Vocational Qualifications in England
Julian Stanley
Centre for Education and Industry,
University of Warwick
London, 22 October 2012
Organisations involved with Vocational
Qualifications
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Awarding Organisations
Producers
Skills Sector Councils
Further Education Colleges
Trainers
Training Organisations
Employers
Users
Students
Ofqual – Public Regulator
Governors
– Qualification Curriculum Framework
• UK Commission for Employment and Skills
What do Skills Councils Do
• Skills forecasting
• Designing occupational standards
– research, define and update competences
for particular jobs
• Designing apprenticeships
• Encouraging employers to train workers
Sector Skills Councils
– Proskills the Process and Manufacturing Sector
• Standards and qualifications
– Summit Skills – Building Services Engineering
– Semta - Sector Skills Council for the Advanced
Manufacturing and Engineering sectors
– Cogent – chemical, pharmaceutical, energy, life
sciences
National Occupational Standards
• Set out the standards required to work
in particular occupations/jobs
• Designed by groups of employers and
experts, e.g. Murco
• Owned by sector skill councils
• Reviewed every 3 years
• Public consultation
Occupational Standards
• Performance criteria = what you can do
• Knowledge and Understanding = what
you know and can explain
Active Learning
Task 1
• Visit websites for Sector Skills Councils:
http://www.sscalliance.org/ - identify 3
Sector Skills Councils
• Visit the website for the UK Commission
for Employment and Skills (UKCES) –
what does it do?
Task 2
• National Occupational Standards
Database
• Task: go to National Occupational
Standards database and identify
performance criteria and knowledge and
understanding for a particular
occupational standard
Awarding Organisations
• Edexcel
• OCR
• City and Guilds
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See Register of Regulated Organisations
What do awarding organisations do?
• Design the qualifications
• Quality assure provider (college or
school)
• Set the assessment, e.g. exam
• Carry out assessment, validate, monitor
and report and issue diploma
Qualifications consist of units
Qualification
Unit
1
Unit
2
Unit 3
Task 3
Which awarding organisation provides:
• BTEC qualifications?
• Cambridge Technical qualifications?
Find out the name of a qualification
provided by City and Guilds.
National Vocational Qualifications
• competence based
• performance of tasks
• assessed by observation and
questioning – log book
• work-based
• for adults in work and apprentices
Vocationally related
Qualifications
• BTECs and Cambridge Technicals
– Levels 1-3
– 14-19 year olds
– No written exams
– Practical assessments and coursework
– Taught in college and schools
– Qualify for work and university
• ‘Diplomas’
– National qualifications
– 14-19 year olds
– 14 sectors including engineering
– include key skills and generic skills
– Qualify for work and university
– school or college based
– written exams and coursework assessment
Key Skills
• GCSEs – academic qualifications, e.g.
mathematics, English, history
• Functional Skills – practical skills –
using skills at work, at home
– English
– Mathematics
– Information and Communications
Technology
Generic or wider Key Skills
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Problem solving
information technology
Team work
Communication
Improving own learning and
performance
Task
• Visit the register:
http://register.ofqual.gov.uk/Qualification
Explore the different types of qualification
Explore the different types of
qualifications under type – English for
Speakers of Other Languages
Apprenticeship Frameworks
– Knowledge (Technical Certificate usually a
vocational qualification )
– Skills (Usually a National Vocational
Qualification)
– Key skills
– Employment Rights
– Generic Skills
Types of Apprenticeship
• Intermediate Level 2
• Advanced Level 3
• Higher Level 4
Task
Go to Apprenticeship data base
• Find an Apprenticeship Framework at Level
2, for example, engineering
• Find another Framework at Level 3 and Level
4
• Find out what information is available about
each framework
• Find out what pathways there are
• Feedback to group
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Organisations involved with Vocational Qualifications