IQ IAM Level 3 Diploma in Business and Administrative Management

Last updated
Last verified
This QIP covers a vocational qualification which is not listed on the Department for Education (DfE) 16 – 19 performance tables for England.

This qualification is not listed on the DfE 16 – 19 performance tables because it is not designed to meet the requirements of the Key Stage 5 performance tables.

  • England

Vocational qualifications are either work-related qualifications designed to enable students to gain the skills required to perform a particular job, or qualifications that may be taken as part of a wider study programme or 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 students.

The core objective of this qualification is to give students personal growth and engagement in learning.

Key purposes include:

  • prepare for further learning, or training, and/or develop knowledge and/or skills in a subject area
  • develop knowledge and/or skills in a subject area

To ensure this qualification is fit for purpose, it has been developed in partnership with the Institute of Administrative Management (IAM).

Education context

This qualification is designed for post-16 students and falls 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 students 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.

This qualification has not been subject to the same reforms as Applied General and Tech level qualifications (which are specifically designed for 16 – 19 year old students), 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, and AS and A levels. Vocational qualifications must comply with the regulator’s general rules, as is the case with all regulated qualifications.

Awarding organisation
  • Industry Qualifications (IQ)
Qualification code
603/0938/6 (IQ IAM Level 3 Diploma in Business and Administrative Management)

This knowledge-only 60-credit qualification consists of four mandatory units. These are titled as follows:

  • Principles of Business and Administrative Management
  • Principles of Information and Communication in a Business Environment
  • Principles of Managing Team and Personal Performance
  • Principles of Marketing in a Business Environment
Subject areas
  • Administration
  • Business and Administrative Management 
  • Level 3

Level 3 qualifications are regulated to the Regulated Qualifications Framework (RQF) in England and Northern Ireland, and the Credit and Qualifications Framework for Wales, though many may be offered on a three-country basis.

Level 3 is broadly aligned to the Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework (SCQF) Level 6/7.


All assessment criteria must be met to achieve the qualification. This qualification is not graded successful students achieve a pass.


This qualification is assessed through four written assignments. Each unit is assessed by its own individual assignment. These are externally set, internally marked, and quality assured by postal moderation. Each assignment is non-compensatory, meaning all assessment criteria are assessed and must be met.

Assignment briefs and mark schemes for the above referenced assignments are provided by Industry Qualifications (IQ) to the training provider.

An additional recorded student interview/viva is conducted by the assessor on completion of the assignments. Identification is reconfirmed at this stage of assessment and on completion, the oral responses are transcribed by the assessor within the marking form. The student interview does not contribute to the overall grade, rather it is a quality assurance requirement to finalise the awarding of the written assignment, through confirmation of candidate authenticity of achievement.

Contribution of assessment components to overall grade

Qualification success (pass/fail) is driven entirely by the above described assessment strategy.

All assessment criteria must be met to achieve the qualification.

Resit arrangements

Those failing one or more assignments are to be mentored by centre personnel to meet the required criteria to pass. Assignments are to be rewritten and resubmitted at the next available date of moderation.

Guided/notional learning hours
321 hours
Guided/notional learning hours notes

GLH= 321 TQT= 600

UCAS Tariff points

IQ IAM Level 3 Diploma in Business and Administrative Management

Grade Points
P 32


Key issues for UK HE admissions

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 students 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 apprenticeship.
  • if they are presented for admission to HE, it is likely to be in conjunction with other qualifications.

The qualification content is sector generic, so it is suitable for individuals working, or intending to work in a broad scope of business administrative and managerial roles. It aims to improve a student's ability to operate in a broad range of business critical areas. Examples include multidisciplinary working (colleagues, managers, stakeholders, customers, etc.), business innovation, performance monitoring, finance, marketing, and market research.

Moreover, through completing the four assignments, students will demonstrate the ability to work and research independently, for a prolonged time period, to meet the qualification demands. Self-motivation, commitment, research skills, and the ability to write in a structured and concise manner, are essential components of both employment and higher education. As such, the range of skills developed through taking this qualification can be seen as relevant to those seeking access to further education and career progression alike.

This qualification can be taken as a standalone, and it is not necessary to offer it in conjunction with any other qualifications.

Timing of assessments/results for learners

With regards to the four assignments, assessment can take place on demand (i.e. there is no requirement for a fixed time of assessment). Students are granted access to the assignment material, through their training provider, on registration to the qualification.

With regards to the student interview/viva, assessment can also take place on demand, providing this assessment is scheduled after the completion of the assignments referenced above.

Marked assignments are submitted to and moderated by Industry Qualifications (IQ) twice monthly. Assuming there are no issues, results and certificates are issued within 7-14 days of this date of external moderation.

Qualification date
06 Jan 2017—31 Dec 2020 (End date to be extended should uptake indicate the need.)
Qualification dates notes

This qualification is current, and it is expected that it will first be awarded in September 2018. This date could change depending on the students’ rate of progress.

Reporting and certification information

The results of the IQ IAM Level 3 Diploma in Business and Administrative Management 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.

View the results available through ABL.

Industry Qualifications does not publish annual certification information in the public domain, but does submit the certification information to the appropriate regulator (Ofqual) in the form of quarterly reports.

Progression information

Students who complete this qualification can progress onto other Business and Administrative Management qualifications. These include:

IQ IAM Level 4 Diploma in Business and Administrative Management – Operational Level; IQ IAM Level 5 Diploma in Business and Administrative Management – Tactical Level; IQ IAM Level 6 Diploma in Business and Administrative Management – Strategic Level.

Students can also progress to the following qualifications:

IQ IAM Level 4 NVQ Diploma in Business Administration; IQ IAM Level 4 NVQ Diploma in Management; IQ IAM Level 5 NVQ Diploma in Management and Leadership; IQ IAM Level 4 Certificate in Principles of Business Administration; IQ IAM Level 4 Certificate in Office and Administration Management.

Further information

All information pertaining to the delivery/assessment of this qualification, in addition to the qualification specification, can be accessed via the company website:…

All documents are available for download at the bottom of the page.