IQ Level 3 Diploma in Principles of Health and Social Care

Qualification code
603/1395/X (IQ Level 3 Diploma in Principles of Health and Social Care)

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 support a health and social care role in the workplace.

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 leading autism charity, Living Autism. The partnership between an awarding organisation and a leading charity is relatively rare. This relationship was formed to ensure the qualification framework provides a true representation of current knowledge both within the autism unit, and the more generic mandatory units (person-centred care, communication etc). The partnership with Living Autism was an integral component of achieving the qualification’s core purpose: delivery of high quality health and social care education that represents current knowledge in the sector.


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


Each unit of this knowledge-only qualification is assessed via an externally set, internally marked, and verified and quality assured by IQ, assessment workbook.

An additional audio/ video recorded student interview is conducted by an approved member of staff (trainer, assessor or internal verifier) upon the completion of each unit within this workbook.

Student identification is re-confirmed within this stage of assessment and the completion of these interview requirements are additionally documented within the workbook.

Further information

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

The qualification content is applicable to a wide variety of health and social care job roles, including but not limited to: residential settings, primary care environments, day services, personal assistance, and domiciliary services. It aims to improve a student's ability to understand and respond appropriately to the uniqueness of all individuals, particularly those in a health and social care setting, and provides students with formal recognition of their health and social care knowledge. 

Person-centred understanding is at the core of the delivery of high quality care. It is also a trait that promotes multidisciplinary working, through enabling recognition and response to the strengths and weaknesses of individual team members. Through developing this important skill as part of the qualification framework, successful students will demonstrate value to a broad range of employers, across a diverse range of sectors. 

Moreover, through completion of the diploma workbook, students will evidence 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 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.

All information pertaining to the delivery/assessment of this qualification, in addition to the qualification purpose statement, fact-sheet and specification, can be accessed via the company website:…

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