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 an 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.
These qualifications have been designed to provide the knowledge and understanding that support competent practice. They will help holders develop many of the practical skills and competencies set out in the National Occupational Standards in Children’s Care, Learning and Development at Level 3.
All three qualifications are graded A – E.
These qualifications are assessed through:
- placement summary
- practice evidence records
- practice evidence record diary
- professional development profiles.
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 first cohort of students completed the NCFE CACHE Level 3 Award, Certificate and Diploma in Childcare and Education in August/September 2009.
Holders of the qualifications have been applying for entry to higher education since September 2009 onwards.
Holders of the Award and Certificate should be expected to present the qualification in conjunction with other qualifications. The Diploma may meet HE entry requirements in is own right.
The specifications are not publicly available for expired qualifications, however, they can be requested from NCFE CACHE: https://www.cache.org.uk/contact-us/