NCFE CACHE Level 3 Health and Social Care qualifications

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This QIP covers vocational qualifications which are not listed on the Department for Education (DfE) 16 – 19 performance tables for England.

These qualifications are not listed on the DfE 16 – 19 performance tables because they are not designed to meet the requirements of the Key Stage 5 performance tables.

In 2015 CACHE became part of NCFE.

Countries
  • England
  • Wales
Purpose

Vocational qualifications are either work-related qualifications designed to enable learners 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 learners.


The aim of these qualifications is to enable learners to access higher education or assist with progression into the workplace.

These qualifications have been designed, written and reviewed by a team of subject matter experts, employers and higher education institutions.

Learners will develop generic, transferable skills valued by employers, such as effective teamwork, planning and health and safety principles. As well as extending their creative and intellectual abilities, e.g. communication, innovation and critical evaluation.

For those who wish to study at a higher level, the qualifications will enable them to develop higher level learning skills such as independent working, research, self-reflection and collaborative learning.

Education context

These qualifications are designed for post-16 learners and fall 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 learners 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/These qualification/s has/have not been subject to the same reforms as Applied General and Tech Level qualifications (which are specifically designed for 16-19 year old learners), 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.

These qualifications were launched in September 2015.

Awarding organisation
  • NCFE
Qualification codes
601/6108/5 (NCFE CACHE Level 3 Award in Health and Social Care)
601/6109/7 (NCFE CACHE Level 3 Certificate in Health and Social Care)
601/6110/3 (NCFE CACHE Level 3 Extended Diploma in Health and Social Care)
Structure

These qualifications form of a nested suite which share units and assessments:

Award:

Three mandatory units (graded A* – D, externally set, marked by the Centre). This qualification has no external assessment and a placement in a Real Work Environment is not required.

Certificate:

Nine ‘core mandatory’ units (graded A* – D; externally set, marked by the Centre); one Extended Assessment covering the ‘core mandatory’ units (externally set, externally marked); Placement in a Real Work Environment: 75 hours.

Extended Diploma:

Nine ‘core mandatory’ units; one Extended Assessment covering the ‘core mandatory’ units; five ‘diploma mandatory’ units; one Extended Assessment covering the ‘diploma mandatory’ units; 3 optional units from ‘optional’ group 1 and 1 optional unit from ‘optional’ group 2; placement in a Real Work Environment: 175 hours.

For detailed unit and content information, please view the qualification specifications on the CACHE website.

Subject areas
  • Health and social care
Levels
  • 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.

Grading

A* – D

Assessment

Award:

Portfolio of evidence.

Certificate:

Portfolio of evidence, one extended assessment.

Extended Diploma:

Portfolio of evidence; two extended assessments (one covering the ‘core mandatory’ units and one covering the ‘diploma mandatory’ units).

Contribution of assessment components to overall grade

Award:

Three mandatory units (externally set, internally assessed) contribute 100% of the overall grade.

Certificate:

Nine mandatory units (externally set, internally assessed) contribute 78% towards the overall grade. The extended assessment (externally set, externally marked) contributes 22% towards the overall grade.

Extended Diploma:

Fourteen mandatory units and four optional units (externally set, internally assessed) contribute 67% towards the overall grade. The two extended assessments (externally set, externally marked) contribute 33% towards the overall grade.

Resit arrangements

For the qualifications which have an external assessment component, there is a maximum of one further opportunity after the first submission for learners to submit the External Assessment in order to achieve a pass grade or to improve a grade.

Guided/notional learning hours
601/6108/5 - NCFE CACHE Level 3 Award in Health and Social Care (TQT 215): 180 hours
601/6109/7 - NCFE CACHE Level 3 Certificate in Health and Social Care (TQT 734): 619 hours
601/6110/3 - NCFE CACHE Level 3 Extended Diploma in Health and Social Care (TQT 1491: 1185 hours
UCAS Tariff points

NCFE CACHE Level 3 Award in Health and Social Care

Grade Points
A* 28
A 24
B 20
C 16
D 12

NCFE CACHE Level 3 Certificate in Health and Social Care

Grade Points
A* 84
A 72
B 60
C 48
D 36

NCFE CACHE Level 3 Extended Diploma Health and Social Care

Grade Points
A* 168
A 144
B 120
C 96
D 72
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 learners 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.

