NCFE CACHE Tech levels (interim reformed)

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The QIP covers all NCFE CACHE Tech level (interim-reformed) qualifications that do not meet the full requirements set by the Department for Education (DfE) and do not contribute towards performance measures for 2018.

These qualifications meet the interim-reformed requirements for 2016 and/or 2017 performance tables.

In 2015 CACHE became part of NCFE.

Country
  • England
Purpose

The Department for Education (DfE) describe Tech level qualifications as follows:

Tech levels are rigorous advanced (level 3) technical qualifications on a par with A Levels and recognised by employers. They are for students aged 16 plus who want to specialise in a specific industry or prepare for a particular job. They cover jobs and careers where employers recruit people at this level or where a level 3 qualification is needed before students can progress to a related higher education course. Tech levels give students an opportunity to develop specialist knowledge and skills to help them get an apprenticeship or job, for example in engineering, IT, accounting or professional cookery, or progress to a higher level qualification. In some cases, a tech level qualification is a ‘licence to practise’ or can exempt someone holding the qualification from a professional exam. Tech levels are recognised by trade or professional bodies or at least five employers. Alternatively, the qualification may be accepted by a national licensed professional registration scheme.

The NCFE CACHE Level 3 Diploma in Early Years Education and Care (Early Years Educator) prepares learners to become Early Years Educators, enabling them to work with and care for children from birth to 5 years, and gain knowledge of children aged 5 to 7 years. The aim of this qualification is to confirm the learner’s competence to work in a Level 3 work role. It requires them to demonstrate the full application of skills, knowledge, and understanding. This qualification will guide and assess the development of knowledge and skills relating to early years.

The NCFE CACHE Level 3 Certificate in Childcare and Education prepares learners to progress on to the Level 3 Diploma in Childcare and Education (Early Years Educator). They provide learners with knowledge of children from birth to seven years.

The NCFE CACHE Level 3 Diploma in Childcare and Education (Early Years Educator) enables learners to enter the workforce as early years educators, or access higher education.

The NCFE CACHE Level 3 Diploma in Clinical Healthcare Support guides and assesses the development of knowledge and skills relating to the health workforce. This qualification confirms competence in a range of clinical healthcare support skills.

Education context

Some vocational qualifications offered at Level 3 have been reformed as a result of changes to school performance tables. Vocational qualifications must meet the criteria set by the Department for Education (DfE) in order to count towards school performance tables. These reforms mean that 91% of the Level 3 qualifications that previously counted towards school performance tables were removed from performance tables in 2016.

For accountability purposes, vocational qualifications are now be classified as:

  • Tech level qualifications: The purpose of these qualifications is to lead to a ‘recognised occupation’. Examples provided by the DfE include engineering, accounting, construction, manufacturing, agriculture and IT. These qualifications must meet a number of criteria, including the endorsement of five employers registered at Companies House.
  • Applied General qualifications: The purpose of these qualifications is to provide a broader vocational education. They ‘are designed for students wanting to continue their education through applied learning.’ These qualifications must meet a number of criteria, including endorsement by at least three universities and colleges.

The reform to vocational qualifications is being conducted in two stages: an interim stage and full stage. Each of these stages introduced new criteria for vocational qualifications to meet in order to count towards school performance tables.

The first teaching of the qualifications reformed on an interim basis was from 2014 and these counted towards school performance tables in 2016. Only qualifications that meet the full criteria count towards performance tables from 2018. The qualifications listed in this QIP are classified as Tech level qualifications however do not meet the full criteria to count towards performance tables from 2018 in respect of content, assessment and grading. Schools and colleges may offer qualifications that are not included in the performance tables, if the qualifications are approved for teaching by the Secretary of State under Section 96.

Read Section 96.

