EAL Tech Levels (reformed)

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Tech Levels (reformed)
Countries
  • England
  • Northern Ireland
  • Wales
Purpose

These qualifications are listed on the DfE 16-19 performance tables in the Tech Level category.

These qualifications meet the full requirements for reformed Tech Levels, which all 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 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.

They have to be recognised by a trade or professional body, or at least five employers.

There is a requirement for all students to undertake meaningful activity involving employers in the course of their study.

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.

These qualifications meet the full requirements for reformed qualifications.

Awarding organisation
  • EAL
Qualification codes
601/4563/8 (EAL Level 3 Advanced Diploma in Electrical Installation)
601/4567/5 (EAL Level 3 Advanced Diploma in Plumbing)
601/4564/X (EAL Level 3 Advanced Diploma in Engineering Technology)
Structure

The EAL Level 3 Advanced Diploma in Electrical Installation is taken over two years. It will be awarded to learners once they have successfully completed:

  • six mandatory core units (externally set and externally marked online examinations, theory assignments, and practical assignments)
  • one optional unit (externally set and externally marked online examination)
  • a synoptic assessment (externally set and internally mark theory assignments and practical assignments).

The EAL Level 3 Advanced Diploma in Plumbing is taken over two years. It will be awarded to learners once they have successfully completed:

  • six mandatory core units (externally set and externally marked online examinations, theory assignments, and practical assignments)
  • a synoptic assessment (externally set and internally marked theory assignments and practical assignments)

The EAL Level 3 Advanced Diploma in Engineering Technology is taken over two years. It will be awarded to learners once they have successfully completed:

  • two mandatory core units (externally set and externally marked online examinations)
  • all mandatory units in ONE of the seven optional pathways (externally set and internally marked)
  • a synoptic assessment (internally set, externally validated, and internally marked).
Subject areas
  • Construction and the built environment
  • Engineering

EAL Level 3 Advanced Diploma in Electrical Installation

Mandatory core unit content:

  • this unit focuses on environmental legislation, working practices, and the principles, of environmental technology systems. Its content is the knowledge needed by a learner to underpin the application of skills and working practices appropriate to relevant legislation and systems.
  • Electrical installation planning, preparing, and designing – this unit focuses on key areas of how to plan for the installation of wiring systems and equipment, the protection, against overcurrent, earthing and protection and the electrical design procedure.
  • Electrical installation craft skills – this unit focuses on developing the learner’s practical skills relevant to electrical installation work. It covers preparation, installation and verification. It aims to promote the health and safety of the learner carrying out these electrical craft skills. It also provides a facility of learning and assessment of electrical installation craft skills in complex systems.  
  • Inspecting, testing, and commissioning of electrotechnical systems and equipment in buildings, structures, and the environment – this unit focuses on principles, practices, and legislation for the inspection, testing, commissioning, and certification of electrotechnical systems and equipment in buildings, structures, and the environment, in accordance with statutory and non-statutory regulations and requirements.
  • Diagnosing and correcting electrical faults in electrotechnical systems and equipment in buildings, structures, and the environment – this unit focuses on principles, practices, and legislation associated with diagnosing and correcting electrical faults in electrotechnical systems and equipment in buildings, structures, and the environment, in accordance with statutory and non-statutory regulations and requirements. 
  • Electrical science and principles – this unit focuses on science and principles relevant to electrical work.  It aims to provide a facility of assessment and learning of electrical science and principles.

Optional units:

  • Understanding the practices and procedures for overseeing and organising the work environment (electrical installation) – this unit focus on practices and procedures for overseeing and organising the work environment for the installation of electrotechnical systems and equipment. 
  • Requirements of BS 7671 and its application to electrical installations – this unit focuses on the full content of BS 7671, and how this applies to electrical installations in its scope.

More information on the structure and subject areas, of the qualification can be found in the qualification specification.

