Frequently asked questions

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In light of the current changes to the BTEC offer, we have compiled this list of FAQs to help make things easier.

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General

To enhance the value of BTEC internationally, we are offering a flexible vocational qualification which remains relevant globally to students, teachers, employers and governments.

The Pearson BTEC International Level 3 qualifications are career-focused courses which equip learners with the knowledge, understanding and employability skills they need to succeed.

Covering a range of key sectors, they are equivalent to our successful UK BTEC Level 3 courses and support entry into University in the UK and internationally or directly into employment.

These qualifications have been designed with employers and professional bodies to provide relevant work-related learning. They develop knowledge, skills and understanding – theory and practical application. They are modular in their design and the focus is on progression at the learner's own speed from one level to another.

All Pearson BTEC International Level 3 qualifications provide transferable knowledge and skills that prepare learners for progression to university. The transferable skills that universities value include:

  • the ability to learn independently
  • the ability to research actively and methodically
  • the ability to give presentations and be active group members.

BTEC learners can also benefit from opportunities for deep learning, where they are able to make connections across units and select areas of interest for detailed study. BTEC International Level 3 qualifications provide a vocational context in which learners can develop the knowledge and skills required for particular degree courses, including:

  • research skills
  • presentation skills
  • decision making skills
  • selection of appropriate tools and processes used in engineering
  • effective writing
  • self-management and planning skills
  • analytical skills
  • preparation for assessment methods used in a degree
  • ability to work in legal, ethical and moral manner

All qualifications are mapped to transferable skills and delivery of these skills will be supported through Pearson resources.

Certificate (180 GLH)
Subsidiary Diploma (360 GLH)
Foundation Diploma (540 GLH)
Diploma (720 GLH)
Extended Diploma (1080 GLH)  

Pearson BTEC

A Pearson BTEC qualification is all about putting what you know straight into practice. You will learn through real-life scenarios, equipping you with the knowledge and skills to succeed in whatever career path you choose in the future.

Partnering with real businesses and understanding what skills they need are at the heart of Pearson’s BTEC qualifications. We work with industry experts to ensure the qualification you teach and the skills your students learn will meet their high standards. That means when your learners study a BTEC, they gain the skills that employers really want.

Pearson’s BTEC qualifications are recognised by employers, universities and Ministries of Education around the world. We are always seeking to expand the number of countries where BTECs are recognised to increase the employment progression opportunities for learners. BTEC learners are also able to progress to higher education studies right up to the final year of an undergraduate degree.

With employers looking for a mix of academic and skills-based qualifications, your students will be kick-starting their career in the very best way possible - with a world-class qualification respected by employers. BTEC qualifications at level 3 are recognised by an increasing number of UK and International Universities for entry onto undergraduate degree programmes.

Technical and Vocational qualifications such as BTEC have sparked an interest with employers and higher education institutions. They are choosing BTEC-qualified candidates for the academic, practical knowledge and skills that are learnt whilst studying a BTEC.

Vocational education equips students with practical experience and technical skills in a specific type of field and this will become more important as the workplace changes. Some occupations like manufacturing production, administration and sales are expected to change dramatically in the years ahead.  Other occupations are likely to grow - including agriculture, skilled trades and jobs in construction and services and hospitality jobs.

Education, health care and the public sector could also see growth due to an ageing population and a growing appetite for lifelong learning. Creative, digital, design and engineering occupations continue to be key but have always had enhanced support by digital technology.

Assessments

Pearson BTEC International Level 3 qualifications are 100% internally assessed through assignments and practical tasks. Most assessments are set and marked by educators in the school or college and verified by Pearson. Pearson will set and provide centres with Pearson Set Assignments for some units.

For units assessed with a Pearson Set Assignment we provide the assignment to be used as the assessment for the unit. For the remaining internally set units, we provide Authorised Assignment Briefs. These can either be used as the assignment, or used as a template to set your own assignments, according to your learners’ preferences and to link with your local employment profile. 

Timelines

Support

Specification - The specification (for teaching from April 2020) gives details of the administration of
the qualifications and information on the units for the qualifications.

