- Northern Ireland
These qualifications are listed on the DfE 16-19 performance tables in the Tech Level category.
These qualifications do not meet the full requirements for reformed Tech Levels, which qualifications will have to meet for inclusion in the 2018 performance tables.
Tech Level qualifications are primarily developed for learners aged 16-19 studying on either a full or part-time basis.
Tech Levels are aimed at learners with a keen interest in a particular industry, occupation, or occupational type.
Along with developing transferable skills required to work in a number of job roles, these qualifications are designed to equip learners with the high level specialist technical knowledge and skills to enable them to work in a specific industry.
They can help provide entry into employment in a particular sector, onto an apprenticeship, or into higher education in a related vocational area.
They have to be recognised by a trade or professional body, or at least five employers.
Following the Wolf review of vocational qualifications in England in 2011, the Department for Education announced a number of characteristics that Level 3 Tech Level 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 now not 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, grading, and assessment.
Unreformed Tech Levels are unit based, with a minimum of 30% mandatory units.
Hairdressing and barbering qualifications have four-six mandatory units and 12-13 optional units.
The Diploma in Theatrical, Special Effects and Hair and Media Make-Up contains eight mandatory units and learners must achieve at least two out of a choice of 25 optional units.
Sports qualifications contain between 10 and 15 mandatory units (no optional units).
The Diploma in Professional Cookery Studies contains five mandatory units and learners must achieve at least one out of a choice of 18 optional units.
Details of Rules of Combination can be found by searching individual qualification details on the VTCT website at: www.vtct.org.uk/find-a-centre.
- Beauty therapy
- Sports sciences and the active leisure industry
- Sport and exercise science(s)
- Hospitality: professional cookery
- Level 3
Level 3 qualifications 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 QCF was a credit-based transfer system which recognised qualifications and units by awarding credits. It has now been withdrawn for all new qualifications.
All units and qualifications are graded Pass/Fail.
Some units are assessed by portfolio of evidence, some by external examination. Specific details are available by searching the qualification in the VTCT website at: www.vtct.org.uk/find-a-centre.
All assessment components contribute equally to the overall qualification grade.
There are no resit arrangements – qualifications are claimed once all assessment criteria have been achieved.
Tech Levels require a minimum size of 300 GLH to provide learners 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.
VTCT Level 3 Diploma in Barbering (431 glh)
VTCT Level 3 NVQ Diploma in Barbering
VTCT Level 3 Diploma in Women's Hairdressing
VTCT Level 3 NVQ Diploma in Hairdressing
VTCT Level 3 Diploma in Theatrical, Special Effects and Hair and Media Make-Up
VTCT Level 3 Diploma in Personal Training (Gym Based Exercise)
VTCT Level 3 Diploma in Personal Training (Specific Populations)
VTCT Level 3 Diploma in Professional Cookery Studies
Tech Levels are designed to support progression to employment, an apprenticeship, or to higher education.
Progression to higher education is generally within the vocational area of the Tech Level, and may be to a foundation degree.
The exact curriculum studied may depend on the choice of optional units taken.
Applicants holding unreformed Tech Level qualifications may not have had experience of external and synoptic assessment.
All external exams are online on-demand, results are available to examinations officers immediately.
All qualifications are current.
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.
Where results are not available through ABL, HEPs will need to ask applicants to provide their own evidence of achievement.
VTCT will supply results to UCAS in September 2018. Certification information is reported to Ofqual.
These qualifications offer progression to higher education, an apprenticeship, or employment.
Progression to HE will probably be in the vocational area of the qualification, and may be to a foundation degree.
Additional qualifications may be needed for progression to higher education.
Tech Level qualifications are supported by at least five employers from the job sector the qualification is related to.
Details of progression opportunities can be found by searching individual qualification details on the VTCT website at: www.vtct.org.uk/find-a-centre/.
Full specifications can be found by searching individual qualification details on the VTCT website at: www.vtct.org.uk/find-a-centre/.