The 2016 and/or 2017 NCFE CACHE Tech levels meet the interim requirements set by the DfE and therefore may be offered in schools and colleges alongside the 2018 fully reformed versions:

 

Interim Requirement (for qualifications counting in 2016 performance tables)

Full Requirement (for qualifications counting in 2018 performance tables)

A. Declared Purpose

X

X

B. Size

X

X

C. Recognition

X

X

D. Synoptic Assessment

 

X

E. External Assessment

 

X

F. Grading

 

X

G. Employer involvement (Technical Level Qualifications only)

 

X

H. Progression

 

X

I. Proven Track Record

 

X

 

As noted in the table above, the 2016 and 2018 versions of Tech level qualifications are fundamentally different.

For more information on the specific changes to 2018 Tech levels, please refer to a reformed QIP. Please also see ‘Key issues for UK HE admissions’ for some additional considerations when assessing these qualifications.

Further information about Tech level qualifications, and the range of qualifications that meet the 2018 requirements, can be found on the DfE website.


Regulation of Tech level and Applied General qualifications

The regulation of Tech level and Applied General qualifications delivered in England is the responsibility of Ofqual.

The regulatory approach undertaken for Tech level and Applied General qualifications differs to A levels. This is because there are no specific qualification-level criteria for Tech levels, as there are for GCSEs, AS and A levels currently.  Applied Generals is a category introduced by the Department for Education for accountability purposes rather than a specific type of regulated qualification.  To be included in the Tech level category, qualifications have to demonstrate particular features outlined in the table above.

Tech levels must comply with Ofqual’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.

Early Years Educator (EYE) qualifications were introduced in September 2014. They meet the National College of Teaching and Leadership’s approved design criteria.

From September 2014, approved EYE qualifications became the only Licence to Practise qualifications for people wishing to work with children from birth to five years.

Awarding organisation
  • NCFE
Qualification codes
601/2147/6 (NCFE CACHE Level 3 Diploma in Early Years Education and Care (Early Years Educator))
601/3999/7 (NCFE CACHE Level 3 Certificate in Childcare and Education)
601/4000/8 (NCFE CACHE Level 3 Diploma in Childcare and Education (Early Years Educator))
600/6215/0 (NCFE CACHE Level 3 Diploma in Clinical Healthcare Support)
Structure

NCFE CACHE Level 3 Diploma in Early Years Education and Care (Early Years Educator)

To pass this qualification the learner needs to:

  • pass 27 mandatory units
  • pass three externally set and marked assessments

NCFE CACHE Level 3 Certificate in Childcare and Education

Learners must pass eight mandatory units, including all the criteria learners must know about, which is contained in the delivery guidance, as well as an Effective Practice Study Task (externally set and externally marked).

NCFE CACHE Level 3 Diploma in Childcare and Education (Early Years Educator)

Learners must pass 15 mandatory units, including all the criteria learners must know about, which is contained in the delivery guidance. Learners must also pass an Effective Practice Study and Extended Assessment (externally set, externally marked). There are two early exit points, the first on achievement of the Award, and the second on achievement of the Certificate.

NCFE CACHE Level 3 Diploma in Clinical Healthcare Support

Learners must complete a minimum of 65 credits to gain the Level 3 Diploma in Clinical Healthcare Support. To do this they must achieve 35 credits from Mandatory Group A and at least 30 credits from Optional Group B. At least 39 of the credits must be achieved at Level 3 or above. All units are internally assessed.

Subject areas

NCFE CACHE Level 3 Diploma in Early Years Education and Care (Early Years Educator)

Mandatory units:

