Update on BTEC Adaptations | Pearson qualifications

Update on BTEC Adaptations

29 January 2021

We know that you have had a great deal of information to process and digest over the New Year period and have been in contact with your regional Pearson representatives, so we have consolidated the headlines of the current status of vocational qualifications in the first section of this bulletin.

Read more

Update on BTEC Adaptations  

In December, we announced that for some BTEC International suites we would reduce the amount of optional assessment that learners would need to complete. We also indicated that we would consider the reduction of mandatory internal assessments. 

Read the December bulletin

In order to facilitate continued assessment remotely, centres are now able to apply reduced assessment to internally set and assessed mandatory units. This relaxation does not apply to Pearson Set Assignment units in the new International Level 3 BTEC suite. 

Reduced Unit Assessment 

Reduced Assessments will be applied to most qualifications in the following BTEC Qualification Suites: 

  • BTEC International Level 3
  • BTEC QCF Nationals 2010
  • BTEC International Level 2
Qualification size   Maximum reduced assessments for learners certificating in 2021 and for learners who registered September 2020 and certificating up to January 2023 (adaptations do not apply to Pearson Set Assignment units)
Certificate (180 GLH) None 
Extended Certificate/ Subsidiary Diploma (360 GLH)  60 GLH – 1 unit  
Foundation Diploma (510/ 540 GLH) 60 GLH – 1 unit  
Diploma (720 GLH) 120 GLH – 2 units  
Extended Diploma (1080 GLH) 120 GLH – 2 units 

BTEC QCF Nationals 2010 

Qualification size

Maximum reduced unit assessment for learners certificating in 2021 and for learners who registered September 2020 and certificating up to January 2023
Certificate (180 GLH) None 
Subsidiary Diploma (360 GLH)  10 Credit
90-Credit Diploma (540 GLH) 10 Credit
Diploma (720 GLH) 20 Credit
Extended Diploma (1080 GLH)  20 Credit

BTEC International Level 2  

Qualification size  

Maximum reduced unit assessment for learners certificating 2021 and for learners who registered in September 2020 and certificating up to January 2023
Certificate (150 NLH) 50 NLH
Extended Certificate (300 NLH) 50 NLH
Diploma (600 NLH) 100 NLH

Read our latest guidance

BTEC International Covid Assessment Adaptations (PDF | 1.1 MB)

In the meantime, for those centres delivering in challenging contexts, we encourage centres to continue with the delivering of teaching and learning and internal assessments where they can take place remotely.

Please refer to the teaching and learning guidance for your sector, for guidance on remote delivery. 

Please note that the adaptation rules do not apply to International BTEC Specialist or Professional qualifications.

You can find the list of qualifications to which adaptations are applied on our support page.

Teaching and assessment support

Standards Verification processes for 2021

BTEC standards verification will continue as planned in 2021. This is in order to support you and - particularly as internal assessment sits at the very core of BTEC. Our Standards Verifiers will be able to support you, please do engage with them as they now begin to contact you. 

Equally, we need to be able to verify, in line with our sampling guidance, the assessment decisions that teacher assessors have made on assessments that have taken place, acknowledging that we have many adaptations in place, and the continuing challenges regarding teaching, learning and assessment.

We remain committed to our current timelines set out in the guidance already issued to ensure certification is completed in line with our normal commitments.


The BTEC Awards is an annual competition where the outstanding achievements of BTEC learners, tutors, teachers, schools and colleges around the world are recognised and celebrated.

BTEC Awards 2021

{{ image.gatingTitle }}


Thank you for your ongoing support and look forward to working with you in 2021.

Sally Peacock
Head of Centre Management


Are you sure you want to exit this session?