Institute of the Motor Industry (IMI) Tech levels (interim-reformed)

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The QIP covers all IMI Tech level (interim-reformed) qualifications that do not meet the full requirements set by the Department for Education (DfE) and do not contribute towards performance measures for 2018.
Countries
  • England
  • Northern Ireland
  • Wales
Purpose

The Department for Education (DfE) describe Tech level qualifications as follows:

Tech levels are rigorous advanced (Level 3) technical qualifications on a par with A Levels and recognised by employers. They are for students aged 16 plus who want to specialise in a specific industry or prepare for a particular job. They cover jobs and careers where employers recruit people at this level or where a level 3 qualification is needed before students can progress to a related higher education course. Tech levels give students an opportunity to develop specialist knowledge and skills to help them get an apprenticeship or job, for example in engineering, IT, accounting or professional cookery, or progress to a higher level qualification. In some cases, a tech level qualification is a ‘licence to practise’ or can exempt someone holding the qualification from a professional exam. Tech levels are recognised by trade or professional bodies or at least five employers. Alternatively, the qualification may be accepted by a national licensed professional registration scheme.

IMI focuses on qualifications in the motor vehicle industry, including land-based technologies.

Education context

Some vocational qualifications offered at Level 3 have been reformed as a result of changes to school performance tables. Vocational qualifications must meet the criteria set by the Department for Education (DfE) in order to count towards school performance tables. These reforms mean that 91% of the Level 3 qualifications that previously counted towards school performance tables were removed from performance tables in 2016.

For accountability purposes, vocational qualifications are now be classified as:

  • Tech level qualifications: The purpose of these qualifications is to lead to a ‘recognised occupation’. Examples provided by the DfE include engineering, accounting, construction, manufacturing, agriculture and IT. These qualifications must meet a number of criteria, including the endorsement of five employers registered at Companies House.
  • Applied General qualifications: The purpose of these qualifications is to provide a broader vocational education. They ‘are designed for students wanting to continue their education through applied learning.’ These qualifications must meet a number of criteria, including endorsement by at least three universities and colleges.

The reform to vocational qualifications is being conducted in two stages: an interim stage and full stage. Each of these stages introduced new criteria for vocational qualifications to meet in order to count towards school performance tables.

The first teaching of the qualifications reformed on an interim basis was from 2014 and these counted towards school performance tables in 2016. Only qualifications that meet the full criteria count towards performance tables from 2018. The qualifications listed in this QIP are classified as Tech level qualifications however do not meet the full criteria to count towards performance tables from 2018 in respect of content, assessment and grading. Schools and colleges may offer qualifications that are not included in the performance tables, if the qualifications are approved for teaching by the Secretary of State under Section 96.

Read Section 96.

The 2016 and 2017 IMI Tech levels meet the interim requirements set by the DfE and therefore may be offered in schools and colleges alongside the 2018 fully reformed versions:

 

Interim Requirement (for qualifications counting in 2016 performance tables)

Full Requirement (for qualifications counting in 2018 performance tables)

A. Declared Purpose

X

X

B. Size

X

X

C. Recognition

X

X

D. Synoptic Assessment

 

X

E. External Assessment

 

X

F. Grading

 

X

G. Employer involvement (Technical Level Qualifications only)

 

X

H. Progression

 

X

I. Proven Track Record

 

X

 

As noted in the table above, the 2016/17 and 2018 versions of Tech level qualifications are fundamentally different.

For more information on the specific changes to 2018 Tech levels, please refer to a reformed QIP. Please also see ‘Key issues for UK HE admissions’ for some additional considerations when assessing these qualifications.

Further information about Tech level qualifications, and the range of qualifications that meet the 2018 requirements, can be found on the DfE website.


Regulation of Tech level and Applied General qualifications

The regulation of Tech level and Applied General qualifications delivered in England is the responsibility of Ofqual.

The regulatory approach undertaken for Tech level and Applied General qualifications differs to A levels. This is because there are no specific qualification-level criteria for Tech levels, as there are for GCSEs, AS and A levels currently.  Applied Generals is a category introduced by the Department for Education for accountability purposes rather than a specific type of regulated qualification.  To be included in the Tech level category, qualifications have to demonstrate particular features outlined in the table above.

Tech levels must comply with Ofqual’s general rules, as is the case with all regulated qualifications.

Awarding organisation
  • IMI
Qualification codes
500/9691/6 (Level 3 Diploma in Auto Electrical and Mobile Electrical Principles (VRQ))
500/9812/3 (Level 3 Diploma in Heavy Vehicle Maintenance and Repair Principles (VRQ))
600/7794/3 (Level 3 Diploma in Land-based Technology (VRQ))
500/9814/7 (Level 3 Diploma in Light Vehicle Maintenance and Repair Principles (VRQ))
500/9684/9 (Level 3 Diploma in Motorcycle Maintenance and Repair Principles (VRQ))
600/2579/7 (Level 3 Diploma in Motorsport Vehicle Maintenance and Repair (VRQ))
500/9809/3 (Level 3 Diploma in Vehicle Accident Repair Body Principles (VRQ))
500/9688/6 (Level 3 Diploma in Vehicle Accident Repair Paint Principles (VRQ))
600/1690/5 (Level 3 Extended Diploma in Heavy Vehicle Maintenance and Repair Principles (VRQ))
600/7796/7 (Level 3 Extended Diploma in Land-based Technology)
600/1691/7 (Level 3 Extended Diploma in Light Vehicle Maintenance and Repair Principles (VRQ))
600/2760/5 (Level 3 Extended Diploma in Motorsport Vehicle Maintenance and Repair (VRQ))
600/7795/5 (Level 3 Subsidiary Diploma in Land-based Technology (VRQ))
Structure

The qualifications consist of mandatory units and optional units.

