Pearson BTEC Level 3 Technical Levels – Tech levels (reformed)

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The QIP covers all Pearson BTEC Level 3 Tech level qualifications in hospitality that meet the full requirements set by the Department for Education (DfE), and contribute towards performance measures from 2018.

This is a family of four Level 3 qualifications. The qualifications are:

  • Pearson BTEC Level 3 Technical Level in Food and Beverage Service Supervision
  • Pearson BTEC Level 3 Technical Level in Professional Cookery for Professional Chefs (Chef de Partie)
  • Pearson BTEC Level 3 Technical Level in Professional Cookery for Professional Chefs (Kitchen and Larder)
  • Pearson BTEC Level 3 Technical Level in Professional Cookery for Professional Chefs (Patisserie and Confectionery)
Country
  • England
Purpose

The Department for Education (DfE) describes Tech level qualifications as follows:

Tech levels are rigorous advanced (Level 3) technical qualifications on a par with A levels and recognised by employers. They are for students aged 16 plus who want to specialise in a specific industry or prepare for a particular job. They cover jobs and careers where employers recruit people at this level, or where a Level 3 qualification is needed before students can progress to a related higher education course. Tech levels give students an opportunity to develop specialist knowledge and skills to help them get an apprenticeship or job, for example in engineering, IT, accounting, or professional cookery, or progress to a higher level qualification. In some cases, a Tech level qualification is a ‘licence to practise’, or can exempt someone holding the qualification from a professional exam. Tech levels are recognised by trade or professional bodies or at least five employers. Alternatively, the qualification may be accepted by a national licensed professional registration scheme.

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) 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 classified as:

  • 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.
  • 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.

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 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. 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 characteristics that must be met by Tech level qualifications as detailed in the DfE criteria are as follows:

 

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 (Tech level qualifications only)

 

X

H. Progression

 

X

I. Proven track record

 

X

 

These changes include, but are not limited to:

  • Size: Tech level qualifications must require at least 300 guided learning hours (GLH). Applied General qualifications must require at least 150 GLH.
  • Appropriate content: A qualification specification must state the specific content students must pass to achieve the qualification. Mandatory content and the associated contribution to the overall grade must make up at least:
    • 40% of a Tech level
    • 60% of an Applied General
  • Appropriate assessment: Tech levels must have at least 30% external assessment. Applied General must have 40% external assessment. Students will also be given one opportunity to resit.
  • Synoptic assessment.
  • Grading: All vocational qualifications must be graded using three grading points or more, such as Distinction/Merit/Pass.
  • Employer involvement: Tech levels must be recognised and endorsed by a trade/professional body, or at least five employers registered with Companies House.

Tech levels and Applied Generals, while both being vocational qualifications, differ in size and purpose. Pearson Tech levels range from 300 - 1,080 GLH, are aimed at students with an interest in a particular industry or occupation, and help provide entry into employment, onto an apprenticeship, or into higher education in a related vocational area. Pearson Applied Generals are smaller (180 - 1,080 GLH), are for students who want to continue their education through applied learning, include a higher proportion of external assessment and may help students enter a range of higher education courses.

HEPs should take care when reviewing vocational qualifications for entry. See ‘Key issues for UK HE admissions’.

Further information about Tech level qualifications, and the range of qualifications that meet these requirements, can be found on the DfE website.

Regulation of Tech level and Applied General qualifications

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

The regulatory approach undertaken for Tech level and Applied General qualifications differs to A levels. This is because there are no specific qualification-level criteria for Tech levels, as there are for GCSEs, and AS and A levels currently. Tech level 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 Tech level category, qualifications have to demonstrate particular features outlined in the table above.

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

These qualifications serve the Hospitality sector. They will usually be delivered in an FE college.

Awarding organisation
  • Pearson (Edexcel)
Qualification codes
603/1206/3 (Pearson BTEC Level 3 Technical Level in Food and Beverage Service Supervision)
603/1208/7 (Pearson BTEC Level 3 Technical Level in Professional Cookery for Professional Chefs (Chef de Partie))
603/1207/5 (Pearson BTEC Level 3 Technical Level in Professional Cookery for Professional Chefs (Kitchen and Larder))
603/1209/9 (Pearson BTEC Level 3 Technical Level in Professional Cookery for Professional Chefs (Patisserie and Confectionery))
Structure

All four qualifications are unitised.

All units are mandatory in the four qualifications.