 

EAL Level 3 Advanced Diploma in Plumbing

Mandatory core unit content:

  • How to organise resources in the building services environment – this unit focuses on the supervisory skills required to organise and coordinate the work of self and a small team of craft operatives in undertaking work in the building services industry.
  • Domestic cold water system installation, commissioning, service, and maintenance techniques – this unit focuses on the design, maintenance, and commissioning of a complex range of cold water system/component types in dwellings, including those in multi-storey properties and single occupancy dwellings fed by private water supplies. The unit covers compliance with the requirements of the water supply (water fittings) regulations and building regulations applicable to this type of system.
  • Domestic hot water system installation, commissioning, service, and maintenance techniques – this unit focuses on the design, installation, maintenance, and commissioning of a complex range of hot water system/component types in single occupancy dwellings. The unit also covers the requirements of statutory legislation for the installation, maintenance, and commissioning of unvented hot water storage systems.
  • Domestic central heating system installation, commissioning, service, and maintenance techniques – this unit focuses on the design, installation, maintenance, and commissioning of a complex range of central heating system/component types in single occupancy dwellings. The unit also covers the requirements of statutory legislation relating to the energy conservation of heating systems. 
  • Domestic sanitation system installation, commissioning, service, and maintenance techniques – this unit focuses on the design, installation, maintenance, and commissioning of a complex range of sanitation system/component types in single occupancy dwellings and multiple storey dwellings up to three storeys. The unit also covers the requirements of work on WC macerator units and sink waste disposal units.
  • The fundamental principles and requirements of environmental technology systems – this unit focuses on the learner’s ability to communicate with others in relation to the fundamental working principles, installation, and regulatory requirements for micro-renewable energy and water conservation technologies.

More information on the structure and subject areas of the qualification can be found in the qualification specification.

EAL Level 3 Advanced Diploma in Engineering Technology

Mandatory core unit content:

  • Engineering principles and technology –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.
  • Engineering and environmental health and safety – this unit focuses on key areas of engineering principles and technology, including materials and material properties, numeracy applied to engineering, science applied to engineering, and communications used within engineering.

Optional pathways:

  • Engineering maintenance, including maintenance engineering principles, maintenance of mechanical systems, maintenance techniques, and mechanical engineering principles.
  • Fabrication and welding, including fabrication and welding principles, and the principles and practices of manual metal arc welding, metal inert gas welding, and tungsten inert gas welding.
  • Sheet metal, plate and pipework fabrications, including fabrication and welding principles, and the principles and practices of producing sheet, plate, and pipework fabrications.
  • Electrical engineering, including electrical and electronic principles, and the principles and practices of measurement methods and control engineering, electrical testing, and commissioning and installation of electrical equipment.
  • Electronics engineering – electrical and electronic principles, and the principles and practices of analogue electronics, digital electronics, and microelectronics.
  • Engineering design, including mechanical engineering principles, CAD techniques, CNC programming, and engineering design process.
  • Fluidics, including mechanical engineering principles, maintenance of fluid power systems, hydraulic systems and components, and pneumatic systems and components.

More information on the structure and subject area of the qualification can be found in the qualification specification.

Levels
  • Level 3

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

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

Grading

Pass, Merit, Distinction

Assessment

To ensure assessment is rigorous and robust, all reformed Tech Level qualifications must meet the following assessment criteria:

  • There must be a minimum of 30% external assessment
  • There must be an element of synoptic assessment
  • There are new rules for externally set and marked assessments, with only one opportunity to submit each assessment
  • Quality assurance of internal assessment must be rigorous.

