Nomenclature: Level 1, Level 2, and Level 3

In previous posts we have updated you about the changes from Level A and Level B qualifications to the new Level 1, Level 2, and Level 3 qualifications.

However, we need to update you about the nomenclature being used. We hope that you’ll understand why we have kept this information for this separate post – our intention has been to not confuse what could already be a bit confusing!

The central point to be outlined here is that the revised nomenclature (Level 1, Level 2, & Level 3) conflicts with the Qualifications Credit Framework (QCF) and may be confusing for practitioners.

‘Level 1’, ‘Level 2’, and ‘Level 3’ are only intended as working titles – work is in progress to relate the Levels to the European Qualification Framework (EQF) and to national UK vocational qualification levels.

Nigel Lloyd from Cambridge Professional Development Ltd has been commissioned by the BPS to undertake an exercise looking at mapping the revised test user qualifications against the Qualification and Credits Framework (QCF) and the European Qualifications Framework (EQF).

The mapping exercise was borne out of feedback to the consultation briefings, the need to align with European qualifications and an increased number of calls to the Psychological Testing Centre (PTC) requesting equivalences to existing qualification frameworks, to enable trainees to secure funding from employers or other bodies.

The draft report on the mapping exercise suggests that Level 1 and 2 test user qualifications fit EQF Levels 4 and 5 and are likely to be the equivalent of ‘Awards’, whereas Level 3 qualifications fit EQF Level 7 and would equate to ‘Certificates’. It may be a future possibility that the BPS can be formally recognised as an awarding body that confers qualifications through the QCF, however there is no immediate plan to do so as yet.

So, the essence of this post is that, in an era of harmonisation and transportability of qualifications across national boundaries, some form of nomenclature is required that allows for a clear understanding of what a qualification equates to in other jurisdictions. Universities across Europe have been tackling this same issue for the last number of years – trying to harmonise programmes and modules of study with ‘Learning Outcomes’ and ‘credits’ so that it is easy to understand the comparison value of a module of study (e.g., psychometrics), at a University in Ireland compared to a similar module being offered at a University in, for example, Sweden.

As always, thanks for taking the time to read this post. We do try to make the posts useful … and interesting!

Considering that we (Barbara and Conor) have extensive experience in the area of programme development and management – for Selection by Design and also at University level, we are more than happy to chat with you about any of the issues raised in this post. After all, that’s what we are here for – to help you add value to your organization or practice!

Barbara and Conor

PS: We would like to extend thanks to our colleagues on the BPS SCTS for some of the content included in this Blog.

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