Step 1 - Planning

Planning is your first step in delivering BTEC. Here you’ll find support for everything from building a team and recruiting learners to writing assignments.

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What is a BTEC?

BTECs are work-related vocational qualifications, available across a wide range of industry sectors. They’ve been delivered for more than 25 years and are recognised by schools, colleges, universities, employers and professional bodies across the UK and in over 100 countries worldwide.

Find out more about BTECs

Centre and qualification approval

Before you can offer our BTEC qualifications, you need to gain approval.

I want to become a Pearson approved centre

I’m already a Pearson approved centre but would like to deliver a new qualification

I want approval to amend the structure of a qualification to meet a specific local need (MLN)

Recruiting your learners

You can find guidance on recruiting learners and any specific restrictions on who can take a particular programme in the course specification. To find the specification for your course, choose the relevant BTEC qualification, click on your subject and then select the course materials tab.

Find free resources to promote BTECs during your options evenings

Specifications and resources

Once you’re approved to offer BTECs, you can start to plan your teaching by reviewing the structure and content outlined in the course specification. You’ll find this in the course materials tab on the subject page for your BTEC, along with additional resources to help you plan your teaching such as textbooks, schemes of work and study skills activities.

To find the specification for your course, choose the relevant BTEC qualification, click on your subject and then select the course materials tab.

To deliver and assess your BTEC programme effectively, it’s important that you have a strong team in place at your centre.

Find out more about roles with responsibilities across the centre

What is quality assurance?

Quality assurance is at the heart of our BTEC qualifications. It’s how we ensure the quality and standard of internal assessments in all BTEC centres.  

You use quality assurance to: We use quality assurance to:
  • ensure that your managers, Internal Verifiers and assessors are standardised and supported. 
  • check that all centres are working to national standards
  • identify and provide support where it’s needed in order to safeguard certification
  • recognise and support good practice. 

Key dates

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Internal verification for Lead IVs

Internal verification is a system of quality checks made within your centre to ensure accuracy, fairness, consistency and quality of assessment. This includes checking that assignments have been written correctly and that assessment decisions are accurate. 

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Standards verification

Standards verification is how we check that you’re operating appropriate quality assurance processes and maintaining national standards. We allocate a Standards Verifier, who is a subject expert, to conduct sampling of assessment instruments and assessed learner work in order to provide judgements and feedback.

The standards verification process is slightly different depending on the specification you’re delivering. You can find more information in Chapters 4-7 of the BTEC Quality Assurance Handbook. 

Quality Management Review

Quality Management Review is an annual visit where we check that you’re managing your quality assurance systems and procedures appropriately. Quality review and development helps us to ensure you have sufficient quality assurance systems, policies and procedures that are implemented appropriately, consistently and fairly.

The document below will help you prepare for a quality review and development visit.

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Academic management review

The academic management review quality assurance process applies to private colleges delivering BTEC Higher Nationals at levels 4-5 and BTEC Management programmes at levels 4-7.

This visit helps us to ensure that you’re managing higher level provision in line with national standards and that you have a complete understanding of the requirements for managing and delivering higher level BTEC qualifications. 

Providing feedback

As a BTEC teacher or tutor, you need to use your best professional judgement to actively monitor and support progression during teaching and learning, but you must stop short of confirming grades before assessment is complete.

Plan your assessment by considering the feedback stages on pages 15 to 18 of our Guide to Internal Assessment for BTEC Firsts and Nationals (below).

Writing assignments

For internally assessed units, your learners will need to produce evidence that they have met the learning aims and assessment criteria. To do this, you’ll write assignments for them to complete.

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Authorised assignment briefs

We've developed a selection of authorised assignment briefs for each sector of our 2012 BTEC Firsts and 2016 BTEC Nationals. You can use these as they are or edit and adapt them to suit your course. To find them, choose the relevant BTEC qualification, click on your subject and then select the course materials tab.

Assessment plans

Your assessment plan is a timetable of how you will deliver and assess your BTEC, which units you’ll teach and when you’ll teach them. Your Standards Verifier will use this plan to ensure they can sample effectively.

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Assignment checking service

You can use our free assignment checking service to help ensure your assignments enable learners to demonstrate appropriate evidence across the required criteria.

Submit assignments for checking

External assessment is a paper-based exam, set task or onscreen test that is marked by Pearson.

External assessment in next generation BTEC Firsts (NQF)


Our exam timetables page lists the BTEC assessment windows for each subject.

Examination timetables

Pearson Onscreen Platform (POP)

For learners to take any of the next generation BTEC First (NQF) onscreen tests, you will need to use the Pearson Onscreen Platform.

Onscreen testing for next generation BTEC Firsts