What are Vocational Qualifications

What are Vocational Qualifications

There are numerous vocational qualifications that one can select from, ranging from OCR Nationals to BTEC qualifications. These vocational qualifications typically range from regular qualifications that enable you to learn a skill that is relevant to an array of jobs and specialist qualifications which have been designed to empower you for a specific job area. These vocational qualifications are awarded by numerous bodies like Edexcel, OCR and City & Guilds. By their design, they can be awarded at numerous varying levels and sizes.

OCR Nationals and BTECs

OCR Nationals and BTEC qualifications are unique forms of work linked qualifications which come in a vast array of subjects. Quite a number of them have been formulated in association with their related history, so as to help participants be equipped with the knowledge and skillset that employers search for.

These qualifications provide a combination of practice and theory, and they can also have a work experience element added to them. They are usually part of or take shape as a practical certificate.

What can be studied

OCR Nationals and BTECs come in a vast array of subjects with the following being included:

  • Business
  • Design and art
  • information technology
  • public services
  • media
  • sport
  • social care and health
  • science

these courses are generally full-time courses and are studied at either a Further Education college or at school. They are also taken as part of a partnership between a college and a school. They can also be taken part-time at a Further Education college.

These courses are typically taken by participants that are over 16 years of age, however, there are some schools that offer these courses alongside other qualifications like Key Skills or GCSEs to participants that are aged between 14-16 years of age.

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Entry requirements and Levels

There are numerous levels available for BTEC qualifications and theses levels are based on the RQF or Regulated Qualifications Framework. When it comes to OCR Nationals, they are offered from levels 1-3. 

With the qualifications being at dissimilar levels, there are varying entry requirements. For instance, to study and attain a level 2, it is necessary for the participant to have a level 1 or GCSE grades from D-G in a related subject. For a participant to study and attain a level 3, they will need either a level 2 or A-C grades on their GCSEs in a similar subject.

How are OCR Nationals and BTEC assessed?

Participants will have to complete an array of case studies, practical activities and assignments in combination with a finished work portfolio detailing practical work. They are then assessed by a trainer or teacher in their study centre. It is possible for participants to be assessed by examiners outside the school, however that depends on the qualification chosen.

When it comes to the grading OCR Nationals and BTEC, there are three classifications with Pass being the lowest, Merit being the second highest and Distinction being the highest.

OCR Nationals and BTECs can be used for either further study or can be used to secure employment in a related field.