What is happening to our qualifications
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What is happening to our qualifications?. Stuart Phillips - Lantra Dave Dowson – Tree Life. Do you struggle to understand how the qualification system works?. Do you want to get your in house training recognised in a national qualification framework?

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What is happening to our qualifications l.jpg

What is happening to our qualifications?

Stuart Phillips - Lantra

Dave Dowson – Tree Life

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Do you want to get your in house training recognised in a national qualification framework?

Do you want qualifications tailor made to suit your needs?

Do you want to be able to quickly measure the achievements of prospective employees?

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If Yes national qualification framework?

Then you need the

Qualification and

Credit Framework (QCF)

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QCF national qualification framework?

  • The Qualification Credit Framework

A simple, flexible, inclusive structure operating across England, Wales and Northern Ireland that closely aligns with Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework

Demand and market led that is able to recognise achievements of learners from 14-90

Establish a simpler qualifications framework that is easier for all users to understand

Supports a national record of learner achievement enabling movement between centres

No dead ends. Each unit must be capable of contributing towards at least one qualification

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The Purpose national qualification framework?

  • To provide a flexible and simple structure within which:

    • Unit-based qualifications can be located

    • Achievements are recognised through the award of credit and qualifications

    • The level and size of achievements can be easily identified

    • The mechanism necessary to support the accumulation and transfer of credits operate

    • Learners are given the maximum flexibility and range of opportunities to progress and receive recognition for their achievements

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There are 3 sizes of qualification national qualification framework?

Award, Certificate, Diploma

Every unit and qualification has a credit value

Every unit and qualification has a level

In the QCF everything learnt is valuable

All qualifications are made up of smaller units

How does it work?

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Each credit represents 10 hours of learning time…. national qualification framework?

NOT 10 hours of teaching time!


1-12 Credits


37 + Credits


13 - 36 Credits

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8 national qualification framework?















Above 36

1 - 12

13 - 36

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QCF in Practice national qualification framework?

  • Learners can avoid duplication of learning and assessment by:

  • Transferring credits between units and qualifications

  • Other learning and assessment, not certificated, can be assessed and awarded through recognising prior learning

  • Learners with achievements outside the QCF who already have skills and knowledge for a unit can claim exemption

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Full time - national qualification framework?

City and Guilds (NPTC) National Certificate Arboriculture

BTEC (Edexcel) National Diploma in Arboriculture

Part time –

NVQ Arboriculture

Certificate of Arboriculture

Technicians Certificate

Certificates of Competence

CS 30/31 etc

Level 2 Diploma in Arboriculture

Level 3 Diploma in Arboriculture

Work Based Diploma in Arboriculture

More from Dave Dowson

Level 2 Award in Chainsaw related operations

Arboricultural Qualifications

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8 national qualification framework?















Part-time Qualifications






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Level 2 Certificate national qualification framework?

  • 9 Units

    • 5 mandatory and 4 optional

  • 6 units required for the qualification

  • 21 credits – 18 mandatory 3 optional

  • 155 guided learning hours (GLH)

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Level 2 national qualification framework?

  • ABC – Awarding body

  • Assessment – Internal with the methodologies set by the training provider

  • Internal moderation by the training provider

  • External moderation by a moderator employed by the awarding body

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Level 2 unit titles national qualification framework?

  • Mandatory Units

  • The interaction of soil environments and woody plants 4

  • Woody plant physiology 5

  • The supply, planting and aftercare of woody plants 3

  • Principles of tree surgery operations 3

  • Tree inspections and statute and common law applied to trees 3

  • Optional Units

  • The principles of aerial tree surgery and ground based arboricultural operations 3

  • Basic principles of woodlands, forestry and ecology 3

  • The principles of managing special trees 3

  • Principles of tree surgery equipment use and maintenance 3

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Level 2 structure national qualification framework?

Learning Outcome

5. Understand the woody plant root system

Assessment Criteria

  • 5.1 Identify four functions of roots

  • 5.2 Identify a minimum of three different forms of tree root system

  • 5.3 Identify two shapes of tree root systems

  • 5.4 Identify a minimum of four factors affecting root


  • 5.5 Identify how trees are anchored in the ground

  • 5.6 Identify two causes of a loss of anchorage

  • 5.7 Define the term ‘root to shoot’ ratio

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Indicative content national qualification framework?

5. Functions – anchorage, uptake of water and nutrients, respiration, storage, form symbiotic relationships. Forms – lateral, lateral with droppers/sinker, lateral and tap, sloping, vertical, two tiered. Shape – tap, heart and surface root systems. Factors – barriers to growth, water, nutrient and oxygen availability, soil conditions and type, ground topography, wind and species of tree. Shoot to Root ratio. Loss of anchorage.

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Assessment national qualification framework?

Para. 5.3c QCF Regulatory arrangements manual states:

The assessment methods must assess validly the skills, knowledge and/or understanding of all of the learning outcomes against the stated assessment criteria

ABC’s interpretation is that

All assessment criteria have to be met

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Assessment national qualification framework?Methodologies

  • Written questions

  • Multi-choice

  • Scenario

  • Portfolio

  • Witness testament

  • Photographs

  • Models

  • Projects

  • Video

  • Oral

  • Practical exercises

  • Pressed plant collection

  • Work examples

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Levels 4 & 6 national qualification framework?

  • Surveys have been ongoing to seek the industry requirements for the content of the new qualifications – last month to take part

    In Summary

  • More specialist arboriculture

  • Level 6 at a more strategic and consultancy level

  • Continuity between levels 2, 4 and 6

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8 national qualification framework?















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Introductions national qualification framework?

  • Level 2 – September 2010 draft units went to centres on 6th August 2010

  • Levels 4 & 6 September 2011

  • ‘Learners’ needing to complete existing qualifications – cut off point is

    Cert arb level 2 Dec 2011

    Tech Cert level 3 & PD level 6 Dec 2013

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Fantastic! national qualification framework?

  • Learners have a great deal

  • Employers get learners with appropriate knowledge and skills to make them readily employable

Smiles all round

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 national qualification framework?

  • Funding 16-19 yr olds and Foundation degrees – mature students not supported - courses cut

  • Colleges don’t require awarding body qualifications = a lack of funds for the awarding bodies

  • Awarding bodies make staff redundancies

  • Arb low numbers entering examinations

  • Assessment expensive – burden for awarding bodies

  • Awarding body push internal assessment development and implementation on to centres – costly for the training provider

  • Training provider pushes costs on to learner

  • Little money at awarding body for moderation of training providers

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 national qualification framework?Arb

  • Low numbers on courses when compared to other subjects – not as economic

  • Staff to learner ratio is high – costly

  • High costs of equipment and PPE

  • Optional units split numbers of learners in to even smaller uneconomical groups

  • Training providers pull out of training arboriculturists


    * In my opinion a crisis for the future training provision and the profession of arboriculture in this country

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What you need national qualification framework?to do

  • Lack of engagement by our industry

  • NOS review will start in January 2011