Qualifications Wales' review of qualifications in the construction and built environment sector found that a number of changes should be made to the qualifications to make sure that they meet the needs of both learners and employers in Wales. The new qualifications will reduce complexity and raise the quality of the learning outcomes and experience. CITB, the Civil Engineering Contractors Association for Wales, the Federation for Master Builders, National Federation of Builders (NFB), Electrical Contractors Association (ECA), Association of Plumbing and Heating Contractors (APHC) and the Building Services Engineering Services Association (BESA) are fully supportive of this vision and are active partners in the development process.
The new qualifications will be available for first teaching from September 2021. Only learners who register for study on or after 1 September 2021 will take the new qualifications. The existing qualifications will remain in place until that date. Final learner registrations of the current Level 2 and Level 3 construction and building services engineering qualifications, used by centres for 16-19 year olds and apprentices, will take place in August 2021.
City & Guilds | EAL are developing qualifications at Level 2 and 3, and WJEC are developing a GCSE, AS and A Level. These qualifications will provide you with a number of ways to build your knowledge, skills and competence to continue your learning, and work in the sector. There are routes suited to schools, colleges, employment as well as work-based learning.
Yes. Most of the qualifications offer a route to progress onto further study, while the apprenticeship qualification enables progression into a chosen trade in employment. The Level 2 progression qualification and Level 3 apprenticeship provide a range of pathways to choose from.
Yes, all of the new qualifications will be available in English and through the medium of Welsh. Please ask your training provider, college or school about how they plan to deliver the qualifications through the medium of Welsh.
The new vocational qualifications will be restricted approved qualifications and therefore will be only available from City & Guilds | EAL – they will feature on the Qualifications in Wales (QiW) database. This means that they will be the only version of these qualifications that will be eligible for public funding. From September 2021, they will feature in the Specification of Apprenticeship Standards Wales (SASW) frameworks.
The new qualifications are developed by City & Guilds and EAL. If you are not currently using qualifications provided by either organisation and your centre would like to deliver these qualifications, you will be required to change awarding body, by 1 September 2021 for the Level 2 qualifications and by September 2022 for the Level 3, by submitting a centre approval application form.
Your organisation may be impacted in the following ways:
- With the introduction of these new Level 2 and 3 qualifications in construction and building services engineering in Wales from September 2021, many qualifications which are currently eligible for public funding will stop being funded. If an existing qualification is found to have similar purposes, aims and content it will no longer be available for use in further education or within the Specification of Apprenticeship Standards Wales (SASW) framework. At level 1, Qualifications Wales are looking at the current offer and will amend what will be funded to ensure that there is clear and complementary progression for learners.
- From September 2021, the new suite of vocational Level 2 and Level 3 qualifications will be awarded by City & Guilds or EAL and will be funded for 16 to 19 year olds, and apprentices. The GCSE, AS and A Level will be awarded by WJEC. Level 1 qualifications are currently under review by Qualification Wales.
- The subject content, structure and size of the new vocational qualifications will differ from the ones you currently use which is likely to require some of your centre delivery staff to upskill.
- External verification and the balance between internal and external assessment may change to reduce the burden of admin and volume of assessments on centres in comparison to the existing qualifications. For example, the volume and frequency of summative assessment will lessen and a more holistic and synoptic approach will be taken. This will effect assessment methods, particularly for the apprenticeship. The employer will have a new responsibility to sign off an apprentice as competent against the national occupational standard to allow the apprentice access to the final assessment.
Yes, all of the new qualifications will have specification handbooks and sample assessments available through the medium of Welsh and English. All external assessments will be available through the medium of Welsh, and centres and training providers will be provided with support to also make internal assessment available through the medium of Welsh.
We have developed some initial teaching and learning resources to support your delivery of the underpinning knowledge required. Resources are available, through the medium of English and Welsh, including qualification specifications and sample assessments. Visit the events web page and resources web page for guidance and information to help centres and providers get ready to deliver the new qualifications.
The new qualifications will be available to learners who register for qualifications on or after 1 September 2021. Current qualifications will continue to be funded up until September 2021 and there will be a transition period to allow learners who are already working towards a qualification to be able to complete. Learners who are already working towards a qualification will not be affected, and they will continue their study until they complete their qualification.
We are working with a wide range of sector representatives, and Qualifications Wales, to ensure that the qualifications contain relevant and up-to-date content to develop the knowledge, skills and competence needed within the construction and built environment workplace. Additionally, the introduction of the ‘Foundation’ and ‘Progression’ qualifications will ensure that all learners develop the key knowledge and understanding. We are working with card scheme organisations to plan how these learners can be eligible for a Skills Card to allow them on site. Learners moving from the progression qualification onto the apprenticeship will allow them to put their knowledge and understanding into practice to build competency in the workplace.
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