T Levels Specification and content FAQs
Pearson is responsible for the specification development and assessment delivery of the Technical Qualifications (TQ) in Construction: Design, surveying and planning and Digital: Digital production, design and development.
Below are some frequently asked questions and their answers, which will help you to understand some of the details of the TQ development, delivery, and assessment.
Frequently asked questions
The Core component is split into two assessments:
- Core knowledge, understanding and skills (KUS) which underpin all of the occupations covered by the T Level which the TQ forms part of.
- Employer Set Project (ESP) - assessment of specific knowledge, skills and behaviours relevant to one or more of the Occupational Specialisms.
Construction: 600GLH split equally between the following three assessments.
- Exam 1: Science and Building Technology
- Exam 2: Construction Industry and Sustainability
- Employer Set Project
Digital: 600GLH split equally between the following three assessments.
- Exam 1: Digital Technology
- Exam 2: Digital Working Practises
- Employer Set Project
We do. The Core assessment is set and marked by the awarding organisation.
We do. The ESP is set and marked by the awarding organisation.
We will work with employers to design and set the ESP for each assessment window. This will make sure the assessment is set within a realistic industry context and it is appropriate and aligns with the Occupational Specialism within the TQ.
The Employer Set Project forms part of the assessment for the Core component, and relates to the Occupational Specialisms. The ESP is separate from the Industrial Placement (which is not part of the TQ) and does not assess the Industry Placement in any way.
However, we believe the Industry Placement will help your students apply the knowledge, understanding and skills they are learning in the classroom. And as a result, their placement will help towards them apply their skills within an industry environment, which we hope will support their summative assessment of the TQ.
For your students' initial attempt, yes. The Core assessments (each of the Core KUS and the ESP) must be sat in the same assessment window.
If your students need to resit the Core assessment the rules a slightly different – please see ‘what can a student resit?’ below.
The Core KUS and ESP marks will be combined to give an overall Core component grade between A* - E.
We will be assessing the Occupational Specialism via a specialist project that will be set and marked by us. This is designed to be synoptic.
The specialist project will be designed to assess skills applied in a realistic project context - this will be a series of tasks that will may have to be done within a specific window or on a specific day
Tasks will be set and briefs given for each of the occupational specialisms:
- Civil Engineering, Building Services Engineering Design
- Surveying and Design in Construction
- Hazardous Materials Analysis
Students will be given a work related problem to solve, where knowledge, understanding, skills and behaviours are drawn together. The brief will require the student to analyse set of variables provided in context to the occupational specialism; research of a local environment, design a workable solution to the problem and verification of the solution with the client. Students will need to be observed operating safely when carrying out some tasks.
Tasks will be set and briefs given for the single occupational specialism:
- Digital Production, Design and Development
Students will be given an integration project that will take a business problem, two sets of existing code, and the user requirements.
The Occupational Specialism will be graded Pass, Merit or Distinction.
The roll-out of T Levels is managed by the DfE. As part of your implementation you’ll be discussing with them which Occupational Specialisms you’ll be offering.
The Core Component will have two assessment windows per academic year: Summer (April/May) and November.
The Occupational Specialist Component will have one assessment window per year: this will be classed as a Summer Window, as this is when the assessment will complete. However, the assessment window may start much earlier in the year (depending upon the TQ) due to the nature of the task.
The first assessment window for the Core component will be in summer 2021.
The first assessment window for the Occupational Specialism will be in summer 2022.
For their initial attempt, each student must take all of the Core component assessments in a single assessment window. So, all of the Core KUS assessments and the ESP.
Yes. There will be assessment windows for both the Employer Set Project and the Occupational Specialist project portfolio.
The ESP is part of the Core Component – therefore it will fall under the Core Component assessment window.
Yes, there will be some element of control. However, these have not been confirmed with the Institute.
We will update you once control measures have been confirmed and we will publish in our Sample Assessment Materials.
There is no specific ‘resit’ window permitted. However, students will be able to resit in the following assessment window.
Students may resit:
- the Core KUS assessment
- the Employer Set Project
- the assessments for an Occupational Specialism, or
- any combination of these.
A student must resit all of the assessments for the Core KUS assessment, the ESP or an Occupational Specialism, as relevant. Students must resit all of the assessments for each in a single assessment window. So, for example, if there are two assessments for the Core KUS assessment, a student must retake both of those assessments in a single assessment window.
However, where a student resits both the Core KUS assessment and the ESP, he or she does not need to retake both sets of assessments in the same assessment window. For clarity, where a student resits the Core KUS assessment he or she is not be required to retake the ESP, and vice versa.
For further information please refer to the Ofqual Handbook: Technical Qualifications.
We will provide a free Provider Support package, this will commence in Spring 2020.
For teaching and delivery this will include:
- Delivery Pack, including resources to support the holistic devliery of topics
- Getting Ready to Teach events
For assessment this will include:
- Getting Ready to Assess events
- Specimen Assessment Material
- Sample marked learner work
- Principal Examiner Report
Yes. We will be using both Results Plus and Exam Wizard for the TQ. However, please note that these are Pearson owned systems - therefore they will only be used for the TQ’s we have the contract/s to deliver.
We have no plans to produce a textbook. However, a third party may choose to publish textbooks for the TQs.
Draft Specimen Assessment Material will be released with our draft specification. We expect this to be early March 2020.
No, the industry placement isn’t part of the Technical Qualification.
It is one of the components of the T Level and managed by the DfE.
Yes. In order to complete the T Level your students must complete the industry placement.
This hasn’t been confirmed by the DfE yet. But please note it will not be measured by us.
Yes. There have been some changes to the industry placement. For the most up to date information please see the DfE's Industry Placement webpage.
No. Students don't need English or maths prior to starting the TQ.
However, it is a requirement to achieve either GCSE Grade 4 in English and maths or Level 2 Functional Skills in English and maths in order to achieve the T Level.
There are no formal entry criteria set by us for the TQ. Entry requirements can be set by providers - but this is outside of our remit as an awarding organisation.
We would suggest that students have achieved a good grounding at Level 2, either in GCSE or vocational qualifications such as BTEC, and particularly in subjects that will aid progression to T Levels.
Yes, it has been confirmed that T Levels will attract UCAS points.
This is managed by the DfE and they hold the relationship with UCAS as to the allocation of UCAS points.
Please note: UCAS points will be allocated to the T Level not the Technical Qualification.
We have engaged with HEIs during the development of the TQ in order to ensure its content is appropriate for progression to degree programmes.
The final grading of the T Level will be Pass, Merit, Distinction and Distinction*.
For the Technical Qualification, the Core is graded A*- E and the Occupational Specialism is graded Pass, Merit, Distinction. Both of these component grades will be given to the ESFA who will formulate the overall T Level grade, inform providers of T Level results and issue T Level certificates.
Please note: we will not be providing a grade or certificate for the Technical Qualification.
T Levels are a programme of study and all components must be achieved in order for certification. There is no component level certification.
Students who fail the T Level will receive a results slip from the ESFA acknowledging partial completion.
Students who fail a component of the T Level will have the opportunity to resit (following the guidance from Ofqual). However, this may be reliant on funding, which you should discuss with your ESFA relationship manager.
At this moment in time we would suggest the Qualification Descriptions should be used for this purpose. These can be found below.
We ask providers not to use any draft technical information on content and assessment for marketing purposes, but general information provided by the DfE promoting the T Level could be used.