Starting your new BTEC

9 September 2014

This is an article for any heads of department, curriculum managers and teachers planning to run a BTEC in Performing Arts for the first time from September 2014. The whole administrative process is briefly explained and each section links to the areas of the website where more information can be found to help you manage the course throughout the teaching year.

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The BTEC home page is the hub for all of the information that you could possibly need when you begin to think about running any BTEC programme in your centre.

This page features the latest information related to BTECs, including the latest BTEC News and related government announcements. It also links to all the BTEC areas of the website including: becoming a BTEC centre, the approvals process, registering learners, teaching best practice – assignment checking and training, the quality assurance process – assessment and key documents.

All of the following information can be found under the ‘tabs’ which run along the orange top bar and the Get Started tab is where you would go for information on how to become a UK or International centre for delivering BTECs. 

Get started BTEC

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Centre Approvals

If your centre does not offer any BTECs at present, the centre will need to apply for approval to run a BTEC programme. Visit:

UK Centre Approvals
International Centre Approvals

If a centre has approval to run other BTECs, Qualification Approval must be gained before you can deliver any of the BTEC Art, Design or Media programmes.

Your exams officer will be the colleague who applies for approvals through Edexcel Online, but your Head of Centre, Head Teacher or Principal, will sign the centre declaration.

Next, you will go to the Deliver BTEC tab for information related to registering learners, teaching, delivery, assessment and quality assurance of the courses.

BTEC Quality Nominees

Centres, which run a number of BTECs, elect a 'Quality Nominee' within the centre and this person ensures that the BTECs within the centre are operating within our Quality Assurance systems. Often the Quality Nominee is a member of the SMT, such as a Deputy Head Teacher or Vice-Principal for Curriculum or similar role but, ideally, they will be chosen because they have some experience of teaching BTECs. If you are a teacher and are thinking about offering a BTEC in Performing Arts at your centre, you will need to find out who the Quality Nominee is and discuss this with them first. They will need to inform us that you are the Lead Internal Verifier (LIV) for the new course. See Assessment, Internal Verification and Standards Verification.

Course Management

It is very important that the person who is to manage the course itself, the Course Leader, has a thorough understanding of the BTEC Quality Assurance processes which ensure that assessment and internal standardisation are rigorous.

You should also refer to the UK Vocational Quality Assurance Handbook from the Key Documents page. This is available in sections as pdfs and you may find it useful to download each section relevant to your programmes and keep these in your course file as this is an essential reference source as you go through the teaching year.

Click the +UK Centre Guides tab to find the Centre Guide to Assessment: Entry Level – Level 3.

Other Key Documents

You will also be able to download all forms for the administration of assessment and standards verification, assignment templates, etc. These can be found on the Key Documents page under the +Forms tab. They are conveniently grouped together in zip folders for each course/level.

There are new guidelines on the Internal Assessment of QCF and NQF BTECs in the Subject Guide to Internal Assessment for BTEC Firsts and Nationals:

Performing Arts

The Guide to Writing Assignment Briefs for NQF BTEC Firsts introduces assessment tools and assignments, explains assignment briefs and gives step-by-step advice on every stage of producing a brief.

Teaching Support Materials for NQF BTEC Firsts

On each of the NQF BTEC Firsts qualification pages below you will find:

  • Specification information on the qualification: QAN numbers, structures, programme delivery, internal assessment, external assessment, awarding and reporting, quality assurance, units – learning aims, content guidance and assessment criteria
  • Sample Assessment Materials (SAMs): examples of the external examination paper
  • Delivery Guide - a companion document to your specification - contains ideas for practical activities, realistic scenarios and independent learning and shows how the content of the specification might work in practice and can inspire you to find challenging ways to deliver the course.
  • Authorised Assignment Briefs: assignments which can be used/modified in your centre, but must be internally verified before delivery
  • Annual SESV Reports: Senior Examining Standards Verifier feedback for the previous exam series
  • Externally Set Task: current and past papers
  • Training Event Materials: PowerPoint presentations of previous training events.

NQF BTEC Firsts in Performing Arts for level 2 learners

External Tests on NQF Level 2 courses

For Performing Arts, there are 2 externally assessed units; in the Award, there is unit 1: Individual Showcase. An externally set task is released each year; you can download it here - please select 'externally set task' and the appropriate year.

Unit 8: The Performing Arts Industry, is an on demand, onscreen test. More information on onscreen testing can be found here; you can trial the Sample Assessment Materials here.

To help you with the administration of the externally-set tasks in Performing Arts, on the qualification page itself there is also an NQF BTEC Firsts Administrative Support Guide - go to the past papers link - which is updated at the beginning of each academic year.

QCF BTEC Nationals in Performing Arts

If you are planning to deliver a QCF BTEC National for Level 3 learners, similar information can also be found on the qualification pages:

QCF BTEC Nationals in Performing Arts

myBTEC – Teacher toolkit

myBTEC is an online toolkit to support BTEC planning, delivery and assessment - with services to support building courses and creating assignments. Resources and Progress Tracker services will follow later this year. If you're an approved BTEC centre in the UK, myBTEC is free to access. You will need an Edexcel Online login, which you can get from your Exams Officer. If you have any problems logging into the site, please write to our support team on or telephone 0844 463 2535 free.

Best wishes,


Paul Webster, Drama, Theatre Studies and Performing Arts subject advisor
Paul WebsterDrama, Theatre Studies and Performing Arts
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