This qualification is not listed on the DfE 16 – 19 performance tables because it is not designed to meet the requirements of the Key Stage 5 performance tables.
- Northern Ireland
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.
This qualification complements other Level 3 programmes, particularly those with a sports focus.
This qualification reflects the skills, knowledge, and performance criteria required in elite level sport, and is designed to measure the athlete’s abilities in planning, applying, and evaluating their development in the appropriate technical, tactical, physical, and psychological aspects of their sport. The qualification develops a range of techniques, personal skills, and attributes essential for successful performance in working life, and also addresses wider issues such as lifestyle, career development, communication, and health and safety.
This qualification is designed for post-16 students and falls 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 students 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 qualification has not been subject to the same reforms as Applied General and Tech Level qualifications (which are specifically designed for 16-19 year old students), 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.
This qualification is often taken in conjunction with the Pearson Edexcel Level 3 Certificate in Achieving Excellence in Sports Performance. The two qualifications complement one another, one providing the underpinning knowledge and understanding, and the other assessing the application of knowledge, understanding, and skills. It forms part of the Apprenticeship in Achieving Sport Excellence.
It may also be taken alongside other Level 3 programmes, such as A levels or BTEC Nationals.
- Pearson (Edexcel)
The qualification is unitised comprising nine mandatory units.
- Understanding how to develop own career in sport
- Understanding health and safety at training and competition venues
- Understanding technical skills to achieve excellence in sport
- Understanding tactical skills to achieve excellence in sport
- Understanding physical capability to achieve excellence in sport
- Understanding nutrition to achieve excellence in sport
- Understanding psychological skills and attitudes in relation to excellence in sport
- Understanding lifestyle to achieve excellence in sport
- Understanding communication and teamwork to achieve excellence in sport
- Level 3
This Level 3 qualification was originally regulated to the Qualifications and Credit Framework (QCF) and is now regulated to the Regulated Qualifications Framework (RQF). 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.
All units are internally assessed through assignments. The assessments are quality assured through external verification.
All units must be passed to achieve a Pass on the qualification.
Students may resubmit assignments to meet the assessment criteria.
Pearson BTEC Certificate in Understanding Sports Performance
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 qualification should be presented for HE admission in conjunction with other qualifications.
The qualification will not have given students experience of external or synoptic assessment.
Certification is on completion of the qualification. This is usually in the summer.
This is a current qualification.
The results of this qualification are reported to UCAS through Awarding Body Linkage (ABL).
There were 1,243 certifications in academic year 2015/ 2016.
Students often take this qualification in conjunction with the Pearson Edexcel Level 3 Certificate in Achieving Excellence in Sports Performance. The two qualifications complement one another, one providing the underpinning knowledge and understanding, and the other assessing the application of knowledge, understanding, and skills. It forms part of the Apprenticeship in Achieving Sport Excellence.
Students may also take this qualification alongside other Level 3 programmes, such as A levels or BTEC Nationals. It will support progression to higher level programmes, particularly those with a sports focus.