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Awards/certificates/diplomas

BTEC and other Awards, Certificates, Extended Certificates, Diplomas and Extended Diplomas are vocational and work-related qualifications that may be studied full or part-time in schools and colleges from the age of 14. They are offered at levels 1 to 4 and are usually ‘BTECs’, 'Cambridge Technical' or ‘City and Guilds’ qualifications.

Assessment is usually by course work but changes mean that some courses now include exams or practical assessments.

Subjects offered are related to broad areas of work, such as engineering, art and design, construction, health and social care, business, IT and leisure:

  • Level 3 qualifications are sometimes known as Applied General qualifications.
  • Also available as more job-specific qualifications called Tech Level qualifications. Examples include floristry, pathology support and accounting.
  • Tech Levels count towards a new Technical Baccalaureate.
  • To achieve the TechBacc you need to take a Tech Level qualification alongside a level 3 maths qualification and the Extended Project qualification.

These qualification are offered at different lengths and levels:

  • an Award is usually 12 credits or more
  • a Certificate is usually 13 to 36 credits but can be more
  • a Diploma is 37 or more credits, such as a Level 2 Diploma in Business.

Most level 1 and level 2 courses take one year to complete and level 3 courses take two years.

Qualifications include:

  • BTEC Awards, Certificates, Extended Certificates, Diplomas and Extended Diplomas at levels 1 to 3. These are designed to develop knowledge and skills in a broad work-related context, subjects offered include business, IT, health and social care, music, engineering, childcare, hospitality, performing arts, applied science and sport. Depending on the content and grade achieved, study at BTEC level 3 is equivalent to between one and three A levels.
  • OCR Cambridge Nationals at levels 1 and 2 are offered in business, health and social care, ICT, media and communication, science, sport science and sport studies.
  • OCR Cambridge Technicals at level 2 and 3 are aimed at post-16 learners. Subjects offered include art and design, business, health and social care, IT, media, performing arts and sport.
  • CACHE Awards, Certificates and Diplomas at entry level to level 4 are offered in nursery nursing, play work and childcare.

Look on GOV.UK for what different qualification levels mean