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 provide students with a structured and challenging individualised learning programme that supports their development and progression in line with their future career plans.
They are the substantial qualification component of the study programme and enable students to develop the skills, knowledge and understanding required to work in the travel and tourism industry or to undertake further study and develop students’ knowledge and understanding across a range of travel and tourism practices.
They enable the students to further develop essential knowledge about a variety of sub-sectors, such as tour guiding, travel agency operations, hospitality and undertaking research into a variety of tourist destinations.
Students will develop generic, transferable skills valued by employers, such as effective teamwork, customer service, planning and health and safety principles. They will also research job opportunities and assess their strengths in areas such as positive attitude, punctuality and self-motivation.
In addition, the requirement to complete optional units means that students are able to develop more specialist knowledge about different tourist destinations in the UK.
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.
The qualifications are graded Pass, Merit, Distinction and Distinction*.
The unit grades are aggregated to form the final overall qualification grade. A Distinction* grade is awarded to students who have consistently achieved a Distinction grade in every unit.
Internally assessed and externally quality assured portfolio of evidence.
Students are set assignments. These may be in the form of briefs, scenarios, problem solving exercises and/or 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.
This suite of qualifications has been developed in partnership with employers, universities and other subject experts to ensure that the content is current and relevant.
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 Level 3 Diploma in Travel and Tourism with other qualifications e.g. A levels or other vocational qualifications.
Further information can be found in the qualification specifications on the NCFE website: www.qualhub.co.uk/