Signature Level 3 Certificate in British Sign Language (QCF)

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Country
  • UK
Purpose

This qualification can be used as evidence of the language skills needed to work independently and at an advanced level in the target language. It is useful for those who work on a regular basis with deaf people (social workers, teachers of the deaf, communicators, voluntary workers, workers in deaf organisations, schools, etc.), those who aspire to work in these contexts, and those who wish to expand their knowledge and skills in British Sign Language.

Schools and colleges may offer qualifications that are not included in the performance tables, if approved for teaching to 16-19 year olds, where this is in the best interests of individual students.

This qualification is not listed on the 16-19 performance tables.

Education context

This qualification is part of a larger suite of British Sign Language (BSL) qualifications ranging from Level 1 to Level 6.

Signature is an awarding body regulated by Ofqual, whose qualifications appear on the Regulated Qualifications Framework (RQF).

Awarding organisation
  • Signature
Qualification code
Structure

The qualification comprises three units, all of which are mandatory. 

Subject areas
  • Languages

Sign Linguistics Knowledge

Understand varied BSL in a range of work and social situations

Use varied BSL in a range of work and social situations

Levels
  • Level 3

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

The RQF is the new system for cataloguing all qualifications regulated by Ofqual, indexing them by level and size.  

A levels are also Level 3 qualifications regulated to the RQF.

Level 3 is the same level as Level 6 of the Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework (SCQF).

Grading

Candidates must achieve a Pass in all units to achieve an overall Pass in the qualification.

Assessment

Sign Linguistics Knowledge

One 45 minute written paper requiring short written answers, which is externally marked.

Understand varied British Sign Language in a range of work and social situations

The assessment requires the candidate to watch a 20 minute conversation between two deaf people, and provide answers to questions based on what they have understood about the conversation. This is externally marked.

Use varied British Sign Language in a range of work and social situations

The candidate will prepare a eight to ten minute presentation based on a topic chosen four weeks prior to the assessment from a set of topics given to them. They will then have an eight to ten minute conversation with their teacher. The assessment is video recorded and sent to an assessor for external marking.

Contribution of assessment components to overall grade

Sign Linguistics Knowledge – 33.3%

Understand varied British Sign Language in a range of work and social situations – 33.3%

Use varied British Sign Language in a range of work and social situations – 33.3%

Resit arrangements

All units are assessed individually, and can be resat should candidates fail one of the units of the three associated with this qualification.

Guided/notional learning hours
150 hours
Guided/notional learning hours notes

Sign Linguistics Knowledge

20 guided learning hours and 20 additional study. It carries four credits at Level 3.

Understand varied British Sign Language in a range of work and social situations

65 guided learning hours and 55 additional study. It carries 12 credits at Level 3.

Use varied British Sign Language in a range of work and social situations

65 guided learning hours and 55 additional study. It carries 12 credits at Level 3.

For comparison, an A level is 360 guided learning hours. 

UCAS Tariff points

Signature Level 3 Certificate in British Sign Language

Grade Points
P 16
Key issues for UK HE admissions

Holders of this qualification will be able to communicate with deaf people who use British Sign Language.

Timing of assessments/results for learners

Candidates' assessments are 'on demand', with a notice period of between one week and six weeks.

Candidates will receive their results within six weeks of the assessment date.

Certificates are issued to successful candidates within four weeks of results being issued.

Reporting and certification information

The results of many UK qualifications are reported to UCAS through Awarding Body Linkage (ABL)

  • A levels 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.

View the results available through ABL.

Certifications for this qualification are reported to Ofqual and the DfE.

Progression information

Learners can progress to other qualifications relating to British Sign Language: 

  • Level 4 Certificate in British Sign Language
  • Level 4 Certificate in British Sign Language and Introduction to Interpreting
  • Level 6 Certificate in British Sign Language
  • Level 6 Diploma in Sign Language Interpreting