National 14-16 Qualifications in built environment, engineering, and health and social care, and childcare.


Qualifications Wales is asking for your views on whether new National 14-16 Qualifications in three subjects - built environment, engineering, and health and social care, and childcare - should be offered as VCSEs or as GCSEs.


VCSE
Vocational Certificate of Secondary Education
GCSE
General Certificate of Secondary Education


The table below is a summary of some of the similarities and differences between the newly launched VCSEs and GCSEs. 


Feature
VCSE
GCSE
Size120-140 Guided Learning Hours (GLH)120-140 GLH (for single awards)
LevelLevel 1/2Level 1/2
GradingPass / Merit / Distinction / Distinction* (to be confirmed)
A* - G
Area of focusBroad occupational areasSubject disciplines within Curriculum for Wales' areas of learning and experience
Degree of Prescription 
Greater scope for awarding bodies to have flexibility in the content and assessment of these qualifications 
Detailed content prescribed in approval criteria with limited scope for flexibility within qualifications by awarding bodies 
Assessment 
Lower proportion of external assessment (working assumption is that the permissible proportion of externally marked assessment per qualification is set somewhere between 20% and 40% )
Typically higher levels of control in internal assessment with external exams being a common feature in almost all subjects (ranging from 60% to 100% in all subjects other than art and design) 
Transition 
Support progression into post-16 study or work-based learning.
Support progression into post-16 study or work-based learning.


We have previously published GCSE approval criteria for engineering and health and social care, and childcare, but we are now seeking your views on whether these subjects, and built environment, might be better placed as VCSEs.

Find out more by reading our consultation document and integrated impact assessment.

Our consultation will run for just under eight weeks, closing on Monday 10 June 2024.

Have your say and help inform our decision by completing the short survey.

CLOSED: This survey has concluded.


Qualifications Wales is asking for your views on whether new National 14-16 Qualifications in three subjects - built environment, engineering, and health and social care, and childcare - should be offered as VCSEs or as GCSEs.


VCSE
Vocational Certificate of Secondary Education
GCSE
General Certificate of Secondary Education


The table below is a summary of some of the similarities and differences between the newly launched VCSEs and GCSEs. 


Feature
VCSE
GCSE
Size120-140 Guided Learning Hours (GLH)120-140 GLH (for single awards)
LevelLevel 1/2Level 1/2
GradingPass / Merit / Distinction / Distinction* (to be confirmed)
A* - G
Area of focusBroad occupational areasSubject disciplines within Curriculum for Wales' areas of learning and experience
Degree of Prescription 
Greater scope for awarding bodies to have flexibility in the content and assessment of these qualifications 
Detailed content prescribed in approval criteria with limited scope for flexibility within qualifications by awarding bodies 
Assessment 
Lower proportion of external assessment (working assumption is that the permissible proportion of externally marked assessment per qualification is set somewhere between 20% and 40% )
Typically higher levels of control in internal assessment with external exams being a common feature in almost all subjects (ranging from 60% to 100% in all subjects other than art and design) 
Transition 
Support progression into post-16 study or work-based learning.
Support progression into post-16 study or work-based learning.


We have previously published GCSE approval criteria for engineering and health and social care, and childcare, but we are now seeking your views on whether these subjects, and built environment, might be better placed as VCSEs.

Find out more by reading our consultation document and integrated impact assessment.

Our consultation will run for just under eight weeks, closing on Monday 10 June 2024.

Have your say and help inform our decision by completing the short survey.

CLOSED: This survey has concluded.

Page last updated: 11 Jun 2024, 08:00 AM