These qualifications have been developed in partnership with employers, universities and other subject experts to ensure that the content is current and relevant.

Level 3 criteria require learners to analyse, draw conclusions, interpret or justify, which are all examples of higher level skills. This means that evidence provided for the portfolio will also demonstrate the development and use of higher level learning skills.

Learners may combine these qualifications with other qualifications e.g. A levels or other vocational qualifications.

Timing of assessments/results for learners

Award

Most learners complete this qualification within three months. There is flexibility to allow some learners to progress quicker than others.

Results are confirmed and certificates issued upon completion.

Certificate

Most learners start their studies in September complete towards the end of the following academic year. There is flexibility to allow some learners to progress quicker than others.

Results are confirmed and certificates issued upon completion.

Extended Diploma

Most learners start their studies in September and complete the qualification within 2 years (or 1 year if the certificate has already been successfully completed). There is the flexibility to allow some learners to progress quicker than others.

Results are confirmed, and certificates issued upon completion.

Qualification dates notes

These qualifications are current.

Reporting and certification information

The results of these qualifications 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, BEIS, Ofqual, Skills for Care and Development and Skills Active.

Progression information

Award

Upon achievement of this qualification, the learner will be able to progress to the Level 3 Certificate and Extended Diploma in Health and Social Care. The Award shares three mandatory units with the Certificate. The Award may be suitable if the learner wishes to progress to Higher Education but is also taking other qualifications as part of a wider programme of study. The Award may also be suitable if the learner has previous experience of working in the sector but would like to refresh their knowledge.

Certificate

Upon achievement of this qualification, the learner will be able to progress to the Level 3 Extended Diploma in Health and Social Care. The Certificate supports the learners access to Higher Education*, progression to further learning at Level 4 and above, and a wide range of job roles within the health and social care sector such as:

  • Care Support Workers in Adult Residential Settings
  • Healthcare Assistants in Community, Primary Care and Acute Health Environments
  • Care Support Workers in Domiciliary Services, Supported Living or Day Services
  • Community-Based Support Workers.

* Higher Education Institutions may have their own entry requirements.

Completion of this qualification will equip the learner with knowledge, understanding and skills across a range of key subject areas, for example:

  • the role of the health and social care practitioner in meeting individuals’ needs through inclusive practice
  • theories of human growth and development
  • the role and responsibilities of the health and social care practitioner in relation to safeguarding individuals
  • the role and responsibilities of the health and social care practitioner in relation to infection prevention and control functions of national and local health and social care provision
  • identifying and planning for professional development needs.

Learners should take this qualification if they want to progress to further learning at Level 4 or above in a related field of study, or if they wish to progress to higher education (when taking the Certificate as part of a wider programme of study). The Certificate provides progression to the Level 4 Diploma in Adult Care (England). It also provides direct progression to the Level 3 Extended Diploma in Health and Social Care. This qualification is ideal for if learners have already completed the Level 3 Award in Health and Social Care, as they will already have achieved three of the mandatory units for the Certificate.

Extended Diploma

Upon achievement of this qualification, the learner will be able to access Higher Education* and progress into a wide range of job roles within the health and social care sector such as:

  • Care Support Workers in Adult Residential Settings
  • Healthcare Assistants in Community, Primary Care and Acute Health Environments
  • Care Support Workers in Domiciliary Services, Supported Living or Day Services
  • Community-Based Support Workers.

* Higher Education Institutions may have their own entry requirements.

Completion of this qualification will equip the learner with the essential knowledge and skills required to progress to Higher Education in a related field of study, for example:

  • the functions of national and local health and social care provision
  • the roles and responsibilities of the health and social care practitioner when empowering individuals
  • how outcomes of serious case reviews inform practice in the health and social care sector
  • how to obtain and record physiological measurements
  • how to reflect on and plan for personal and professional development within the health and social care sector
  • carrying out a research project.

Learners should take this qualification if they want to progress to Higher Education in a related field of study. This qualification is ideal if they have already completed the Level 3 Certificate in Health and Social Care, as they will already have achieved much of the mandatory components of the Extended Diploma, or if they have previous experience or qualifications in this subject area and want to further their studies at undergraduate level. The wide range of optional units enables the learner to pursue an interest in specialist subject areas.

Further information