March 2016 work-based learning and colleges update: Construction sector | Pearson qualifications

March 2016 work-based learning and colleges update: Construction sector

18 March 2016

This month's Construction sector update includes information on the reformed 'Trailblazer' apprenticeships and other qualifications.

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Reformed 'Trailblazer' apprenticeships in the Construction sector

As you may be aware the government is reforming apprenticeships which require employers to set new standards and assessment plans, with an emphasis on End Point Assessment.

Find out more about new apprenticeship standards

Pearson is fully supporting employer groups as they develop new standards for occupations between level 2 and 6. We are encouraging involvement of the existing provider network to ensure successful transition and take up, developing pre-apprenticeship and on-programme qualifications and assessment services and providing End Point Assessment in our areas of expertise.

Where standards are a direct replacement, there will be a transition period and dual running of apprenticeships, which may be up to 2017 and beyond. The government hopes to have ended all current SASE frameworks by 2018, although this may change depending on development progress.

For more information on new construction standards and how this may affect providers, please contact us.

Some key standards being developed in Construction:

Railway Engineering Design Technician

A new standard, for civil engineering technicians involved in designing rail infrastructure. Includes a BTEC National in Engineering and approval for a new Standards Verification Service for skills-based evidence portfolio.

Initially delivered by lead centre on contract.

Anticipated launch: 1 September 2015

Transport Planning Design Technician

A new standard for civil engineering design technicians, for those involved in planning transport infrastructure. To include a new BTEC qualification and a standards verification service of skills-based portfolio

Anticipated launch: 1 September 2016

Carpentry & Joinery/ Advanced Carpentry & Joinery

A level 2 Apprenticeship for carpenters and joiners, to include achievement of the NVQ and assessment by professional discussion at end.

Anticipated launch: TBC

Master Bricklayer/ Plasterer

Currently planned to be a level 3 apprenticeship for Master Bricklayer and Master Plasterer. Pearson is hopeful that the group will incorporate a level 2 standard in the same occupations, to meet the needs of the majority of the workforce

Anticipated launch: TBC

Surveying Technician

L3 Diplomas are specified as acceptable components of the apprenticeship to meet the knowledge requirements as on programme achievement. This can include the BTEC National Subsidiary Diploma in Construction and the Built Environment (Surveying).

Pearson plans to undertake mapping to ensure the standards will be met by the BTEC Diploma, and design the new version of the BTEC for 2017 to continue to incorporate these standards.

Evidence of on-programme competence is be demonstrated by a portfolio of evidence, mapped to the standards (not necessarily an NVQ). Providers can agree the programme used with Employers, who will expect them to demonstrate that their approach meet the standards required, whatever the method chosen.

End Point Assessment is a professional review by RICS.

Anticipated launch: 1 September 2015

Construction Site Technician (various) and Manager

Standards at level 4 and 6 to cover Contracting disciplines at technician level (such as site supervision, quantity surveying, site surveying, site engineering) and for Site Management in Civil and Building Services Engineering. 

Industry training such as Site Safety Certificates are currently specified in on-programme achievement, but existing NVQs may also map to the standard. HNC is recommended as a component for knowledge at L4.

End Point Assessment is likely to be incorporate Professional Body review.

Anticipated launch: 1 September 2016

View a list of all trailblazer apprenticeships

Qualification amendments

Please note that the current version of the Pearson Edexcel Level 7 NVQ Diploma in Construction Senior Management has been further extended until 30 April 2016. This further extension to learner registrations has been granted to avoid a gap in provision before we make the replacement version live.

This replacement meets new National Occupational Standards set by industry. Centre approval to the new version will be transferred as soon as the new version is ready and at that point and specifications will be issued online

Qualification extensions

BTEC Level 2 Award and Certificate in Construction and the Built Environment (Specialist: Construction)

These qualifications have been further extended until 31 August 2017 due to continued customer demand. They can continue to be used by providers, particularly as a more practical alternative to BTEC First qualifications, for learners in full or part time education. During 2016 we are developing qualifications to meet new DfE performance measures across a number of practical trades, which will eventually replace these qualifications, see below.

We are considering a further interim extension until September 2017 so that learners can continue to enrol during the 16/17 academic year, after which it will be replaced by new Level 2 Technical Certificates, below.

BTEC Level 2 Diploma in Construction Occupations and new, Practical Level 2 Post-16 Technical Certificates for work

This BTEC has now been extended to August 2017 to ensure it can continue to underpin apprenticeship frameworks. It has also received provisional approval by the DfE to meet the interim funding measures. However when apprenticeship frameworks reform it will no longer apply to this market, so it will be replaced by new, practical Technical Certificates for 16+ age learners to help prepare for direct entry to employment. This is intended to meet full DfE criteria and as described above will also replace the BTEC ‘Specialist: Construction’ qualifications. Topics will include:

  • Bricklaying
  • Joinery / Carpentry
  • Plumbing
  • Painting / Decorating

It will include grading and external assessment. We have carried out consultation and will continue to do so during early 2016.

BTEC Level 3 Diploma in Construction Occupations

This qualification has now been extended until 31 August 2017 so that it can continue to underpin level 3 advanced apprenticeships in certain trades


We are pleased to report that DfE has provisionally accepted our application for funding against the Technical Certificate measures (level 2 qualifications for 16-19 year olds) for the BTEC Level 2 Diploma in Construction Occupations 600/3254/6. This is subject to an amendment to our statement of Purpose, which was carried out in January, after which DfE should include this qualification on lists of funded qualifications.

New free teaching resources for BTEC Level 1 Award in Health and Safety in a Construction Environment (qualification linking to Green CSCS Labourers’ Card)

Pearson has updated the workbook, available free to centres to gather knowledge evidence for this qualification. It contains more contextualised case studies, questions and up-to-date scenarios to help both teaching and the gathering of evidence.

We have also developed free teaching materials with images and content designed to aid delivery and provide an engaging learning experience for the learner. This is mapped to each learning outcome and is designed to accompany the workbook.

View the course materials and updated workbook (Edexcel Online login required) 

Qualification withdrawals due to low uptake

The following qualifications have been set to be closed to new registrations 


Qualification title

End date for new registrations


BTEC Level 2 Diploma in Plant Maintenance



Pearson Edexcel Level 3 Certificate in Non-Domestic Energy Assessment



BTEC Level 2 Certificate in Construction Occupations



BTEC Level 6 Diploma in Construction



BTEC Level 6 Extended Diploma in Construction



BTEC Level 6 Subsidiary Diploma in Construction


If you have feedback on these or any other areas in which you would like Pearson to develop qualifications, or would like to be involved in consultation, please contact us.


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