NCFE CACHE Level 3 Extended Diploma for the Children and Young People's Workforce

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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.

In 2015 CACHE became part of NCFE.

  • 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 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.

The Level 3 Extended Diploma for the Children and Young People’s Workforce (CYPW) is suitable for delivery as a two-year, full-time qualification which incorporates the Level 3 Diploma for the Children and Young People’s Workforce. The qualification comprises:

  • the Level 3 Diploma for the Children and Young People’s Workforce to meet the requirements to work in the Children and Young People’s Workforce
  • additional extended units to assess, build and develop students’ higher level knowledge and skills
  • three extended assessments based on knowledge which has been gained throughout the entire learning programme.

This qualification is appropriate for those who might like to progress to a degree in a related discipline.

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 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, AS and A levels. Vocational qualifications must comply with the regulator’s general rules, as is the case with all regulated qualifications.

In 2015 CACHE became part of NCFE. CACHE-branded qualifications are specialist qualifications in the childcare, health and social care, and education sectors.

This qualification was launched in September 2011.

Awarding organisation
  • NCFE
Qualification code
600/1349/7 (NCFE CACHE Level 3 Extended Diploma for the Children and Young People's Workforce)

The units from the Level 3 Diploma for the Children and Young People’s Workforce provide a competence-based foundation. Each of these units is graded Pass or Refer. The student will take these, followed by the extended units and three extended assessments.

The extended units assess the development of higher level knowledge, understanding, and skills. Each of these units is graded Pass or Refer. If the appropriate mandatory and optional units are passed, the qualification grade will be Grade E.

The three extended assessments are each graded A* – D. If all three extended assessments are passed, the qualification grade will be A* – D.

Subject areas

The mandatory units are:

  • Extending understanding of theories of children and/or young person's care or development
  • Understand the role of policies in children and/or young people's settings
  • Maintaining the health of children and/or young people
  • An introduction to leadership and management
  • Supporting the development of study skills
  • Working with families of children and/or young people
  • Working as part of more than one team
  • Supportive approaches to behaviour management
  • Formal recording for use within the work environment
  • Research to support practice when working with children and/or young people

The optional units are:

  • Support children and/or young people’s development of art drama and music
  • The Common Assessment Framework for children and/or young people
  • Learning about planning for given frameworks or curricula
  • Support numeracy and literacy development in children and/or young people
  • Observing children and/or young people’s play to inform future support
  • Learning styles and their role in learning and achievement
  • Managing quality standards when working with children and/or young people
  • Supporting science and technology development in children and/or young people
  • Understand aspects of playwork practice

These units are taken in addition to those from the Level 3 Diploma for the Children and Young People’s Workforce. 

  • 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.


A* – E


The CYPW units will be internally assessed using a range of methods which could include: direct observation in the workplace, a portfolio of evidence, written assignments or an optional assessment task.

The extended units will be internally assessed using mandatory assessment tasks. These assess both knowledge and skills based learning outcomes. The skills-based outcomes require the student to reflect on practical experience in their real work environment.

Where appropriate, observations remain the preferred method of assessment for skills-based learning outcomes. The three extended assessments will be externally assessed.

Contribution of assessment components to overall grade

Students who do not pass all three extended assessments, but who successfully pass the Extended Diploma Units, will be awarded a grade E.

For a certificate to be issued, a "U" grade must be submitted to CACHE for any extended assessment which has not been passed.

Resit arrangements

Within each of the three External Assessments which comprise the overall qualification grade, there is a maximum of one further opportunity, after the first submission, for students to submit the External Assessment to achieve a pass grade or to improve a grade.

Guided/notional learning hours notes

This qualification has a range of 1,047 – 1,144 guided learning hours depending which optional units are chosen.

UCAS Tariff points

NCFE CACHE Level 3 Extended Diploma for the Children & Young People's Workforce

Grade Points
A* 168
A 144
B 120
C 96
D 72
E 48


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

The first cohort will have completed the qualifications by July 2013.

Timing of assessments/results for learners

Most students start their studies in September, and complete towards the end of the following academic year.

There is the flexibility to allow some students to progress quicker than others.

Results are confirmed, and certificates issued, upon completion.

Qualification date
01 Sep 2011—31 Dec 2017
Qualification dates notes

This is a legacy qualification.

Reporting and certification information

The results of this qualification are reported to UCAS through Awarding Body Linkage (ABL).

View the results available through ABL.

Results are made available to CACHE centres throughout the year.

Data is provided for DfE, Ofqual, Skills for Care and Development and Skills Active.

Progression information

This qualification supports students’ progression to higher education by providing evidence of students’ higher level skills. On completion of this qualification, they can progress to various job roles, dependent on their chosen pathway. The following list is not exhaustive, but indicative of the opportunities available:

Early Learning and Childcare: This pathway is appropriate for all practitioners working in settings delivering the Early Years Foundation Stage. Specific job roles may include:

  • playgroup workers
  • children’s centre staff
  • staff in day care provision, nursery schools and nursery or reception classes in primary schools
  • registered childminders and nannies
  • portage workers – education support workers who visit families of pre-school children in their homes

Social Care: Specific job roles may include:

  • children and families’ support workers
  • all residential childcare workers
  • family centre and day centre workers
  • Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service (CAFCASS) family court advisers
  • support workers
  • HE opportunities relevant to this area of study such as youth and community studies, foundation degree CYPW or social work

Learning and Development Support Services: Specific job roles may include:

  • learning mentors
  • behaviour and education support teams

General opportunities:

  • support workers in relevant settings
  • relevant work with children and young people in the voluntary sector
Further information

This qualification is no longer offered and the specification has been removed from the NCFE CACHE website. For further information please contact NCFE CACHE.