Delivery Guide - free guide gives you important advice on how to choose the right course for your learners and how to ensure you are fully prepared to deliver the course. It explains key features of qualifications, for example employer involvement and employability skills. It also covers guidance on assessment and quality assurance. The Guide tells you where you can find further support and gives detailed unit-by-unit delivery guidance. It includes teaching tips and ideas, assessment preparation and suggestions for further resources.

Schemes of work - Free sample schemes of work are provided for each mandatory unit. These are available in MS Word™ format for ease of customisation.

myBTEC - online toolkit to plan and manage your BTEC provision from one place. It supports the delivery, assessment and quality assurance of BTECs in centres and supports teachers with the following activities:

  • checking a programme is using a valid combination of units
  • creating and verifying assignment briefs (including access to a bank of authorised assignment briefs that can be customised)
  • creating assessment plans and recording assessment decisions
  • tracking the progress of every learner throughout their programme.

Student ebook with Teacher support (Business, Engineering, Hospitality, Travel and Tourism, IT)
Teacher book (Applied Science, Construction, Land based)
Sample Assignments (all)
Unit delivery guidance (all)

Art and Design
Business/ Enterprise
Construction
Creative Media
Engineering (Mechatronic/ Aeronautical/ Manufacturing/ Digital/ Mechanical/ Electrical and Electronic)
Hospitality
IT
Land-based (Agriculture and Horticulture)
Music
Travel and Tourism
Performing Arts
Production Arts
Applied Science
Sport

Training

There are teams available to support and give advice and guidance on delivery of Pearson BTEC International Level 3 qualifications. They include the following.

  • Subject Advisors – available for all sectors. They understand all Pearson qualifications in their sector and can answer sector-specific queries on planning, teaching, learning and assessment.
  • Standards Verifiers – they can support you with preparing your assignments, ensuring that your assessment plan is set up correctly, and support you in preparing learner work and providing quality assurance through sampling.
  • Regional teams – regionally based and have a full overview of the BTEC qualifications and the support that Pearson provides. Regions often run network events.

We provide training and professional development events to support the introduction, delivery, assessment and administration of Pearson BTEC International Level 3 qualifications. These sector-specific events, developed and delivered by specialists, are available both face to face and online.

‘Getting Ready to Teach’ - events designed to get teachers ready for delivery of the Pearson BTEC International Level 3 qualifications. They include an overview of qualification structures, planning and preparation for internal and external assessment, and quality assurance. 

We offer a broad range of online and face-to-face training events to support the delivery of our internationally recognised BTEC qualifications. You can book training with our regional team.

Visit our website training page and select your subject and qualification to see what is upcoming. Once you’ve found what you’re looking for, please complete an online request form to submit your requirements. We require at least six weeks' notice to arrange training.

Pearson Set Assignments

The Pearson Set Assignment (PSA) is an assignment that Pearson sets for a proportion of units in the new International Level 3 BTEC qualifications. You must use this assignment to assess your learners for the identified units.

Centres need to ensure the authenticity of the student work.

There are two PSAs so that you can offer a resit to learners as described in the specification.Both PSAs are set at exactly the same standard. You can choose to offer the most appropriate context for your learners as the first attempt.

No - you must use the assignment as it is, without adapting it.

No - the Pearson Set Assignment can be used whenever it is convenient for your school or college. You don’t need to offer it in a specific window.

You can work with the schedule assigned for verification (when standard verifiers attend your centre).

Pearson provides a recommended time for completion but you can set the time at your discretion. The timing we provide is advice only. 

No -  but you should be confident of the authenticity of learner responses, as is the case across all units. We will provide further guidance on minimising risks of plagiarism. 

They will be available on the relevant subject Level 3 International BTEC page on this website.

Two will be available for each year from September. Every September we will release two new PSAs to be used from September.

Yes, in line with other internal assessments, they can resubmit the same assignmentonce to improve their grade as long as they have met the resubmission criteria. They can then retake on the second assignment but the grade will be capped at 'pass'.

Yes - because two are always available you can use the second version for a resit.

The PSA must not be adapted- therefore the Internal Verifier role focuses on the standardisation of marking the PSA.

Standards Verifiers will aim to sample at least one PSA unit in the sample. Sampling methodology remains the same as for other internally set units.

Where we have large cohorts taking in local language, regional offices will arrange translation. Please contact your regional representative for support.

We are preparing Sample Marked Learner Work for the suite which will include prepared responses and references to assessment criteria.