November 2015 work-based learning and colleges update: Security sector
This month's security sector update includes information on security qualifications and English language requirements for learners on Security Licence to Practise qualifications.
Extensions to security qualifications
We're pleased to confirm that the following qualifications have been extended for learner registration until 31 December 2017:
- Pearson BTEC Level 2 Award in Disengagement and Non-restrictive Physical Intervention Skills
- Pearson BTEC Level 2 Award in Disengagement and Physical Intervention Skills
- Pearson BTEC Level 3 Award in the Delivery of Conflict Management Training
Withdrawal of security qualifications
The following qualifications have been withdrawn because of low or no take up:
- Pearson BTEC Level 2 Award in Drugs Awareness in the Licensed Retail Sector. The last date for learner registrations on this qualification is 30 November 2015.
- Pearson BTEC Level 2 Award in Conflict Management. The last date for learner registrations on this qualification is 31 December 2015.
English language requirements for learners on Security Licence to Practise qualifications
There has been an increase in the number of complaints made to the SIA about the English language skills of SIA licence holders.
Centres are reminded that it is their responsibility to ensure that each learner is sufficiently competent in the use of the English language and must ensure that learners have sufficient language skills before putting learners forward for assessment. Learners must be able to communicate clearly both verbally and in writing, having the appropriate communication skills to be able to, for example, make calls to the emergency services or to resolve conflict.
As a reminder, you are required to explain to your Standards Verifier how you ensure each learner is sufficiently competent in the use of the English language before they commence any programme and how you record this. You are required to retain English assessment records for non native speakers with the other assessment documentation for learners for a period of 3 years after certification.
In line with SIA requirements, Pearson sets tests which are available in English only. Therefore, it is not appropriate for learners for whom English is their second language to be provided with a scribe or reader to assist them in their assessment. To do so would provide an unfair advantage to the learner. The policy on the use of English is available on the SIA website.
You are advised to carry out an initial assessment of learners to identify their particular needs at the earliest stage. In the case of learners for whom English language communication skills are a weakness (and other particular special needs considerations do not apply), it would be appropriate to direct them to undertake additional learning to develop these skills. You are required to retain English assessment records for non native speakers with the other assessment documentation for learners for a period of 3 years after certification.
The SIA is taking allegations that licence holders do not have the requisite language skills very seriously, and as a result of their investigations into this matter a number of licences have been revoked this year.