The number and proportion of mandatory units differs between subjects.

Some of the mandatory units may be specialised.

The rules of combination for the qualifications specify the minimum credit to be achieved through mandatory and optional units.

Subject areas
  • Auto electrical and mobile electrical principles
  • Heavy vehicle maintenance and repair principles
  • Land-based technology
  • Light vehicle maintenance and repair principles
  • Motorcycle maintenance and repair principles
  • Motorsport vehicle maintenance and repair
  • Vehicle accident repair body principles
Levels
  • Level 3

These are 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. The RQF is the new system for cataloguing all qualifications regulated by Ofqual, indexing them by level and size.

Grading

Pass or Fail

Assessment

Assessment is by a combination of:

  • Coursework
  • Multiple choice examination
  • Practical demonstration and assignment

Assessment of units may be devised by centre set assignments. Assessment of all units can take place at a time to suit learners and centres. Tutors and assessors can draw on real work-based opportunities for learners to generate evidence. All units are centre-assessed and externally moderated by an external quality assurer.

For more detailed assessment information, please view the specification for the qualification on the IMI website.

Contribution of assessment components to overall grade

Practical – 100% achievement required

Written/Assignment – minimum of 60% achievement required from each assessment.

Online – minimum of 60% achievement required from each assessment.

Resit arrangements

The units are internally assessed; learners may resit elements of assessment to improve their level of achievement.

In the case of the internally assessed and externally marked assessments, learners can resit on demand as many times as required.

Guided/notional learning hours notes

Within each subject area, different titles of qualifications are offered as follows:

  • Subsidiary Diploma
  • Diploma
  • Extended Diploma

Sizes are not consistent within the subject areas but operate within a range as follows:

  • Subsidiary Diploma (Land-based Technology only): 360 GLH
  • Diploma: 548 – 720 GLH
  • Extended Diploma: 794 – 1,080 GLH

For comparison one A level is 360 GLH.

UCAS Tariff points

IMI Level 3 Extended Diploma in Land-based Technology

Grade Points
P 96

IMI Level 3 Diploma in Land-based Technology (VRQ)

Grade Points
P 64

IMI Level 3 Subsidiary Diploma in Landbased Technology (VRQ)

Grade Points
P 32

IMI Level 3 Diploma in Motorcycle Maintenance and Repair Principles (VRQ)

Grade Points
P 48

IMI Level 3 Extended Diploma In Motorsport Vehicle Maintenance and Repair (VRQ)

Grade Points
P 48

IMI Level 3 Diploma In Motorsport Vehicle Maintenance and Repair (VRQ)

Grade Points
P 48

IMI Level 3 Diploma in Auto Electrical and Mobile Electrical Principles (VRQ)

Grade Points
P 48

IMI Level 3 Diploma in Vehicle Accident Repair Body Principles (VRQ)

Grade Points
P 48

IMI Level 3 Diploma in Vehicle Accident Repair Paint Principles (VRQ)

Grade Points
P 48

IMI Level 3 Extended Diploma in Heavy Vehicle Maintenance and Repair Principles (VRQ)

Grade Points
P 64

IMI Level 3 Diploma in Heavy Vehicle Maintenance and Repair Principles (VRQ)

Grade Points
P 48

IMI Level 3 Extended Diploma in Light Vehicle Maintenance and Repair Principles (VRQ)

Grade Points
P 64

IMI Level 3 Diploma in Light Vehicle Maintenance and Repair Principles (VRQ)

Grade Points
P 48
Key issues for UK HE admissions

Tech level qualifications are advanced (Level 3) qualifications, mainly taken by 16-19 year old students who want to develop transferable knowledge and skills.

There are a number of key considerations for HEPs when reviewing Tech level qualifications that do not meet the full DfE criteria from 2018:

  • Applicants holding interim-reformed Tech level qualifications may not have had experience of external or synoptic assessment.
  • The reformed and interim-reformed qualifications will be delivered by schools and colleges at the same time (see ‘Education context’). Therefore, HEPs may wish to consider their approach to setting and listing entry requirements for the specific qualifications.
  • The dual running of the qualification may result in applicants declaring the incorrect version within their application. UCAS will be working to support applicants and advisers in this area.
  • These qualifications are fundamentally different to the reformed versions and likely to result in learners developing different skills and aptitudes. HEPs should review their understanding of these qualifications to ensure it remains up to date. HEPs may also wish to consider their approach to setting and listing entry requirements for the specific qualifications, and any differences should be clearly articulated.

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.

Timing of assessments/results for learners

On demand. Learners are assessed throughout their programme of learning.

Qualification dates notes

These are current qualifications.

Reporting and certification information

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

View the results available through ABL.

Reporting information is made available by IMI through its website after results are issued.

Progression information

Tech level qualifications differ in size; some may meet the entry requirements for higher education in their own right in a related area and some may need to be offered in conjunction with other Level 3 qualifications, for instance A levels. In addition, some higher education courses may require specific levels of achievement in particular units or ask for additional qualifications to satisfy subject knowledge requirements.

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 or a Higher National qualification (HNC/HND).

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.