The assessments in the EAL Level 3 Advanced Diploma in Electrical Installation consist of:

Externally set and externally marked online examinations for the five mandatory core units and two optional units (of which the learner must choose one optional unit): 

  • Understanding environmental legislation, working practices, and the principles of environmental technology systems (40 minute examination sat in exam conditions)
  • Electrical installation planning, preparing, and designing (50 minute examination sat in exam conditions)
  • Inspecting, testing and commissioning of electrotechnical systems and equipment in buildings, structures, and the environment (80 minute examination sat in exam conditions)
  • Diagnosing and correcting electrical faults in electrotechnical systems and equipment in buildings, structures, and the environment (90 minute examination sat in exam conditions)
  • Electrical science and principles (40 minute examination sat in exam conditions)
  • Understanding the practices and procedures for overseeing and organising the work environment (electrical installation) (90 minute examination sat in exam conditions)
  • Requirements of BS 7671 and its application to electrical installations (120 minute examination sat in exam conditions)

Learners will be assessed against all the learning outcomes in the mandatory core units and optional units. Marks are allocated in accordance with the detailed, externally set marking criteria. All examinations are subject to moderation.

Externally set and internally marked theory and practical assignments for the five mandatory core units: 

  • Electrical installation planning, preparing, and designing (theory assignment)
  • Electrical installation craft skills (practical assignment)
  • Inspecting, testing, and commissioning of electrotechnical systems and equipment in buildings, structures, and the environment (practical assignment)
  • Diagnosing and correcting electrical faults in electrotechnical systems and equipment in buildings, structures, and the environment (practical assignment)
  • Electrical science and principles (theory assignment)

Marks are allocated in accordance with the detailed, externally set marking criteria. All assessments are subject to moderation.

A synoptic assessment which is set by EAL and is marked and moderated by the centre and subject to external quality assurance. It will comprise a scenario and a series of connected tasks that must be completed.

The assessments in the EAL Level 3 Advanced Diploma in Plumbing consist of:

Externally set and externally marked online examinations for the six mandatory core units: 

  • How to organise resources in the building services, environment (60 minute examination sat in exam conditions)
  • Domestic cold water system installation, commissioning, service, and maintenance techniques (75 minute examination sat in exam conditions)
  • Domestic hot water system installation, commissioning, service, and maintenance techniques (105 minute examination sat in exam conditions)
  • Domestic central heating system installation, commissioning, service, and maintenance techniques (60 minute examination sat in exam conditions)
  • Domestic sanitation system installation, commissioning, service, and maintenance techniques (60 minute examination sat in exam conditions)
  • The fundamental principles and requirements of environmental technology systems (60 minute examination sat in exam conditions)

Learners will be assessed against all the learning outcomes in the mandatory core units. Marks are allocated in accordance with the detailed externally set marking criteria. All examinations are subject to moderation.

Externally set and internally marked theory and practical assignments for the four mandatory core units: 

  • Domestic cold water system installation, commissioning, service, and maintenance techniques
  • Domestic hot water system installation, commissioning, service, and maintenance techniques
  • Domestic central heating system installation, commissioning, service, and maintenance techniques
  • Domestic sanitation system installation, commissioning, service, and maintenance techniques

Marks are allocated in accordance with the detailed, externally set marking criteria. All assessments are subject to moderation.

A synoptic assessment, which is set by EAL and is marked and moderated by the centre and subject to external quality assurance. It will comprise a scenario and a series of connected tasks that must be completed.

The synoptic assessment must be designed to cover a range of assessment criteria from a number of units that are relevant to the scenario and related tasks. The synoptic assessment will, together with the assessments relating to individual units, ensure all learning outcomes in the qualification have been fully and appropriately covered.

The assessments within the EAL Level 3 Advanced Diploma in Engineering Technology consist of:

Externally set and externally marked online examinations for the two mandatory core units: 

  • Engineering principles and technology (80 minute examination sat in exam conditions)
  • Engineering and environmental health and safety (40 minute examination sat in exam conditions)

Learners will be assessed against five learning outcomes in the Engineering principles and technology unit:

  • Understand measurement and marking out techniques applied to engineering
  • Understand engineering materials and material properties
  • Understand numeracy applied to engineering
  • Understand science applied to engineering
  • Understand forms of communication used within engineering.

