set and externally marked online examinations, for both mandatory and optional units.

These are externally set and internally marked theory and practical assignments, for both mandatory and optional units.

Contribution of assessment components to overall grade

Learners must achieve a pass in all of the components for the qualification to be awarded.

Resit arrangements

If learners fail to reach the required standard in the assessment for a given unit, they will be permitted to retake the assessment after feedback and appropriate tuition has taken place.

Guided/notional learning hours
EAL Diploma in Electrical Installation: 459 hours
EAL Diploma in Plumbing and Heating: 468 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.

EAL Diploma in Electrical Installation – 490 total qualification time (tqt)

EAL Diploma in Plumbing and Heating – 540 tqt

Key issues for UK HE admissions

Tech levels are designed to support progression to employment, an apprenticeship or to higher education.

The first cohort with EAL Tech levels will complete their qualifications in June or July 2017, and may apply to higher education for September 2017 entry.

Progression to higher education is generally in the vocational area of the Tech level, and often to a foundation degree.

Where the qualification comprises mandatory and optional units, the exact curriculum studied depends on the choice of optional units taken.

Learners may combine EAL Level 3 Tech levels with other qualifications, such as AS or A Levels, BTECs, or Cambridge Technicals.

Timing of assessments/results for learners

Learners are assessed throughout the duration of their qualifications.

Results are available after moderation has taken place between the deliverer of the qualification and EAL. This is usually in July.

Qualification dates notes

From September 2016 these are legacy qualifications.

The qualifications will be replaced on the 2017 16 – 19 performance tables by revised qualifications.

Reporting and certification information

Certification information on candidate number and grade distribution will be made available by EAL through its website, after first results are issued.

Progression information

Progression information is available in the Qualification Specification, Qualification Manual and via EAL’s Customer Service Team.

Further information

Further information on the EAL Level 3 Diploma in Electrical Installation can be found here: http://eal.org.uk/record/2544-electrical-installation-qcf

Further information on the EAL Level 3 Diploma in Plumbing and Heating can be found here: http://eal.org.uk/record/2411-plumbing-and-heating-qcf