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.
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 Pearson BTEC Level 3 Diploma in Sporting Excellence is aimed at talented sports performers who are enrolled by a national governing body (NGB) on a Talent Pathway (a training and competition programme in order to compete at the highest level). This qualification is for performers in the sports where performers are not paid while they are on their Talent Pathways. The purpose of the qualification is to confirm competence in the elite sports arena, specifically the training environment of the student’s chosen sport, for both the practical and theoretical elements. It is underpinned by a range of competency-based evidence. This purpose can be met only through active involvement in elite sport. This qualification therefore meets the needs of those elite young athletes who have the potential to achieve excellence in their sport and who are looking to perform, as their main career goal, at the highest level.
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.
16-18 students will probably be taking this qualification in addition to their full-time study programme qualification(s), usually comprising A levels and/or BTEC Nationals.
- Pearson (Edexcel)
It is a unitised qualification consisting of 19 units, all of which are mandatory.
The units have a balance of 30% theoretical learning and 70% practical learning.
- Sports performance and excellence
- Sports development
- Food and nutrition
The units are:
- Develop own technical skills to achieve excellence in a sport
- Understanding technical skills to achieve excellence in sport
- Develop own tactical skills to achieve excellence in a sport
- Understanding tactical skills to achieve excellence in sport
- Develop own physical capability to achieve excellence in a sport
- Understanding physical capability to achieve excellence in sport
- Develop own nutritional programme to achieve excellence in a sport
- Understanding nutrition to achieve excellence in sport
- Develop own psychological skills to achieve excellence in a sport
- Understanding psychological skills in relation to excellence in sport
- Manage own lifestyle to achieve excellence in a sport
- Understanding lifestyle to achieve excellence in sport
- Develop own career in a sport
- Understanding how to develop own career in sport
- Communicate effectively with other people to achieve excellence in a sport
- Understanding communication and teamwork to achieve excellence in sport
- Work in a healthy and safe way at training and competition venues
- Understanding health and safety at training and competition venues
- Culture, values and behaviours in a sport pathway
- Level 3
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.
The qualification and the units are graded pass/fail.
To achieve a pass on the qualification, students must pass all of the 19 units.
There is 100% internal assessment. This is quality assured through external standards verification, comprising visits and remote sampling of the marking of assessments.
Where learning outcomes relate to knowledge and understanding, assignments, case studies or projects will be the main methods of assessment.
Where learning outcomes relate to performance, observation by the assessor will be the most valid approach to assessment.
The qualification is pass/fail and, to achieve a pass, students must pass all of the 19 units.
Students may resubmit assignments to meet the assessment criteria.
780 guided learning hours, including 370 hours of placement within a real work environment.
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.
- This qualification is 780 GLH. If it is presented for admission to HE it is likely to be in conjunction with other qualifications.
This qualification is a direct replacement for the Pearson Edexcel Level 3 Certificate in Achieving Excellence in Sport and the Pearson BTEC Level 3 Certificate in Understanding Sports Performance.
Students are assessed throughout their programme of learning and may submit units for qualification award at any point.
Results are provided on a rolling basis. Students submitting units for calculation of their qualification grade by the deadline for the summer will receive results in July.
The qualification was introduced for first teaching in September 2018. The first certifications are likely to be in summer 2019.
The results of the Pearson BTEC Level 3 Diploma in Sporting Excellence qualification are reported to UCAS through Awarding Body Linkage (ABL).
These are relatively small entry qualifications and so Pearson does not publish certification details annually. Results data is shared with Ofqual and other regulators if they request it.
The Pearson BTEC Level 3 Diploma in Sporting Excellence is aimed at talented sports performers who are enrolled by a national governing body (NGB) on a Talent Pathway (a training and competition programme in order to compete at the highest level). This qualification is for performers in the sports where performers are not paid while they are on their Talent Pathways. This qualification meets the needs of those elite young athletes who have the potential to achieve excellence in their sport and who are looking to perform, as their main career goal, at the highest level. If taken alongside other appropriate level 3 qualifications, it will support progression to Higher Education.
The following is a link to the specification for the Pearson BTEC Level 3 Diploma in Sporting Excellence.