Planning your BTEC National in Health and Social Care | Pearson qualifications

Planning your BTEC National in Health and Social Care

9 November 2017

When planning for your new National, you will need to consider order and sequence of units and where you are going to place them throughout the year. You will need to plan for your synoptic units, and decide on your external assessments. We have developed some hints and tips to help you.

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Unit order and sequence

Planning your BTEC National in Healtha nd Social Care is important to your school or college and can impact on planning for the entire year. Whether your cohort is small or large, you will need to consider your learners other subjects and commitments.

We have some handy sample delivery plans for the Extended Certificate and Extended Diploma, for one and two years.

Synoptic units

Synoptic units should ideally be placed at the end of the course as they draw from topics or themes from other units and provide learners with an opportunity for reflection and summary. We understand that planning for synoptic assessments at the end of a course may not always be possible, and as such you will need to decide carefully about where best to place these.

External units

External unit dates are fixed by us. As such, you will need to know in advance the dates and times of your learners externally assessed units so that you can prepare effectively, and arrange other internal units accordingly. Units 1, 2 and 3 are exams, while unit 4 is an externally assessed task, although your learners may not take all of these units if they are completing a smaller size qualification.

Remember we have made some small changes to our Unit 4 task for those of you delivering the Diploma and Extended Diploma. 

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Tuesday 9 January  31490H Unit 1: Human Lifespan Development 1h 30m AM
Friday 12 January 31491H Unit 2: Working in Health and Social Care  1h 30m AM
Tuesday 16 January 31493H Unit 3: Anatomy and Physiology for Health and Social Care  1h 30m AM
Friday 23 March Part A: 23/03/2018 Part B: 8/5/2018 to 15/05/2018 31494H Unit 4: Enquiries into Current Research in Health and Social Care  Prep: 18 hours Supervised: 3 hours
Wednesday 16 May  31490H Health and Social Care - Unit 1: Human Lifespan Development  1h 30m AM
Wednesday 23 May  31491H Unit 2: Working in Health and Social Care 1h 30m AM
Wednesday 6 June  31493H Unit 3: Anatomy and Physiology for Health and Social Care 1h 30m AM


Placements are not required for the Certificate and Extended Certificate, although we would encourage learners to experience a health or social care setting where possible, as this will highlight their learning.

The Foundation Diploma and Diploma both have optional placement hours, 50 and 100 respectively, this is because units offered in these courses could have placement activities to support the assessment criteria.

The Extended Diploma has 100 compulsory placement hours. Learners are required to attend at least one health and/or social care setting as part of their work experience, and should complete their Practical Evidence Portfolio. Learners can attend these placement hours at any time during the course period, and hours could be split across years.

However, we recommend that you carefully consider which units you are going to offer as possible placement activities appear in Units 5, 7, 9 and 19, in addition to Unit 6 ‘Work Experience in Health and Social Care’.

Hopefully, you have found some of this information useful in planning your BTEC National,

Best wishes,


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