  • Support healthy lifestyles for children through the provision of food and nutrition
  • Support healthy lifestyles for children through exercise
  • Support physical care routines for children
  • Promote children’s emotional well-being
  • Understand how to support children who are unwell
  • Understand the needs of the mother and baby during pre-conception, pregnancy and the first year of life
  • An introduction to the role of the Early Years practitioner
  • Understand legislation relating to the safeguarding, protection and welfare of children
  • Use legislation relating to the health and safety of children
  • Use legislation relating to equality, diversity and inclusive practice
  • Work in partnership
  • Understand the value of play in Early Years
  • Plan, lead and review play activities which support children’s learning and development in relation to current frameworks
  • Apply theoretical perspectives and philosophical approaches to play
  • Contribute to enabling play environments
  • Develop emergent literacy skills of children
  • Develop emergent mathematical skills of children
  • Understand the needs of the child in preparing for school
  • Understand how to plan to meet the needs of the developing child
  • Facilitate the cognitive development of children
  • Develop the speech, language and communication of children
  • Promote the physical development of children
  • Promote the personal, social and emotional development of children
  • Support children with additional needs
  • Use observation, assessment and planning to promote the development of children
  • Use longitudinal studies to observe, assess and plan for children’s needs
  • Engage in professional development

NCFE CACHE Level 3 Certificate in Childcare and Education and NCFE CACHE Level 3 Diploma in Childcare and Education (Early Years Educator)

The Certificate covers the below 8 units:

  • Child development from conception to seven years
  • Children’s health and well-being
  • Providing safe environments for children
  • Child health
  • Play and learning
  • Understanding children’s additional needs
  • Observation, assessment and planning
  • Professional Practice Portfolio 1

The Diploma covers the above and the below units:

  • Supporting emergent literacy
  • Supporting emergent mathematics
  • Preparing for school readiness
  • International perspectives
  • Reflective practice for professional development
  • Professional partnerships in Early Years
  • Professional Practice Portfolio 2

NCFE CACHE Level 3 Diploma in Clinical Healthcare Support

Mandatory units:

  • Principles of safeguarding and protection in health and social care
  • The role of the health and social care worker
  • Promote communication in health, social care or children's and young people's settings
  • Engage in personal development in health, social care or children's and young people's settings
  • Promote equality and inclusion in health, social care or children's and young people's settings
  • Principles for implementing duty of care in health, social care or children's and young people's settings
  • Promote person-centred approaches in health and social care
  • Promote and implement health and safety in health and social care
  • Promote good practice in handling information in health and social care settings
  • The principles of infection prevention and control
  • Causes and spread of infection
  • Cleaning, decontamination and waste management

Optional units:

