We are pleased to provide our centres with an update on a review of our popular suite of vocational qualifications including ‘Skills for’ and Vocational Studies.

The qualifications have been in operation for a number of years so we considered it important to undertake a review to ensure that they remain fit for purpose and support learner progression.

We have carried out a consultation with our centres to share proposals and have also undertaken an internal review of centre feedback and unit usage. As a result, we have removed a number of units and updated other units.

The result is a leaner, more up-to-date set of qualifications which will enable learners to gain the skills they need to progress to the next stage of their learning in their chosen sector. The qualifications:

  • continue to include employability skills but the existing units have been replaced by the employability units from our revised employability qualifications
  • now include bitesize English and maths units to support further development of these skills through vocational learning
  • have retained the flexible rules of combination so that teachers can continue to shape programmes to meet the needs of individual or groups of learners, combining units to match their learners’ needs and aspirations.

As declared in previous announcements, we have also decided to remove the Entry 3 Diplomas as centres advised us that these qualifications were too big for many of their learners. As a reminder, the qualifications that we are withdrawing are the following:

  • All Entry 3 Diplomas
    – Skills for Art and Design
    – Skills for Business and Administration
    – Skills for Childcare
    – Skills for Construction
    – Skills for Health and Social Care
    – Skills for Hair and Beauty Sector
    – Skills for Hospitality and Catering
    – Skills for Land-based Sector
    – Skills for Motor Vehicle Sector
    – Skills for Performing Arts
    – Skills for Retail
    – Skills for Sport and Active Leisure
  • Level 2 Skills for Hospitality
  • Level 2 Skills for Engineering
  • Level 2 Skills for Retail
  • Level 2 Childcare (Graded and ungraded “Skills for…” versions)
  • All levels – Skills for Office Professionals

The last registration end date for these qualifications will be 31st July 2021 and the final certification date for these qualifications will be 31st July 2022.

We believe that we have managed to strike the right balance: retaining all those features that have helped establish these vocational qualifications as critical in supporting learner development and
achievement and refreshing elements to reflect changing requirements. We look forward to supporting our centres to use the revised qualifications to help set the next generation of learners on the right path in their chosen sector(s).

The recent review of Vocational qualifications has resulted in changes to qualification specifications, these changes come into effect from 1st August 2020. Links to the new qualification specifications are available of the individual qualification pages on the website.

Our original announcement about these changes can be found here: Updates to Vocational Qualifications for 2019-2022