Pearson BTEC Level 3 Diplomas Applied Generals (interim-reformed)

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The QIP covers all Pearson BTEC Level 3 Diplomas Applied General (interim-reformed) qualifications that do not meet the full requirements set by the Department for Education (DfE) and do not contribute towards performance measures for 2018.
Countries
  • England
  • Wales
  • Northern Ireland
Purpose

The Department for Education (DfE) describe Applied General qualifications as follows:

Applied General qualifications are rigorous advanced (level 3) qualifications that allow 16 to 19 year old students to develop transferable knowledge and skills. They are for students who want to continue their education through applied learning. Applied general qualifications allow entry to a range of higher education courses, either by meeting the entry requirements in their own right or being accepted alongside and adding value to other qualifications at level 3 such as A levels. Higher education institutions, such as universities, have pledged support for all approved applied general qualifications listed.

Education context

Some vocational qualifications offered at Level 3 have been reformed as a result of changes to school performance tables. Vocational qualifications must meet the criteria set by the Department for Education (DfE) in order to count towards school performance tables. These reforms mean that 91% of the Level 3 qualifications that previously counted towards school performance tables were removed from performance tables in 2016.

For accountability purposes, vocational qualifications are now be classified as:

  • Applied General qualifications: The purpose of these qualifications is to provide a broader vocational education. They ‘are designed for students wanting to continue their education through applied learning.’ These qualifications must meet a number of criteria, including endorsement by at least three universities and colleges.
  • Tech Level qualifications: The purpose of these qualifications is to lead to a ‘recognised occupation’. Examples provided by the DfE include engineering, accounting, construction, manufacturing, agriculture and IT. These qualifications must meet a number of criteria, including the endorsement of five employers registered at Companies House.

The reform to vocational qualifications is being conducted in two stages: an interim stage and full stage. Each of these stages introduced new criteria for vocational qualifications to meet in order to count towards school performance tables.

The first teaching of the qualifications reformed on an interim basis was from 2014 and these counted towards school performance tables in 2016. Only qualifications that meet the full criteria count towards performance tables from 2018. The qualifications listed in this QIP are classified as Applied General qualifications however do not meet the full criteria to count towards performance tables from 2018 in respect of content, assessment and grading. Schools and colleges may offer qualifications that are not included in the performance tables, if the qualifications are approved for teaching by the Secretary of State under Section 96.

Read Section 96

The 2016/17 Pearson BTEC Level 3 Diplomas Applied General meet the interim requirements set by the DfE and therefore may be offered in schools and colleges alongside the 2018 fully-reformed versions:

 

 

Interim Requirement (for qualifications counting in 2016 performance tables)

Full Requirement (for qualifications counting in 2018 performance tables)

A. Declared Purpose

X

X

B. Size

X

X

C. Recognition

X

X

D. Synoptic Assessment

 

X

E. External Assessment

 

X

F. Grading

 

X

G. Employer involvement (Technical Level Qualifications only)

 

X

H. Progression

 

X

I. Proven Track Record

 

X

 

As noted in the table above, the 2016 and 2018 versions of Applied General qualifications are fundamentally different.

For more information on the specific changes to 2018 Applied Generals, please refer to a reformed QIP. Please also see ‘Key issues for UK HE admissions’ for some additional considerations when assessing these qualifications.

Further information about Applied General qualifications, and the range of qualifications that meet the 2018 requirements, can be found on the DfE website.

Read more information on the DfE website


Regulation of Applied General and Tech Level qualifications

The regulation of Applied General and Tech Level qualifications delivered in England is the responsibility of Ofqual.

The regulatory approach undertaken for Applied General and Tech Level qualifications differs to A levels. This is because there are no specific qualification-level criteria for Applied Generals, as there are for GCSEs, AS and A levels currently.  Applied Generals is a category introduced by the Department for Education for accountability purposes rather than a specific type of regulated qualification.  To be included in the Applied General category, qualifications have to demonstrate particular features, as outlined in the table above.

Applied Generals must comply with Ofqual’s general rules, as is the case with all regulated qualifications.

Awarding organisation
  • Pearson (Edexcel)
Qualification codes
500/7313/8 (Pearson BTEC Level 3 Diploma in Retail Knowledge (QCF))
600/4083/X (Pearson BTEC Level 3 Diploma in Sports Development (QCF))
Structure

These are unitised qualifications. They have a mix of mandatory and optional units. The balance of the two varies between subjects.