There are:

  • 13 units in Pearson BTEC Level 3 Technical Level in Professional Cookery for Professional Chefs (Chef de Partie)
  • 11 units in Pearson BTEC Level 3 Technical Level in Professional Cookery for Professional Chefs (Patisserie and Confectionery)
  • nine units in Pearson BTEC Level 3 Technical Level in Professional Cookery for Professional Chefs (Kitchen and Larder)
  • seven units in Pearson BTEC Level 3 Technical Level in Food and Beverage Service Supervision

The balance between theoretical and practical learning in the three qualifications is as follows:

  • Chef de Partie: 41% theoretical and 59% practical
  • Patisserie and Confectionery: 48% theoretical and 52% practical
  • Kitchen and Larder: 56% theoretical and 44% practical
  • Food and Beverage Service Supervision: 50% theoretical and 50% practical
Subject areas
  • Hospitality: professional cookery
  • Food and beverage service

All four qualifications contain the following units:

  • Exploring Gastronomy
  • Supervision of Safety in Hospitality
  • Leadership and Supervision in Hospitality

1. Professional cookery qualifications:

All three qualifications have the following unit:

  • Sustainability in a Professional Kitchen

Chef de Partie covers advanced skills and techniques in:

  • Meat Dishes
  • Vegetable and Vegetarian Dishes
  • Poultry and Game Dishes
  • Fish and Shellfish Dishes
  • Producing Paste Products
  • Producing Dough and Batter Products
  • Biscuits, Cakes, and Sponges
  • Hot, Cold and Frozen Desserts

    Patisserie and Confectionery covers advanced skills and techniques in:

    • Producing Paste Products
    • Producing Dough and Batter Products
    • Biscuits, Cakes and Sponges
    • Hot, Cold, and Frozen Desserts
    • Producing Petit Fours
    • Producing Decorative Items and Display Pieces

    Kitchen and Larder covers advanced skills and techniques in:

    • Meat Dishes
    • Vegetable and Vegetarian Dishes
    • Poultry and Game Dishes
    • Fish and Shellfish Dishes

    Each specialist qualification then has its own synoptic unit.

    2. Food and beverage service supervision:

    Contains the following additional units:

    • Principles of Food and Beverage Service Supervision
    • Food and Beverage Business Operations
    • Supervising Restaurant Reception
    • Planning and Delivering Hospitality Events
    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

    All units are assessed using a grading scale of Distinction, Merit, Pass.

    Students must pass all units to achieve the qualification. Unit grades receive points proportionate to the GLH for the unit. The qualification grade is determined by aggregating the points for all units.

    The qualification grading scale is as follows:

    Grade

    DD

    MD

    MM

    PM

    PP

    The first awards for this qualification will be in 2018.

    Assessment

    As noted in 'Education context', to be classified as a Tech level qualification, the qualification in question must meet certain criteria. This includes:

    • a minimum of 30% external assessment
    • a minimum of 40% mandatory core content
    • an element of synoptic assessment
    • there is a single resit opportunity

    The above are the minimum requirements set out by the Department for Education.

    In these qualifications, there is 100% mandatory content, and the percentages of external/internal/synoptic assessment are as follows:

    Chef de Partie:

    • 35% external assessment
    • 65% internal assessment
    • 12% synoptic assessment (through an internally assessed unit specific to the specialism)

    Patisserie and confectionery:

    • 41% external assessment
    • 59% internal assessment
    • 10% synoptic assessment (through an internally assessed unit specific to the specialism)

    Kitchen and Larder:

    • 48% external assessment
    • 52% internal assessment
    • 12% synoptic assessment (through an internally assessed unit specific to the specialism)

    Food and Beverage Service Supervision:

    • 50% external assessment
    • 50% internal assessment
    • 17% synoptic assessment (through an internally assessed unit specific to the specialism)

    External assessment is through 75-minute, 60-mark onscreen tests with a range of different question types. These are on demand from January 2018.

    Internal assessment is through assignments set and marked by the provider. Colleges may set their own assignments but these are approved by the standards verifier. Pearson provides suggestions in each unit for setting assignments. The assessments are subject to external standards verification by Pearson.

    Contribution of assessment components to overall grade

    The contributions of the assessment components to the overall grade are proportionate to their size (i.e. their number of guided learning hours).

    Resit arrangements

    Reformed Tech level qualifications are only allowed one resit opportunity per externally assessed unit. The resit must be a new test, task, or assignment, different to the original assessment.

    One resubmission of an internally set assignment is allowed within 15 working days of receiving an initial grade.

    Guided/notional learning hours
    Pearson BTEC Level 3 Technical Level in Food and Beverage Service Supervision: 360 hours
    Pearson BTEC Level 3 Technical Level in Professional Cookery for Professional Chefs (Chef de Partie): 510 hours
    Pearson BTEC Level 3 Technical Level in Professional Cookery for Professional Chefs (Kitchen and Larder): 375 hours
    Pearson BTEC Level 3 Technical Level in Professional Cookery for Professional Chefs (Patisserie and Confectionery): 435 hours
    Guided/notional learning hours notes

    Tech levels require a minimum size of 300 GLH to provide students with sufficient time for meaningful skills development that will equip them to follow a particular trade or profession. For comparison, the size of one A level is 360 GLH.

