Approving Vocational Qualifications – NCFE request for HEI co-operation

The message below is from NCFE.  If your HEI is able to assist, please contact Judith Taylor, Development Leader, NCFE, on 0191 239 8000 or email judithtaylor@ncfe.org.uk

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Approving Vocational Qualifications

Both the Department for Education and the Skills Funding Agency have recently requested that all Level 3 vocational qualifications which are focussed on progression to Higher Education, must have the support of a number of universities as a condition of funding.

Below is an extract from the DfE Level 3 Technical Guidance which explains this condition:

“Applied General Qualifications need to be recognised by HEIs as fulfilling entry requirements to higher education courses, either by meeting entry requirements in their own right or being accepted alongside other qualifications at the same level.”

The justification for this is as follows:

“Industry and HEIs, rather than the Government, are best placed to decide which vocational qualifications meet their needs. For Applied General Qualifications, awarding organisations are required to provide a minimum of three letters of support from HEIs that recognise the qualification as fulfilling entry requirements to a range of higher education courses, either in their own right or alongside other Level 3 qualifications.”

The full letter from the Skills Funding Agency can be found here.

Some vocational qualifications at Level 3, which adhere to rigorous Ofqual regulations, are graded and included in school performance tables.  A number of these qualifications will also have UCAS points attached to them, whilst others, such as the NCFE V Cert 16-19 suite, are currently in the application process.

Although this is a positive move in terms of ensuring that Level 3 qualifications meet the entry requirements for many HE programmes, Awarding Organisations are concerned that universities may experience a considerable increase in requests to endorse qualifications. We would like to ensure that this process is as seamless as possible for everyone involved!

With this in mind, we feel it would be useful to explore the best way for Awarding Organisations to approach/liaise with Admissions Managers/Course Leaders at universities. We would also like to capture information such as the most appropriate point of contact at universities and what information Awarding Organisations should supply in order for the university to decide whether or not they would approve the qualification.

If you have views on the most effective way of meeting this requirement, then we would be very pleased to hear from you. We are very grateful to UVAC for supporting this activity.

 

 

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