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 apprenticeship.
These are work-related qualifications, designed to provide students with the more advanced IT skills required to function successfully in a work environment, and provide progression towards higher level qualifications. They are suitable for school and college students, and for adults who wish to acquire competency in IT skills and gain an accredited qualification.
The Diploma is included on the Entitlement Framework for offer in schools in Northern Ireland. The Diploma meets the Department of Education NI requirements for approval for use in schools in Northern Ireland, and appears on the NIEFQAN file. The NIEFQAN file shows details of GCSE equivalences for Level 1 and Level 2 qualifications, and A level equivalences for qualifications at Level 3. These qualifications will also be used by colleges of further and higher education in Northern Ireland, courses of which are funded by the Department of Economy. Both qualifications appear on the register of regulated qualifications for offer in England.
The qualifications are graded Pass or Fail.
The qualifications are internally assessed, internally verified, and subject to OCNNI's quality assurance processes. Units are achieved through internally set, internally verified evidence. External verification is carried out with centres to confirm the evaluation of risk and compliance, and to ensure the integrity of the qualifications.
There are a number of key considerations for HEPs when reviewing vocational qualifications:
- 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 apprenticeship.
- If they are presented for admission to HE, it is likely to be in conjunction with other qualifications.
Applicants holding these qualifications will mainly be school or further and higher education college leavers.
Further information can be found at: www.ocnni.org.uk/qualifications/ocn-ni-level-3-diploma-in-information-technology-applications/.