Delivering BTEC qualifications
Whether you're new to delivering BTEC, or already offer our qualifications, this page outlines how our BTEC processes and delivery cycle work. The steps below will walk you through the different stages of delivery and provide handy guidance for the different topics.
Become a centre and get your qualifications approved
First, your centre will need to be approved to deliver BTEC qualifications. Your exams officer can assist you in becoming a centre and getting a qualification approved.
The cycle of delivery for BTEC is different from many other qualifications, as the ability to choose when you sit your internal assessments gives you flexibilty. To help you understand how a cycle in BTEC works, we've laid out the following 12 steps, so you know you have everything covered.
Internal assessment - Steps 1 to 9
Internal assessment happens throughout the year at a timing of your choice. The assessment process may be repeated several times, depending upon the number required for your particular qualification.
You will need to register your learners at the beginning of the BTEC programme in your centre (unlike GCSEs or A levels). This registration triggers the allocation of your Standards Verifier (SV), who is allocated by Pearson. Your SV will then get in touch.
Your SV is a key part of your support team, so it's a good idea to do this as early as possible.
You will need to identify a Lead Internal Verifier (LIV) for each BTEC principal subject area (on the QCF framework, e.g. BTEC Nationals 2010) or each BTEC (on the RQF framework, e.g. new Tech Awards or Nationals (2016/17)) programme being delivered.
The LIV is the key quality assurance contact for that subject programme at the centre. They will check the teacher (assessor) has marked accurately and met the standards.
The Assessment Plan is prepared by the LIV with the cooperation of the team of teachers involved in delivery and assessment for the programme. It is required by the Standards Verifier (SV) at an early stage in delivery. This plan is designed to ensure you are clear in how you are planning to deliver the course.
This is a good reason to contact your Standards Verifier early and to start the dialogue about timing and formats of assessments. This relationship between centre and Standards Verifier is a supportive one, designed to ensure smooth delivery.
Assessment of the learning aims of an internal component/unit is conducted using an Assignment Brief (AB). Assessments are performed after the content for the learning aim has been taught and is a formal part of the delivery of BTEC. All Assignment Briefs include a Vocational Scenario, Tasks and Evidence, and will require the learner to produce evidence that addresses all the assessment criteria related to the learning aims being assessed.
Many components/units have Authorised Assignment Briefs (AABs), which we provide to help get you started. Just go to your specification page and look under the Internal Assessments tab on the Course Materials page.
You can use our free assignment checking service (link) to ensure that assignments you have created enable learners to demonstrate appropriate evidence across the required criteria.
Following the teaching of subject content for a learning aim, found in the specification, the official assessment is scheduled. You can sometimes choose to cover multiple learning aims in one assessment. This is done when you, as the centre, believe that your learners are ready to complete the assessment activity. The assessment is formal and has a short time schedule (set by you).
You will always use an Assignment Brief (AB) - this could be an Authorised Assignment Brief (AAB) from our website, a modified AAB or an AB of your own making. Whatever you use, it is imperative that the assessment is internally verified - this means that you are verifying that the Vocational Scenario, the Tasks, the Evidence, the Assessor and the Hand-Out and Hand-In dates are appropriate for your learners. This ensures the assessment will be valid.
It is really important that learners know they need to hand in work by a particular date. It is good practice to perform mock assessment activities prior to using the formal Assignment Brief for the formal assessment
Once you have run a formal assessment session you will need to assess the students' work. Each student will need an assessment form to be completed, saying which assessment criteria have been met and which have not. Once you have done this, it is important that your centre has a plan for Internally Verifying (IV'ing) your assessments.
The internal verification of assessment must be done by another practitioner. It does not need to be the LIV or a teacher with subject specialism, though this is preferable. The purpose of this internal verification performs is to verify that you, as assessor, have applied the assessment criteria judgements correctly and consistently. A record of this internal verification is essential. Every assessment does not need to be internally verified but your centre should have a process of sampling, so you're assured that the quality of the assessment is maintained. We have standardisation materials to help you.
There are clear guidleines as to when the Lead Internal Verifier can offer a student the opportunity to re-submit their evidence. These guidlines are detailed in the Guide to Internal Assessment. The guidelines give considerable flexibility to the LIV to ensure that fairness and sensitivity prevails in giving all students the opportunities they deserve.
Standards Verification is how we check you’re operating appropriate quality assurance across your BTEC programmes and maintaining national standards. If you see the term 'External examination' this refers to a specific type of standards verification used for our BTEC Level 4–7 (QCF) programmes and BTEC Level 3 and 4 Foundation Diplomas in Art and Design.
Students are registered on a programme, meaning that you, as a centre, intend to deliver the required units for the student to be successful. If any of the required units are externally assessed, there is a requirement that the centre 'enter' the students for these units in the assessment window of your choosing. This will ensure you receive their external assessment papers.
Many BTEC programmes require external assessment units to be part of the delivery. The form of these external assessments vary and can be written papers and/or tasks, including some on-screen and on-demand tests. It is really important that you gain a thorough understanding of the externally assessed units in a BTEC programme and how to prepare students to be successful.
There is an ICEA document, which clarifies the overarching requirements of the different types of external assessment. For individual units or components, these can be overridden by the unit or component-specific Administrative Support Guide (ASG), which can be found under 'Course materials' on your qualification specification page.
Our exam timetables page lists the BTEC assessment windows for each subject:
For learners to take any on-screen tests, you will need to use the Pearson Onscreen Platform:
Before we can release results for vocational qualifications, we need information from you about how your learners have performed in internally assessed units that are claiming certification. We will ask you to provide grades given to each of the internally assessed units for each learner. You’ll also need to tell us if you want us to issue an interim or final certificate.