Learners will be assessed against four learning outcomes in 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
  • Understand environmental management

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 seven optional pathways (externally set and internally marked) – specific assessment time is given in each of the units that make up the optional pathway. 

Learners will be assessed against all the learning outcomes in all of the mandatory units win the specified optional pathway.

Marks are allocated in accordance with the detailed, externally set marking criteria. All assessments are subject to moderation.

A synoptic assessment, which is set by the centre and approved by EAL, and is marked and moderated by the centre and subject to external quality assurance. It will comprise a scenario and a series of connected tasks that must be completed.

The synoptic assessment must be designed to cover a range of assessment criteria from a number of units that are relevant to the scenario and related tasks. The synoptic assessment will, together with the assessments relating to individual units, ensure all learning outcomes in the qualification have been fully and appropriately covered.

Contribution of assessment components to overall grade

Weighting of assessments and contribution to overall grade:

  • Mandatory core units (externally set and externally marked online examinations). The marks from the examinations are added together and divided by the total number to get the mean score. This is then expressed as a percentage. (50% contribution to overall grade)
  • Synoptic assessment (externally set and internally marked) – (50% contribution to overall grade)

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

Resit arrangements

Reformed qualifications are only allowed one resit opportunity of externally set and marked assessments. The resit must be a new task or assignment, different to the original assessment.

Externally set and externally marked online examinations for the mandatory core units: in accordance with DfE requirements for Tech Level qualifications, learners who fail to achieve a Pass in any externally set and marked examination will be permitted one resit only. The resit must be a new task or assignment, different to the original assessment.

Externally set and internally marked theory/practical assignments for the mandatory core units: if any learners fail to reach the required standard in the internal assessment for a given unit, they will be permitted to resit this assessment after feedback and appropriate tuition has taken place.

Internally marked synoptic assessment: if following internal moderation and/or external quality assurance, any learners fail to reach the standard required to pass the synoptic assessment, they will be permitted to resit the assessment after feedback and appropriate tuition has taken place.

Guided/notional learning hours
EAL Level 3 Advanced Diploma in Electrical Installation has 459 GL(H) and 490 TQT: 459 hours
EAL Level 3 Advanced Diploma in Plumbing has 363 GL(H) and 430 TQT: 363 hours
EAL Level 3 Advanced Diploma in Engineering Technology has 450 GL(H) and 580 TQT: 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

EAL Level 3 Advanced Diploma in Electrical Installation

Grade Points
D 48
M 32
P 16

EAL Level 3 Advanced Diploma in Plumbing

Grade Points
D 48
M 32
P 16

EAL Level 3 Advanced Diploma in Engineering Technology

Grade Points
D 48
M 32
P 16
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.

The exact curriculum studied may depend on the choice of optional units taken, however, reformed Tech Level qualifications require a specified core of at least 40%.

Applicants holding reformed Tech Level qualifications will have had experience of external and synoptic assessment.

Timing of assessments/results for learners

Learners are assessed throughout the duration of their qualification. They complete their synoptic assessment towards the end of their qualification in the second year.

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

Qualification date
01 Sep 2015—31 Jul 2020 (This is a review date and not an end date)
Qualification dates notes

EAL Level 3 Advanced Diploma in Electrical Installation has a review date of 31 July 2020

EAL Level 3 Advanced Diploma in Plumbing has a review date of 31 July 2020

EAL Level 3 Advanced Diploma in Engineering Technology has a review date of 31 July 2020

Reporting and certification information

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

  • A level 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.

Progression information

These qualifications offer progression to higher education, an apprenticeship, or employment.

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.

Tech level qualifications are supported by at least five employers from the job sector the qualification is related to.

All students have to take part in meaningful activity involving employers in the course of their study. Examples are work placements, taking part in projects, or some of the course being taught by someone who works in the industry.