  • Select and wear appropriate personal protective equipment for work in health care settings
  • Prepare individuals for healthcare activities
  • Support individuals undergoing healthcare activities
  • Monitor and maintain the environment and resources during and after clinical/ therapeutic activities
  • Assist in the administration of medication
  • Assist the practitioner to carry out health care activities
  • Contribute to the effectiveness of teams
  • Manage own performance in a business environment
  • Maintaining quality standards in the health sector
  • Service improvement in the health sector
  • Introduction to the role and responsibilities of a health trainer
  • Establishing and developing relationships with communities while working as a health trainer
  • Communicate with individuals about promoting their health and wellbeing while working as a health trainer
  • Enable individuals to change their behaviour to improve their health and wellbeing while working as a health trainer
  • Understand mental well-being and mental health promotion
  • Understand mental health problems
  • Understand the process and experience of dementia
  • Undertake urethral catheterisation processes
  • Care for individuals with urethral catheters
  • Deliver, monitor and evaluate customer service to external customers
  • Plan and organise meetings
  • Administer medication to individuals, and monitor the effects
  • Undertake tissue viability risk assessments
  • Undertake stoma care
  • Carry out personal hygiene for individuals unable to care for themselves
  • Undertake treatments and dressings of lesions and wounds
  • Carry out wound drainage care
  • Remove wound closure materials
  • Insert and secure naso-gastric tubes
  • Care for individuals with naso-gastric tubes
  • Prepare for and carry out extended feeding techniques
  • Undertake physiological measurements
  • Conduct external ear examinations
  • Conduct hearing assessments
  • Perform intravenous cannulation
  • Carry out intravenous infusion
  • Carry out arterial puncture and collect arterial blood
  • Carry out blood collection from fixed or central lines
  • Perform routine electrocardiograph (ECG) procedures
  • Obtain and test capillary blood samples
  • Obtain venous blood samples
  • Remove wound drains
  • Carry out vision screening
  • Administer oral nutritional products to individuals
  • Provide agreed support for foot care
  • Support individuals to manage dysphagia
  • Assist others to monitor individuals’ progress in managing dysphagia
  • Obtain a client history
  • Manufacture equipment or medical devices for individuals within healthcare
  • Adapt and fit healthcare equipment, medical devices, assistive technology, or products, to meet individuals’ needs
  • Reprocess endoscopy equipment
  • Advise and inform individuals on managing their condition
  • Support individuals in undertaking their chosen activities
  • Inform an individual of discharge arrangements
  • Contribute to the discharge of individuals to carers
  • Give presentations to groups
  • Assist others to plan presentations
  • Support carers to meet the care needs of individuals
  • Interact with and support individuals using telecommunications
  • Monitor own work practices in health, social care or children’s and young people’s settings
  • Carry out transactions in a health facility
  • Liaise between primary, secondary and community teams
  • Collate and communicate health information to individuals
  • Manage the availability of physical resources to meet service delivery needs in a health setting
  • Make recommendations for the use of physical resources in a health setting
  • Control the use of physical resources in a health setting
  • Prepare and reproduce permanent radiographic images
  • Assure the effective functioning of radiographic image processing equipment
  • Perform first line calibration on clinical equipment to ensure it is fit for use
  • Conduct routine maintenance on clinical equipment
  • Coordinate the progress of individuals through care pathways
  • Identify information requirements in a health context
  • Analyse and present health related data and information
  • Produce coded clinical data for external audit purposes
  • Prepare, conduct and report the results of a clinical coding audit
  • Examine the feet of people with diabetes
  • Provide advice on foot care for individuals with diabetes
  • Support independence in the tasks of daily living
  • Provide support for mobility
  • Support individuals to access and use services and facilities
  • Support individuals to live at home
  • Provide support to maintain and develop skills for everyday life
  • Provide support to continue recommended therapies
  • Support individuals during a period of change
  • Support individuals who are bereaved
  • Support individuals at the end of life
  • Work in partnership with families to support individuals
  • Implement therapeutic group activities
  • Support individuals to develop and run support groups
  • Develop and sustain effective working relationships with staff in other agencies
  • Support the development of community partnerships
  • Monitor and solve customer service problems
  • Deliver training through demonstration and instruction
  • Contribute to the prevention of aggressive and abusive behaviour of people
  • Contribute to effective multidisciplinary team working
Levels
  • Level 3

Level 3 qualifications are regulated to the Regulated Qualifications Framework (RQF).

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

Grading

NCFE CACHE Level 3 Diploma in Early Years Education and Care (Early Years Educator)

Overall qualification grading is A* – D.

NCFE CACHE Level 3 Certificate in Childcare and Education and NCFE CACHE Level 3 Diploma in Childcare and Education (Early Years Educator)

Each unit throughout the qualification will be graded A* – D with the qualification overall grading being A* – D.

NCFE CACHE Level 3 Diploma in Clinical Healthcare Support

Overall qualification grading is pass/refer.

Assessment

NCFE CACHE Level 3 Diploma in Early Years Education and Care (Early Years Educator)

To gain this qualification the learner will need to achieve the following:

  • Pass in all units. All units in this qualification are mandatory. Units will be internally assessed. CACHE have created innovative non-mandatory tasks for all units, with the exception of Unit 3.15 (see Longitudinal Study below), which is mandatory.
  • Longitudinal Study (Unit 3.15). This will be a mandatory task set by CACHE. It will be internally assessed.
  • Assessment 1. Short Answer paper based on Themes 1: Health and well-being and Theme 2: Legislation, frameworks and professional practice.
  • Assessment 2. Reflective Study based on Theme 3: Play, development and learning for school readiness
  • Assessment 3. Extended Essay based on Theme 3: Play, development and learning for school readiness

Assessments 1, 2 and 3 will be externally set and externally marked.