    UCAS Tariff points

    Pearson BTEC Level 3 Technical Level in Food and Beverage Service Supervision

    Grade Points
    DD 48
    DM 40
    MM 32
    MP 24
    PP 16

    Pearson BTEC Level 3 Technical Level in Professional Cookery for Professional Chefs (Chef de Partie)

    Grade Points
    DD 72
    DM 60
    MM 48
    MP 36
    PP 24

    Pearson BTEC Level 3 Technical Level in Professional Cookery for Professional Chefs (Kitchen and Larder)

    Grade Points
    DD 48
    DM 40
    MM 32
    MP 24
    PP 16

    Pearson BTEC Level 3 Technical Level in Professional Cookery for Professional Chefs (Patisserie and Confectionery)

    Grade Points
    DD 48
    DM 40
    MM 32
    MP 24
    PP 16

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    Key issues for UK HE admissions

    Tech level qualifications are advanced (Level 3) qualifications, mainly taken by 16-19 year old students who want to specialise in a specific industry, occupation, or occupational group. They equip students with specialist knowledge and skills.

    There are a number of key considerations for HEPs when reviewing Tech level qualifications that meet the full DfE criteria from 2018:

    • These qualifications are fundamentally different to their predecessors and Applied General qualifications, and are likely to result in students developing different skills and aptitudes. HEPs should review their understanding of these qualifications to ensure it remains uptodate.
    • The reformed qualifications include both external and synoptic assessment, as well as changes to resit processes. These changes are likely to result in fewer students passing the qualification. Equally, it is likely that grade distributions will change. In light of this, HEPs may wish to review their entry requirements, offer-making, and decision-making strategies in relation to these qualifications.
    • The 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 on their application. UCAS will be working to support applicants and advisers in this area.
    • A larger mandatory core means HEPs that require certain levels of achievement in particular units, or ask for specific units to satisfy subject knowledge requirements, should familiarise themselves with the new content specifications to ensure these requirements are still valid. It should be noted that not all students will be able choose their optional units, and these may be prescribed by the school or college, therefore HEPs should be cautious if requiring achievement in optional modules as part of their entry requirements, offer-making, and decision-making strategies.

    Applicants holding reformed Tech level qualifications will have had experience of external and synoptic assessment.

    Tech level qualifications are supported by at least five employers from the job sector the qualification is related to. All students have to take part in meaningful activity involving employers in the course of their study. Examples are work placements, taking part in projects, or some of the course being taught by someone who works in the industry.


    Students wishing to apply to HE would need to take this qualification alongside other Level 3 qualifications, which would normally be other vocational qualifications in hospitality but which could be A levels. It could also be taken alongside an advanced apprenticeship in hospitality, supervision and leadership.

    This qualification would benefit progression to HE programmes in hospitality or hospitality management. It will also develop leadership and employability skills, and so aid progression to employment.

    The first applicants with this qualification could be applying for HE courses starting in autumn 2018.

    Timing of assessments/results for learners

    The external assessments are through onscreen tests, set and marked by Pearson, and will be available on demand from January 2018.

    The internal assessments are carried out by the qualification provider on completion of each unit.

    A student may certificate the qualification once all of the required units have been completed and passed. The first certifications will be in summer 2018. Provided that quality assurance requirements are all met, certificates are issued to centres on a weekly basis.

    Qualification date
    Starting from 01 Sep 2017 (Pearson BTEC Level 3 Technical Level in Food and Beverage Service Supervision)
    Starting from 01 Sep 2017 (Pearson BTEC Level 3 Technical Level in Professional Cookery for Professional Chefs (Chef de Partie))
    Starting from 01 Sep 2017 (Pearson BTEC Level 3 Technical Level in Professional Cookery for Professional Chefs (Kitchen and Larder))
    Starting from 01 Sep 2017 (Pearson BTEC Level 3 Technical Level in Professional Cookery for Professional Chefs (Patisserie and Confectionery))
    Qualification dates notes

    These are all current qualifications. There is as yet no end date, but most qualifications are reviewed every five to six years.

    The first certifications of all the qualifications are in summer 2018.

    Reporting and certification information

    The results of the Pearson BTEC Level 3 Technical Level in Professional Cookery for Professional Chefs qualifications are reported to UCAS through Awarding Body Linkage (ABL).

    View the results available through ABL.

    Progression information

    Tech level 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.

    Progression to HE will probably be in the vocational area of the qualification, and may be to a foundation degree or a Higher National qualification (HNC/HND).

    All students have to take part in meaningful activity involving employers in the course of their study. Examples are work placements, taking part in projects, or some of the course being taught by someone who works in the industry.


    Pearson worked with the Professional Association of Catering Education (PACE) and with other employers in developing this qualification. Pearson also received letters of support from employers for this qualification.

    Taken as part of an appropriate Level 3 programme, this could lead to a bachelor's degree programme or a higher apprenticeship in hospitality management.