QCF BTEC First Diploma extension - England only
We're extending 14 BTEC Level 2 First Diplomas (QCF) in England until February 2015.
Why are 14 BTEC Level 2 First Diplomas (QCF) being extended?
When the next generation Pearson NQF BTEC Level 2 Firsts were introduced, we planned the withdrawal of the QCF BTEC Level 2 Firsts to ensure that every learner had the opportunity to take the amended qualifications - including 19+ learners. However, the NQF BTEC Firsts are not currently eligible for funding for 19+ learners. Because of this, as an interim measure, we're extending the operational end dates of the QCF BTEC First Diplomas to the end of February 2015. This extension is in England only in order to allow learners and providers to continue to access this valuable vocational provision at level 2.
Why aren't the NQF BTEC Firsts eligible for 19+ funding?
One of the business rules that the Skills Funding Agency applies to qualifications which aren’t automatically approved for funding is that the qualification must be a QCF qualification. As the next generation NQF BTEC Firsts do not fall into the automatically approved category for the Agency, they can only be approved for funding if they meet all of the Agency business rules, including the rule that qualifications not automatically approved must be drawn from the QCF.
Therefore, the NQF BTEC Firsts cannot at this time be made eligible for funding for 19+ learners from September 2014.
When will the funding information show on the Hub?
Once the qualifications are updated on the Hub, they will continue to be eligible for 16-18 and 19+ funding for students starting the qualification before the last date for new starts. The last date for new starts for all the extended qualifications is 28 February 2015, and the certification end date is 31 July 2017.
The 14 QCF BTEC First Diplomas will be:
- confirmed as approved for 19+ funding in the August update of the 2014/15 Simplified Funding Rates Catalogue
- updated on the Hub for 16-18 and 19+ learners by the 19 September 2014 – ready for the start of the R02 ILR return (collection opens on the 22 September 2014).
What does this mean for your September 2014 cohorts?
You will have a choice of provision from this September, depending on what works best for your mix of learners and your college. We would still encourage you to offer the next generation NQF BTEC Firsts where you can, but we understand that this may not be feasible across your cohort, so we're pleased to offer the continuation of the QCF First Diplomas as an option in these circumstances.
Remember that, regardless of framework, all new cohorts of BTEC First and National learners will need to be assessed using the new internal assessment rules from this September.
We hope that this will help you with your provision from September. If you have any questions or need further support, please do consult our FAQs or contact us directly.
Contact your Centre Support Adviser or Curriculum Development Manager
Tel: 0845 373 0114*
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