Schoolzone: Vocational qualifications

Vocational and non-GCSE qualifications 2014

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New perfomance measures allow for only certain specified vocational and non-GCSE qualifications. Here are the approved lists to begin teaching in 2014:


These changes come into force for courses taught from September 2014 and will appear in separate performance tables (to A-levels etc) from 2016. In order to boost the currency of vocational qualifications, the DfE is insisting that are supported by employers, professional associations or universities. The listings of approved courses below also include links to how each qualification is recognised and by whom. Each also carries a statement of purpose in order to try to clarify its value.

Two new types are being introduced:

Tech levels (level 3):

These are intended to be the equivalent of vocational A-levels and will be focused on particular jobs. They will each be supported by a professional body or five employers.

Some Tech levels will contribute towards the new TechBacc measure. To achieve the TechBacc, students will need to obtain one of these plus:

  • an approved level 3 mathematics qualification
  • the Extended Project Qualification.
Full list of Tech levels here
AGQs (level 3):

Applied General qualifications are broader and intended to lead to HE. They will each be supported by at least three universities.

AGQs do not count towards the new TechBacc.

Full list of AGQs (and those pending) here

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