Pearson BTEC Level 3 Diploma in Retail Knowledge (QCF)

Mandatory units:

  • Understanding Customer Service in the Retail Sector (26)
  • Understanding the Management of Risks to Health and Safety on the Premises of a Retail Business (27)
  • Understanding Security and Loss Prevention in a Retail Business (28)
  • Understanding how the Smooth Operation of a Payment Point is Maintained (29)
  • Understanding the Retail Selling Process (30)
  • Understanding the Management of Stock in a Retail Business (31)
  • Understanding the Development of Personal and Team Effectiveness in a Retail Business (32)
  • Understanding how the Effectiveness of Store Operations can be Improved (33)

Optional units:

  • Understanding how Retailers Operate Home Delivery Services for Newspapers and Magazines (23)
  • Understanding the Control of Pests and Diseases which may Affect Plants in a Retail Outlet (34)
  • Understanding the Nature, Uses and Importance of Product Information in a Retail Outlet Selling Gardening Products (35)
  • Understanding the Management of Delivery of Plants Into a Retail Business (36)
  • Understanding how the Growth and Development of Plants is Promoted and Monitored in a Retail Outlet (37)

Employers have contributed to the development of the qualifications and they have been mapped to National Occupational Standards.

These qualifications cover principles and so have more emphasis on knowledge.

Subject areas
  • Retail
  • Sports development

The specific qualifications in this group are:

500/7313/8 Pearson BTEC Level 3 Diploma in Retail Knowledge (QCF)

600/4083/X Pearson BTEC Level 3 Diploma in Sports Development (QCF)

Levels
  • Level 3

Level 3 qualifications are regulated to the Regulated Qualifications Framework (RQF).

Level 3 is broadly aligned to the Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework (SCQF) Level 6 / 7.

Grading

The units are pass only. All units must be passed to achieve a pass in this qualification.

Assessment

Pearson BTEC Level 3 Diploma in Retail Knowledge (QCF)

Assessment in this qualification is partly through externally set, on-screen multiple choice tests and partly through internally assessed assignments and tasks. Units 26-33 are externally assessed. Units 10-25 and 34-43 are internally assessed.

Pearson BTEC Level 3 Diploma in Sports Development (QCF)

All units in this qualification are internally assessed through assignments and tasks.

Internally-assessed units are quality assured through external verification.

Contribution of assessment components to overall grade

Learners must pass all of the mandatory units and the required number of optional units to achieve a pass on the qualification.

Resit arrangements

Unlimited resits are allowed for the externally set online multiple choice tests.

Students may resubmit assignments to meet the assessment criteria.

Guided/notional learning hours
Pearson BTEC Level 3 Diploma in Retail Knowledge (QCF): 249 hours
Pearson BTEC Level 3 Diploma in Sports Development (QCF): 300 hours
UCAS Tariff points

Pearson BTEC Level 3 Diploma in Retail Knowledge (QCF)

Grade Points
P 24

Pearson BTEC Level 3 Diploma in Sports Development (QCF)

Grade Points
P 24
Key issues for UK HE admissions

Applied General qualifications are advanced (Level 3) qualifications, mainly taken by 16-19 year old students who want to develop transferable knowledge and skills.

Applicants holding interim-reformed Applied General qualifications may not have had experience of external or synoptic assessment.

The popularity of Applied Generals has risen over recent years. The entry rate for the combined BTEC only and A level and BTEC groups was 6.0 per cent in 2016, up from 5.8 per cent in 2015.

There are a number of key considerations for HEPs when reviewing Applied General qualifications that do not meet the full DfE criteria from 2018:

  • The fully-reformed and interim-reformed qualifications will be delivered by schools and colleges at the same time (see ‘Education context’). Therefore, HEPs may wish to consider their approach to setting and listing entry requirements for the specific qualifications.
  • The dual running of the qualification may result in applicants declaring the incorrect version within their application. UCAS will be working to support applicants and advisers in this area.
  • These qualifications are fundamentally different to the fully-reformed versions and likely to result in learners developing different skills and aptitudes. HEPs should review their understanding of these qualifications to ensure it remains up to date. HEPs may also wish to consider their approach to setting and listing entry requirements for the specific qualifications, and any differences should be clearly articulated.
Timing of assessments/results for learners

Assessments are taken when ready. Certification is given when the course is completed, normally be in the summer.

Qualification date
Starting from 01 Sep 2009 (Pearson BTEC Level 3 Diploma in Retail Knowledge (QCF))
Starting from 01 Jan 2012 (Pearson BTEC Level 3 Diploma in Sports Development (QCF))
Qualification dates notes

These are current qualifications.

Reporting and certification information

The results of Pearson BTEC Level 3 Diploma in Retail Knowledge (QCF) and Pearson BTEC Level 3 Diploma in Sports Development (QCF) are not reported to UCAS through Awarding Body Linkage (ABL). This does not reflect the validity of the qualification. HE providers will need to ask applicants to provide their own evidence of achievement.

Read the full list of results available through ABL

Progression information

Applied General qualifications differ in size; some may meet the entry requirements for higher education in their own right in a related area and some may need to be offered in conjunction with other Level 3 qualifications, for instance A levels. In addition, some higher education courses may require specific levels of achievement in particular units or ask for additional qualifications to satisfy subject knowledge requirements.