Qualification types in the United Kingdom
In the UK education sector, there are a wide range of qualification types offered by the United Kingdom awarding bodies. Qualifications range in size and type, can be academic, vocational or skills-related, and are grouped together into different levels of difficulty. In England, Wales and Northern Ireland, qualifications are divided into Higher Education qualifications, which are on the Framework for Higher Education Qualifications (FHEQ) and are awarded by bodies with degree awarding powers, and Regulated qualifications, which are on the Regulated Qualifications Framework (RQF) and are accredited by Ofqual in England, the Council for the Curriculum, Examinations and Assessment in Northern Ireland and Qualifications Wales in Wales. In Scotland, qualifications are divided into Higher Education qualifications, Scottish Qualifications Authority qualifications and Scottish Vocational Qualifications/Modern Apprenticeships, all of which are on the Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework (SCQF). Scottish Higher Education Qualifications are on both the SCQF and the FHEQ.
The Business and Technology Education Council (BTEC)
The Business and Technology Education Council (BTEC) is a provider (existing as part of Pearson Education Ltd) of secondary school leaving qualifications and Further education qualifications in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Whilst the T in BTEC it has been mistakenly understood to stand for Technician, according to the DFE (2016) it actually stands for Technology.
BTEC qualifications, especially Level 3, are accepted by many universities (excluding Cambridge and Oxford unless combined with more qualifications) when assessing the suitability of applicants for admission, and many such universities base their conditional admissions offers on a student’s predicted BTEC grades.