Choosing BTEC Firsts for your level 2 learners

Whether you’re teaching post-16 learners, or looking for a skills-based option at Key Stage 4, BTEC Firsts offer a choice of hands-on, level 2 courses in a range of subjects.

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Improvements for September 2018

We’ve listened to feedback from teaching professionals about what you need to meet the changing needs of post-16 level 2 learners.

That’s why from 1 September 2018, you’ll see:

Your learners no longer have to aggregate a Pass across all the core units to pass the whole qualification in the Certificate, Extended Certificate and Diploma sizes.

You don’t need to do anything different - just teach all the mandatory units as you did before. We’ll apply the change automatically to all qualification claims from 1 September 2018.

It doesn’t matter when you made the registration, as long as you’re claiming your certificate on or after 1 September 2018.

If you’ve already claimed a certificate, we can’t apply the changes retrospectively - this change only applies to claims from 1 September 2018 onwards.

We’ve taken a selection of the optional units from the Diploma (the largest size) and we’re making them available in smaller sizes (Certificate and Extended Certificate) from 1 September 2018.

This puts the choice of which units are right for your learners in the hands of teaching professionals. Having larger (60 GLH), more specialist units available for shorter courses also means more time teaching a richer range of content with fewer assessments.

If you’ve already started teaching, you’re under no obligation to change - although you can if you want to. It’s your course - your choice.

To give teaching professionals stability and time to plan, you can you continue registering new learners on the improved BTEC Firsts (Certificate, Extended Certificate and Diploma sizes only) until December 2024.

The new dates for the Certificate, Extended Certificate and Diploma sizes are:

  • Registrations until: 31 December 2024
  • Certification until: 31 December 2026.

The registration and certification dates for the BTEC First Awards remain the same and are not extended to December 2024.

There is one exception - because of QiW changes, registration dates for:

  • BTEC Firsts in Health and Social Care
  • BTEC Firsts in Children’s Play, Learning and Development

will not be extended in Wales. You’ll see these revised dates go live on the website towards the end of term.

> Check your subject specification page using 'Select a subject'

Changes for your sector

Our BTEC specialists are updating the BTEC First specifications during the summer term so you can plan for September 2018. 

Read our guide on the changes by sector (PDF, 0.1MB)

Use “Select a subject” to check your specification page

Our Subject Advisors will send out updates with more information as soon as the changes are live.

Sign up for updates from your subject advisor

Explore more level 2 BTEC courses

Teaching BTEC at Key Stage 4 - or looking for a more technical route? Take a look at our range of level 2 BTECs:

BTEC Tech Awards for Key Stage 4

Performance tables and funding in England

It’s unlikely these improved BTEC First qualifications will meet the DfE’s requirements for performance tables (Technical Certificates) in England, although they will continue to be eligible for 16-18 funding.

> Check which Pearson titles are included in performance tables (England)