Competence in a real work environment must be demonstrated.

NCFE CACHE Level 3 Certificate in Childcare and Education and NCFE CACHE Level 3 Diploma in Childcare and Education (Early Years Educator)

All units will be internally assessed using a range of methods. All units are graded A* – D. Learners taking the Certificate must also pass an Effective Practice Study Task (externally set, externally marked). Learners taking the Diploma must also pass an Effective Practice Study Task and one Extended Assessment Task (externally set, externally marked).

NCFE CACHE Level 3 Diploma in Clinical Healthcare Support

All units are internally assessed.

Assessment enables the learner’s workplace practice to provide evidence for individual units as well as the whole qualification. Methods of assessment could include:

  • inference of knowledge from direct observation of practice
  • witness evidence when directed by the sector skills assessment strategy
  • professional discussion
  • reflection on own practice in real work situations
  • written assignments
  • learner’s own plans and written records
  • task set by CACHE for knowledge learning outcomes only.

The qualification will be pass or refer and all the assessment criteria of the chosen units must be achieved in order to obtain a pass.

Contribution of assessment components to overall grade

NCFE CACHE Level 3 Diploma in Early Years Education and Care (Early Years Educator)

  • Short Answer Examination contributes 17.86% of the overall grade.
  • Reflective Study contributes 35.71% of the overall grade.
  • Extended Essay contributes 44.64% of the overall grade.
  • Longitudinal Study contributes 1.79% of the overall grade.

NCFE CACHE Level 3 Certificate in Childcare and Education

  • Eight mandatory internally assessed and graded units contribute 78% toward the overall grade.
  • The Effective Practice Study (graded external assessment) contributes 22% toward the overall grade.

NCFE CACHE Level 3 Diploma in Childcare and Education (Early Years Educator)

  • Fifteen mandatory, internally assessed and graded units contribute 79% toward the overall grade.
  • The Effective Practice Study Task and the Extended Assessment Task (graded external assessments) contribute 21% toward the overall grade.

NCFE CACHE Level 3 Diploma in Clinical Healthcare Support

  • All units internally assessed, learners must achieve a minimum of 65 credits in order to gain the qualification.
Resit arrangements

NCFE CACHE Level 3 Diploma in Early Years Education and Care (Early Years Educator)

NCFE CACHE Level 3 Certificate and Diploma in Childcare and Education (Early Years Educator)

Within each qualification there is a maximum of one further opportunity after the first submission for learners to submit the external assessment to achieve a pass grade, or to improve a grade.

NCFE CACHE Level 3 Diploma in Clinical Healthcare Support

There are no resit arrangements for this qualification as all units are internally assessed.

Guided/notional learning hours
NCFE CACHE Level 3 Diploma in Early Years Education and Care (Early Years Educator) (TQT = 861): 643 hours
NCFE CACHE Level 3 Certificate in Childcare and Education (TQT = 663): 539 hours
NCFE CACHE Level 3 Diploma in Childcare and Education (Early Years Educator) (TQT = 1,358): 1071 hours
NCFE CACHE Level 3 Diploma in Clinical Healthcare Support (TQT = 650): 373 hours
UCAS Tariff points

NCFE CACHE Level 3 Diploma in Early Years Education and Care (Early Years Educator)

Grade Points
A* 112
A 96
B 80
C 64
D 48

NCFE CACHE Level 3 Certificate in Childcare and Education (from September 2014)

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

NCFE CACHE Level 3 Diploma in Childcare and Education (Early Years Educator) (from September 2014)

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

NCFE CACHE Level 3 Diploma in Clinical Healthcare Support

Grade Points
P 32
Key issues for UK HE admissions

Tech level qualifications are advanced (Level 3) qualifications, mainly taken by 16-19 year old students who want to specialise in a specific industry, occupation, or occupational group. They equip students with specialist knowledge and skills.

