- Northern Ireland
These qualifications are listed on the DfE 16-19 Performance Tables in the Applied General category.
Applied General qualifications are designed to develop transferable knowledge and skills for 16-19 learners who want to continue their education through applied learning.
Applied General qualifications are recognised by at least three Higher Education Providers as fulfilling entry requirements to a range of HE courses either on their own right or alongside other Level 3 qualifications.
Following the Wolf review of vocational qualifications in England in 2011, the Department for Education announced a number of characteristics that Level 3 Applied General qualifications have to demonstrate to feature in performance tables from 2016 onwards.
As a result, over 90% of the Level 3 qualifications previously recognised in performance tables are not now recognised.
The intention was to make reformed qualifications more rigorous and robust. As a result, they have to meet specific requirements in respect of purpose, size, recognition, content, assessment and grading.
Between 2016 and 2018 awarding bodies have been permitted to phase in the reforms.
These qualifications do not meet the full requirements for reformed qualifications in respect of content, assessment and grading.
- Pearson Education Ltd
These are unitised qualifications.
They have a mix of mandatory and optional units. The balance of the two varies between subjects.
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.
- 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)
- Level 3
Level 3 qualifications originally regulated to the Qualifications and Credit Framework (QCF).
A levels are Level 3 qualifications regulated to the Regulated Qualifications Framework (RQF).
Level 3 is the same level as the Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework (SCQF) Level 6.
The RQF is the new system for cataloguing all qualifications regulated by Ofqual, indexing them by level and size.
The QCF was a credit-based transfer system which recognised qualifications and units by awarding credits. It has now been withdrawn for all new qualifications.
The units are pass only.
All units must be passed to achieve a pass on the qualification.
Assessment in the Pearson BTEC Level 3 Diploma in Retail Knowledge (QCF) is partly through externally set onscreen multiple choice tests and partly through internally assessed assignments and tasks.
All units in the Pearson BTEC Level 3 Diploma in Sports Development (QCF) are internally assessed through assignments and tasks.
Internally assessed units are quality assured through external verification.
Learners must pass all of the mandatory units and the required number of optional units to achieve a pass on the qualification.
Unlimited resits are allowed for the externally set online multiple choice tests.
Students may resubmit assignments to meet the assessment criteria.
Pearson BTEC Level 3 Diploma in Retail Knowledge (QCF)
Pearson BTEC Level 3 Diploma in Sports Development (QCF)
Applied general qualifications are rigorous advanced (level 3) qualifications, mainly taken by 16-19 year old learners who want to develop transferable knowledge and skills.
They are designed to support progression to a range of higher education courses.
Applied General qualifications differ in size; some will meet the entry requirements for higher education in their own right; some will be offered in conjunction with other Level 3 qualifications, for instance A levels.
The exact curriculum studied may depend on the choice of optional units taken.
All applied general qualifications have the endorsement of at least three higher education providers.
Applicants holding unreformed applied general qualifications may not have had experience of external or synoptic assessment.
Assessments are taken when ready. Certification is given when the course is completed. This will normally be in the summer.
These are current qualifications.
The results of many UK qualifications are reported to UCAS through Awarding Body Linkage (ABL)
- A level and results from larger awarding bodies are reported automatically
- IB results are only reported with the candidate’s permission
- Some results are not reported through ABL; this does not reflect the validity of the qualification.
The results available through ABL can be found at: https://www.ucas.com/providers/undergraduate/undergraduate-application-process/awarding-body-linkage-abl#documents.
Where results are not available through ABL, HEPs will need to ask applicants to provide their own evidence of achievement.
The results of these qualifications are available through ABL.
These qualifications offer progression to a range of higher education courses.
Larger qualifications, like extended diplomas, will allow learners to progress directly to higher education.
Some qualifications will need to be offered in conjunction with other qualifications like A levels.
Further information on Pearson BTEC Level 3 Diploma in Retail Knowledge (QCF) is available at the following weblink:
Further information on Pearson BTEC Level 3 Diploma in Sports Development (QCF) is available at the following weblink: