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    • SouthUKMan
    • By SouthUKMan 9th May 18, 9:24 AM
    • 381Posts
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    SouthUKMan
    Awarding Bodies & Qualifications
    • #1
    • 9th May 18, 9:24 AM
    Awarding Bodies & Qualifications 9th May 18 at 9:24 AM
    In education terms, can someone kindly explain what 'awards' are?

    For example, I would like to study a very basic Spanish course from home to fit around my working hours. I have found an OCN Entry Level 3 course that offers an 'award' on completion with a credit value of 6. Is this award a proper qualification that carries some weight and that I could proudly put on my CV or is it, to be quite frank, reasonably meaningless?

    To put it another way, everyone understands what a GCSE is - but is an OCN Entry Level 3 award recognised in the same universal way (albeit I am aware that Entry Level 3 is very basic!). My question is about the validity of the end qualification. Thanks
Page 1
    • tikki999
    • By tikki999 9th May 18, 9:37 AM
    • 39 Posts
    • 29 Thanks
    tikki999
    • #2
    • 9th May 18, 9:37 AM
    • #2
    • 9th May 18, 9:37 AM
    From what I understand, Entry Level 3 qualification is a basic level on which you can build a Level 1 or 2 (GCSE level) qualification, if you want to progress in your chosen subject. In the way, you can build up credits as you go up the qualification ladder.
    • ReadingTim
    • By ReadingTim 9th May 18, 10:08 AM
    • 3,154 Posts
    • 4,698 Thanks
    ReadingTim
    • #3
    • 9th May 18, 10:08 AM
    • #3
    • 9th May 18, 10:08 AM
    The "Register of Regulated Qualifications" for England can be found here - Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland will have similar. If it ain't on the list, it ain't a recognised qualification..!

    As to whether to put it on your CV, I think it depends on the audience. If it's specific to the job and might mean something to the reader, then go for it. Otherwise, I'd stick to recognised academic qualification (GCSE, A-Levels etc) or equivalent but not really below - it seems a little mickey mouse, like saying you've got your 25 meter swimming badge. Until you've reached (say) GCSE level, I'd stick it in interests or skills (ie "I enjoy swimming", or "language skills - basic conversational Spanish").

    The exception might be if you've passed the basic/entry level and are studying your way up - evidence of sticking with something, success and progression are always useful.
    • SouthUKMan
    • By SouthUKMan 9th May 18, 10:24 AM
    • 381 Posts
    • 305 Thanks
    SouthUKMan
    • #4
    • 9th May 18, 10:24 AM
    • #4
    • 9th May 18, 10:24 AM
    The "Register of Regulated Qualifications" for England can be found here - Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland will have similar. If it ain't on the list, it ain't a recognised qualification..!

    As to whether to put it on your CV, I think it depends on the audience. If it's specific to the job and might mean something to the reader, then go for it. Otherwise, I'd stick to recognised academic qualification (GCSE, A-Levels etc) or equivalent but not really below - it seems a little mickey mouse, like saying you've got your 25 meter swimming badge. Until you've reached (say) GCSE level, I'd stick it in interests or skills (ie "I enjoy swimming", or "language skills - basic conversational Spanish").

    The exception might be if you've passed the basic/entry level and are studying your way up - evidence of sticking with something, success and progression are always useful.
    Originally posted by ReadingTim
    Thanks... really useful. As it happens, the awarding body is shown on the link you've given. And the point about it being a Mickey Mouse qualification is the sort of feedback I was (or wasn't!) hoping to hear.

    I want to study (for career and lifestyle reasons) but at this stage I can't commit the time to a more recognised course such as a GCSE. That said, I don't want to waste my time with something that either isn't recognised or will simply be laughed at if I try and use it as evidence of learning.
    Last edited by SouthUKMan; 09-05-2018 at 10:35 AM.
    • andydownes123
    • By andydownes123 9th May 18, 11:41 AM
    • 431 Posts
    • 542 Thanks
    andydownes123
    • #5
    • 9th May 18, 11:41 AM
    • #5
    • 9th May 18, 11:41 AM
    Entry level 3 is low...students who really struggle academically go on these types of qualifications.

    Next up is Level 1 - this is still low and considered less than a GCSE. Anybody who can't get more then Es and Fs (in old money) usually go on these levels. Level 1 need support in many cases.

    Level 2 - equivelent to GCSE levels. Award low, Cert is better (only three units though so not much) Diploma is the full one. Students who are hovering in the D catagory (especially for English and Maths) usually go in here.

    Level 3 - A levels. Students with a good clutch of Cs including Eng and Maths are suitable for these. Three-four A-levels will give you enough UCAS points for a uni place.

    Level 4 - First year of uni

    Level 5 - 2nd year

    Level 6 - 3rd year

    Level 7 - Masters

    Above - PhD.

    Many levels are subdivided into 'Award', 'Certificate' and 'Diploma' and 'Extended Diploma'. Each has an increase in complexity and the amount of units to complete.
    • SouthUKMan
    • By SouthUKMan 9th May 18, 12:43 PM
    • 381 Posts
    • 305 Thanks
    SouthUKMan
    • #6
    • 9th May 18, 12:43 PM
    • #6
    • 9th May 18, 12:43 PM
    Entry level 3 is low...students who really struggle academically go on these types of qualifications.

    Next up is Level 1 - this is still low and considered less than a GCSE. Anybody who can't get more then Es and Fs (in old money) usually go on these levels. Level 1 need support in many cases.

    Level 2 - equivelent to GCSE levels. Award low, Cert is better (only three units though so not much) Diploma is the full one. Students who are hovering in the D catagory (especially for English and Maths) usually go in here.

    Level 3 - A levels. Students with a good clutch of Cs including Eng and Maths are suitable for these. Three-four A-levels will give you enough UCAS points for a uni place.

    Level 4 - First year of uni

    Level 5 - 2nd year

    Level 6 - 3rd year

    Level 7 - Masters

    Above - PhD.

    Many levels are subdivided into 'Award', 'Certificate' and 'Diploma' and 'Extended Diploma'. Each has an increase in complexity and the amount of units to complete.
    Originally posted by andydownes123
    Thanks for taking the time to reply. I haven't studied for many years, my free time is minimal, and Spanish is entirely new to me. That's why I'm fine with starting at Entry Level 3 and to progress from there While the end result is most important (for me, learning some of the basics of Spanish) - it would be nice to think that I am studying a bonafide qualification rather than something that in the real world no one would recognise if I used it to embellish a CV.

    For example, a colleague who is a former teacher with 20+ years's state school experience did an online 180 hour TEFL course. While it showed him some of the basics of teaching those who don't speak English as their first language, in the real world the so-called 'qualification' was meaningless and no language school would take him on - despite him actually being a very experienced teacher. The course he'd paid for was essentially worthless in the real world - that's what I'm trying to avoid.
    • Wyndham
    • By Wyndham 9th May 18, 4:42 PM
    • 2,058 Posts
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    Wyndham
    • #7
    • 9th May 18, 4:42 PM
    • #7
    • 9th May 18, 4:42 PM
    I'm not clear why you want to do this. Is it because you hope it will enhance your job prospects, or just for fun.

    If to enhance your job prospects, then yes, look at a different type of course that will be considered seriously in the field. If only for fun, then does it really matter? In that case surely the course itself is the reason for doing it, and the certificate at the end can be almost considered an extra.
    • SouthUKMan
    • By SouthUKMan 9th May 18, 6:47 PM
    • 381 Posts
    • 305 Thanks
    SouthUKMan
    • #8
    • 9th May 18, 6:47 PM
    • #8
    • 9th May 18, 6:47 PM
    I'm not clear why you want to do this. Is it because you hope it will enhance your job prospects, or just for fun.

    If to enhance your job prospects, then yes, look at a different type of course that will be considered seriously in the field. If only for fun, then does it really matter? In that case surely the course itself is the reason for doing it, and the certificate at the end can be almost considered an extra.
    Originally posted by Wyndham
    Thanks. The company I work for has a base in Madrid and they offer 6-18 month attachments. I am very interested in applying however the competition is fierce (the company has several hundred employees) and they take qualifications, learning, etc into account when looking at who to offer placements to.
    • ScorpiondeRooftrouser
    • By ScorpiondeRooftrouser 9th May 18, 7:02 PM
    • 2,640 Posts
    • 4,197 Thanks
    ScorpiondeRooftrouser
    • #9
    • 9th May 18, 7:02 PM
    • #9
    • 9th May 18, 7:02 PM
    Languages are a bit different. If you don't know any Spanish, you will have to learn enough Spanish to get an entry level 3 qualification before you go on to learn enough to get a "worthwhile" qualification. If you learn enough Spanish to pass GCSE, you don't have to then do a GCSE course. You just do the exam and pass straight off the bat. Or you don't bother and just speak Spanish to the person who wants to know if you can speak Spanish. If you can speak a language you can speak it.

    So basically, you need to start somewhere, and it will take you the same amount of time to learn the basics regardless of what qualification is offered at the end of the course you are doing.
    • Tabbytabitha
    • By Tabbytabitha 9th May 18, 7:54 PM
    • 4,383 Posts
    • 6,976 Thanks
    Tabbytabitha
    Do you know that the Open University offers a beginners level unit in Spanish which would be recognised and also can be counted towards a degree in the future if you so wish?

    http://www.openuniversity.edu/courses/modules/l194?
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