The Alliance of Sector Skills Councils

QCF: Information for the qualification delivery network

Competence-based qualifications for building services engineering in the QCF




SummitSkills, the Sector Skills Council for building services engineering and the awarding Organisations City & Guilds and EAL have been working closely over the last 12 months to develop new qualifications in accordance with the new regulatory requirements for the Qualifications and Credit Framework (QCF) industry working practices, technologies and legislation.  The new qualifications will continue to provide the sector with the competent and skilled workforce it needs to meet fast changing demands.

Find out more

For further information, please email Trevor Hill or Graeme Dryden at SummitSkills or telephone 01908 303945.

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Freqently asked questions

We understand that the qualification delivery network will have concerns and questions about the new qualifications and their impact on the delivery network.  In response to questions recently asked, we have put together a list of frequently asked questions (below) to help answer some of the most likely queries.

What will these qualifications replace?

The new qualifications will replace the current ‘technical certificates’ or VRQs and NVQ Diplomas at levels 2 and 3 for the Air Conditioning and Refrigeration, Electrotecnical, Electrical and Electronic Servicing, Heating and Ventilation and Plumbing industries.

The design principles for the new qualifications are set against the purpose of the qualification, to reflect occupational competence.

Where do the qualifications fit in the industries qualifications progression framework?

These qualifications are designed for learners who are new entrants to the sector and those who are existing practitioners.

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Who is designing the qualifications?

For several years the Building Services Engineering sector has used NVQ Diplomas as the currency for an individual demonstrate competence. During this time SummitSkills has reviewed and revised the National Occupational Standards for the industries identified above in consultation with employers. In addition to this SummitSkills has carried out extensive consultation with other qualification stakeholders, including Lecturers and Assessors; Learners; Trade Associations; Trade Unions; Competent Persons Scheme operators. This extensive consultation has informed the design and content of the new qualifications.

The development of the qualification has been carried out by the three organisations. SummitSkills will submit the units and Rules of Combination onto the QCF. The two Awarding Organisations have undertaken the detailed authoring of the units on behalf of the sector and will be responsible for having the qualifications accredited.

When will the qualification go live?

It is anticipated that the qualifications will go live from September 2010.

When do the existing qualifications end?

Awarding Organisations have extended the accreditation date of existing sector qualifications to 31st December 2010. However, it is expected that public funding for existing NQF qualifications will stop on 31st July 2010.

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Will we be able to continue to offer the existing qualifications?

It is expected that registrations on existing qualifications will stop when an equivalent qualification is accredited on the QCF.  Learners who are currently registered on existing qualifications will be allowed to complete the qualification, and centres will be able to access funding for this completion.

Who is the qualifications aimed at?

New Entrants (eg apprentices and adult career changers) and the existing workforce (CPD and Upskilling).

Will this make up part of an apprenticeship?

Yes, the new qualifications, as appropriate, will be a mandatory requirement of the sector’s apprenticeship frameworks, meeting the knowledge and competence component requirements of the framework.

How will the qualifications be assessed?

These qualifications will be assessed in accordance with regulatory requirements and SummitSkills Consolidated Assessment Strategy, which will give guidance on the assessment requirements of knowledge and performance assessment.

The Awarding Organisation will be responsible for determining the final assessment instruments/methodology utilised within the units/qualification in accordance with assessment strategy, e.g, written tests or assignments, simulated performance activities and on-site assessment.

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What qualifications do I need to assess and internally verify this qualification?

Qualifications which demonstrate relevant industry occupational competence, and those that demonstrate assessment and verification competence as appropriate.

Awarding Organisations are accountable for the Quality Assurance of the assessment procedure/process in accordance with the assessment strategy.  In turn Awarding Organisations are monitored by the regulatory authority Ofqual to ensure regulatory requirement are being adhered to.

Where can I obtain further information? 

Awarding Organisations should be your first point of contact for more information about the qualifications.

Will the qualification be funded and if so to what extent?

The qualifications will be eligible for public funding, however, final confirmation of the funding model is yet to be announced by funding agencies.

What are the titles of the qualifications ?

 See Annex 1.

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