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 learners 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 learners.
The Pearson Edexcel Level 3 Diploma in Building Services Engineering for Technicians (QCF) prepares learners for:
- Licentiate membership of the Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers (LCIBSE)
- professional registration as an Engineering Technician with the Engineering Council
The qualification offers a programme of work-based study for building services engineering apprentices. Building services involve the implementation and maintenance of, for example, heating, plumbing, security, lighting, air conditioning etc.
The qualification provides the competencies required for the design pathway within the Advanced Apprenticeship in Building Services Engineering Technology and Project Management Framework for Technicians.
This qualification is designed for post-16 learners 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 learners 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 learners). 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.
- Pearson (Edexcel)
There are nine units, all of which are mandatory.
- Techniques and Procedures for Building Services Engineering Tasks
- Developing Building Services Engineering Solutions
- Management and Leadership in Building Services Engineering
- Working Independently in Building Services Engineering
- Commercial Activities in Building Services Engineering
- Health, Safety and Welfare for Building Services Engineers
- Sustainable Development in Building Services Engineering
- Interpersonal Skills and Communication in Building Services Engineering
- Professional Values for Building Services Engineers
- Level 3
This is a Level 3 qualification regulated to the Qualifications and Credit Framework (QCF).¹
Level 3 is broadly aligned to the Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework (SCQF) Level 6 / 7.
¹ 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 and replaced by the RQF and the Credit and Qualifications Framework for Wales.
The assessment requirements were developed by the Chartered Institution of Building Service Engineers (CIBSE) in partnership with employers, training providers, the sector skills council, the awarding organisation and the regulatory authorities.
The overall grade for the qualification is a Pass. The learner must achieve all the required units within the specified qualification structure.
To pass a unit the learner must:
- achieve all the specified learning outcomes
- satisfy all the assessment criteria by providing sufficient and valid evidence for each criterion
- show that the evidence is their own
The qualifications are designed to be assessed:
- in the workplace or
- in conditions resembling the workplace, as specified in the assessment requirements and strategy for the sector, or
- as part of a training programme
All units must be passed.
There are no relative weightings as the qualification is pass only.
Pearson Edexcel Level 3 Diploma in Building Services Engineering for Technicians (QCF)
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 learners 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.
Certification is on completion of the qualification which can be completed at any time.
This qualification is current.
The results of this qualification are reported to UCAS through Awarding Body Linkage (ABL).
Four students certificated this qualification in 2015.
Learners can progress to the Pearson BTEC Higher National Certificate in Construction and the Pearson BTEC Higher National Diploma in Construction.
The Edexcel BTEC Level 3 Diploma in Construction and Built Environment (Building Services Engineering) is available as the related knowledge component qualification in the Advanced Apprenticeship in Building Services Engineering Technology and Project Management.
Progression will also be possible to Foundation Degrees, BSc and BEng degrees in construction and building services engineering.
Ultimately learners can progress to MEng and MSc.