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 qualification is suitable for students aged 16 and above and designed to prepare students for employment in the IT and telecoms sector or to progress to higher level learning.
It can be taken as a substantial component of the study programme and is also designed for students interested in an apprenticeship in roles such as software developer, desktop support engineer, network planner, database administrator, network engineer or software tester.
The qualification allows students to specialise in their area of interest by choosing units from one of four pathways (General, business, networking and systems support or software development).
Internally assessed and externally moderated portfolio of evidence.
Students are set assignments. These may be in the form of briefs, scenarios, problem solving exercises and research investigations. They are contextualised using realistic scenarios. The assessment may require students to write a report, write a business proposal, deliver a presentation, or make conclusions based on extensive research into a practical investigation.
All assessment is criterion-referenced, based on the achievement of specified learning outcomes. Each unit within a qualification has specified assessment guidance.
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 was developed by e-skills, the Sector Skills Council for the IT and Telecoms sector, in partnership with awarding organisations and employers.
Level 3 criteria require students 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.
Students may combine the NCFE Level 3 Extended Diploma in IT with other qualifications e.g. A levels or other vocational qualifications.
This qualification is no longer offered and the specification has been removed from the NCFE website. For further information please contact NCFE.