Signature Level 3 Certificate in Working Effectively with Visual Frame Hands and Hands on Signing (QCF)

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This QIP covers a technical qualification which is not listed on the 16 – 19 performance tables for England.

This qualification is not listed on the 16 – 19 performance tables because it is occupational and not designed specifically for full-time 16 – 19 programmes.

  • UK

Technical qualifications are work-related qualifications designed to enable students to gain the skills required to perform a particular job. They are designed with post-19 students in mind and may be taken as part of an apprenticeship.

Schools and colleges may offer qualifications that are not included in the 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 students.

In this qualification students will use knowledge and skills to enable them to work effectively with deafblind people who use Visual Frame Hands On, in a variety of everyday settings including conversations, socialising, education, personnel, and employment.

Education context

This qualification is designed for students post-19 and falls under the oversight of the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and the Skills Funding Agency (SFA).

Following its 2012 review of post-19 qualifications the SFA 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 designed for 16 – 19 year old students), however the SFA 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 technical qualifications

The regulation of technical 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 technical qualifications is different from A levels. This is because there are no specific qualification criteria for technical qualifications, as there currently are for GCSEs, AS and A levels. Technical qualifications must comply with the regulator’s general rules, as is the case with all regulated qualifications.

Awarding organisation
  • Signature
Qualification code

This qualification comprises two units, both of which are mandatory.

Subject areas
  • Languages
  • Level 3

Level 3 qualifications are regulated to the Regulated Qualifications Framework (RQF) in England and Northern Ireland and the Credit and Qualifications Framework for Wales, though most are offered primarily on a three-country basis.

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


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


VFHO301  Producing and Receiving Visual Frame Hands On

Practical Assessment

MOD301  Modifying Language for Deafblind People

Written Assessment

Contribution of assessment components to overall grade

VFHO 301  Producing and Receiving Deafblind Manual – 50%

MOD301  Modifying Language for Deafblind People – 50%

Resit arrangements

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

Guided/notional learning hours
140 hours
Guided/notional learning hours notes

100 guided learning hours.

40 additional study.

For comparison, an A level is 360 GLH. 

UCAS Tariff points

Signature Level 3 Certificate in Working Effectively with Visual Frame Hands On

Grade Points
P 8


Key issues for UK HE admissions

There are a number of key considerations for HEPs when reviewing Technical qualifications that are not listed on the DfE 16 – 19 Performance Tables for England:

  • These qualifications are occupational, and are not designed specifically for full-time 16 – 19 programmes.
  • Applicants holding these qualifications may be school or college leavers, however many are likely to be more mature students who may have other relevant experience alongside these qualifications.
  • These qualifications may have been taken as part of an apprenticeship.
  • If they are presented for admission to HE it is likely to be in conjunction with other qualifications.

Holders of this qualification will be able to communicate with deafblind people who use Visual Frame and Hands On communication.

Timing of assessments/results for learners

Candidates' assessments are 'on demand', with a notice period of between one 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 this qualification are not reported to UCAS through Awarding Body Linkage (ABL). This does not reflect the validity of the qualification. HEPs will need to ask applicants to provide their own evidence of achievement.

View the results available through ABL.

Certification for this qualification is reported to Ofqual and the DfE.

Progression information

Students who achieve this qualification could progress to: 

  • Level 3 Certificate in Working Effectively with Deafblind Manual
  • Level 6 Certificate in Working Effectively with Deafblind Manual
  • Level 6 Certificate in Working Effectively with Visual Frame Hands On
  • Level 6 Certificate in Working Effectively with Deafblind Manual and Visual Frame Hands On