There are a number of key considerations for HEPs when reviewing Tech level qualifications that do not meet the full DfE criteria from 2018:

  • Applicants holding interim-reformed Tech level qualifications may not have had experience of external or synoptic assessment.
  • The reformed and interim-reformed qualifications will be delivered by schools and colleges at the same time (see ‘Education context’). Therefore, HEPs may wish to consider their approach to setting and listing entry requirements for the specific qualifications.
  • The dual running of the qualification may result in applicants declaring the incorrect version within their application. UCAS will be working to support applicants and advisers in this area.
  • These qualifications are fundamentally different to the reformed versions and likely to result in learners developing different skills and aptitudes. HEPs should review their understanding of these qualifications to ensure it remains up to date. HEPs may also wish to consider their approach to setting and listing entry requirements for the specific qualifications, and any differences should be clearly articulated.

Tech Levels are designed to support progression to employment, an apprenticeship, or to higher education.

Progression to higher education is generally within the vocational area of the Tech Level, and may be to a foundation degree.

The exact curriculum studied may depend on the choice of optional units taken.

Timing of assessments/results for students

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

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

Results are confirmed, and certificates issued, upon completion.

Qualification date
Starting from 01 Sep 2014 (601/2147/6 - NCFE CACHE Level 3 Diploma in Early Years Education and Care (Early Years Educator))
Starting from 01 Sep 2014 (601/3999/7 - NCFE CACHE Level 3 Certificate in Childcare and Education)
Starting from 01 Sep 2014 (601/4000/8 - NCFE CACHE Level 3 Diploma in Childcare and Education (Early Years Educator))
01 Sep 2012—31 Dec 2017 (600/6215/0 - NCFE CACHE Level 3 Diploma in Clinical Healthcare Support)
Qualification dates notes

These qualifications are current.

Reporting and certification information

The results of these NCFE CACHE 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, BIS, Ofqual, Skills for Care and Development and Skills Active.

Progression information

Tech level qualifications differ in size; some may meet the entry requirements for higher education in their own right in a related area and some may need to be offered in conjunction with other Level 3 qualifications, for instance A levels. In addition, some higher education courses may require specific levels of achievement in particular units or ask for additional qualifications to satisfy subject knowledge requirements.

These qualifications offer progression to higher education, an apprenticeship, or employment.

Progression to HE will probably be in the vocational area of the qualification, and may be to a foundation degree or a Higher National qualification (HNC/HND).

Tech level qualifications are supported by at least five employers from the job sector the qualification is related to. All students have to take part in meaningful activity involving employers in the course of their study. Examples are work placements, taking part in projects, or some of the course being taught by someone who works in the industry.

Upon achievement of the NCFE CACHE Level 3 Diploma in Early Years Education and Care (Early Years Educator), learners will gain their licence to practise, and it is intended that they will be able to enter the workforce as Early Years Educators, or progress to higher education.

Learners can progress into various job roles in the statutory, voluntary or private sectors such as:

  • practitioner in day nurseries
  • practitioner in nursery schools
  • practitioner in reception classes in primary schools
  • pre-school worker
  • home-based child carer

The NCFE CACHE Level 3 Certificate Childcare and Education will allow learners to work in a supervised Early Years role however it is intended that upon completion of this qualification learners will progress onto the Level 3 Diploma in Childcare and Education (Early Years Educator). The Diploma enables learners to access higher education. Alternatively, learners can progress into various job roles in the statutory, voluntary, or private sectors such as:

  • Early Years Educator (Diploma only)
  • practitioner in day nurseries
  • practitioner in nursery schools
  • practitioner in reception classes in primary schools
  • pre-school worker
  • home based childcarer
  • nanny

Is it anticipated that upon achievement of the NCFE CACHE Level 3 Diploma in Clinical Healthcare Support learners will progress to specialist pathways reflecting the context in which they work. Roles could include:

  • phlebotomist
  • assistant dietician
  • medical laboratory assistant
  • newborn hearing screener
  • nursing healthcare assistant
  • podiatry assistant