Excellence For All

Pearson BTEC

As the world’s leading learning company, Pearson is committed to championing excellence in education.  We do this by offering a wide range of internationally recognised qualifications to over 1.2 million students across 100 countries worldwide, including some schools and colleges in the United States.  Our qualification and assessment solutions are designed to support students of all ability ranges and learning styles to achieve their full potential.

Pearson BTECs are the world’s most widely recognised work-related qualifications and have engaged and inspired students for over 25 years.

Our BTEC vocational qualifications give students the opportunity to improve their skills and academic success, helping them to achieve their education and career aspirations. Through a unique blend of specialist, work-related, applied learning and in-depth subject theory, BTECs are robust qualifications that also encourage collaboration amongst peers and creative, critical thinking and problem solving.

As progress is measured throughout a BTEC course, students can see their development on a continuing basis and, as a result, are more engaged and motivated.  This in turn has a positive impact on their overall performance.

Through a unique combination of academic and practical learning, BTECs give students the specialist skills and knowledge they need to progress to higher education and employment. BTECs are modern, vibrant and more importantly build core 21st century skills so students leave school with the relevant knowledge, skills and behaviours to be successful and effective in their chosen pathways.

BTECs in the U.S.

Beginning in Fall 2013, there are five Level 2 and Level 3 BTEC qualifications from which to choose to study as part of the Excellence For All initiative, each linked to an industry sector.

  • IT
  • Business
  • Engineering
  • Applied Science
  • Health and Social Care


In subsequent years, it is likely that additional sectors will be added as demand warrants. BTECs come in three sizes:  Award, Certificate and Diploma.  The number of credits students need to accumulate to obtain the qualification determines the size.

Upper DivisionBTEC Level 3 Nationals

BTEC Level 3 Nationals are for students aged 16+ and typically studied by upper division students in Grades 11 and 12 and suit a wide range of ability and learning styles.  They are designed as specialist, vocationally-related qualifications that provide a practical, real-world approach to learning, underpinned by theory.  They function as an alternative to academic programs (e.g., Cambridge A Levels, IB and AP) and are accepted as an entry requirement for several U.S. universities as well as other, global universities and colleges, and are also highly valued by employers across the world.

Lower DivisionBTEC Level 2 Firsts

BTEC Level 2 Firsts are for students aged 14 – 16 and cater for a broad range of ability and are typically studied by lower division students in Grades 9 and 10.

Students may take BTEC Firsts alongside core iGCSE subjects such as English, math and science.  Students with BTEC Level 2 First qualifications can go on to study their chosen subject further.  If their chosen subject is in the area in which they wish to progress in their education and career, they can obtain in-depth knowledge and skills in this subject by studying the BTEC Level 3 National qualification.

How BTECs are delivered

  1. Each BTEC is made up of a number of units.  The number of units in a qualification is dependent on the level and size of the BTEC being taken.
  2. Each BTEC qualification is credit-based.  Credits are based on the amount of learning time a student needs to complete the qualification, with 1 credit equating to 10 hours of learning time.
  3. The time taken to complete each BTEC also depends on the level and size of the qualification.  Many BTECs will generally take one to two years to complete depending on whether the student is studying full time or part time, and others considerably less.
  4. To complete each unit, students must submit realistic work-based assignments, which are delivered by the teacher.  As BTECs are designed to develop practical skills, answers to assignments may be delivered if a variety of formats – such as film clips, project proposals, business plans and structured databases.  Students are always given clear guidelines as to what they have to achieve and how to do this.
  5. Students’ work is assessed by the teacher along the way, pulling together skills, knowledge and understanding.  This ongoing assessment allows students to analyse and improve their own performance through their course in much the same way as they would in the workplace.
  6. Internal Verifiers are appointed within the school to qualify assessed work and check that the standards we have set are being met.
  7. Our External Verifiers will visit schools to ensure they feel comfortable with the assessment process, and check the school’s internal assessment decisions and quality assurance procedures are being met, ensuring that BTEC standards are consistent internationally.
  8. Unit results are graded as either: Pass, Merit or Distinction.

Support for schools and colleges offering BTECs

Training is at the heart of what we do.  We offer a wide range of online and face-to-face training events covering all aspects of vocational training and quality assurance to support effective delivery of BTECs in the classroom.

We recognise how important resources are to support teachers and BTEC students at all stages of study.  As such, we have a range of learning support materials available including: study skills guides; teaching resources packs; assessment resource packs and student books.

You can find out more about the support we provide on our website: http://www.edexcel.com/btec/Pages/default.aspx

For more information on our BTEC qualifications, please contact Debbie Cole: debbie.cole@pearson.com

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