Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) for
T Levels

Please find below some frequently asked questions and their answers, which will help you understand some of the technical qualifications development, delivery, industry placements, and T Levels funding.


General

Who are developing the TQs?

There will only be one Awarding Organisation (AO) for each T Level pathway.

AOs are required to follow a procurement process set by the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education (IfATE) in order to develop the TQs. The successful AO is responsible for the specification development and assessment delivery of the TQ awarded.

How will T Levels be graded?

Learners who complete their T Level will receive an overall grade of pass, merit, distinction or distinction*. They will get a nationally recognised certificate to show their overall grade and a breakdown of what they have achieved.

The T Level certificate will include:

  • an overall grade for the T Level, shown as pass, merit, distinction or distinction*
  • a separate grade for the core component, using A* to E
  • a separate grade for each occupational specialism, shown as pass, merit or distinction
  • It will also include confirmation that the student has:
  • met the minimum requirements for maths and English qualifications
  • completed the industry placement
  • met any additional mandatory requirements
  • a learner’s overall T Level grade, which will be calculated from the grades they achieved on the core component and the occupational specialism(s).

Learners who do not pass all elements of their T Level will get a T Level statement of achievement which will show the elements they have completed.

City & Guilds will not be issuing certificates.

Who are the T Level selected providers?

You can access the full T Level providers list on the government website.

How will T Levels work with other post-16 choices?

T Levels will become one of three choices for learners after GCSEs alongside apprenticeships and A Levels.

  • T Levels are designed to offer a path for learners wishing to enter skilled professions. These are typically 80% in the classroom and 20% on-the-job.
  • Apprenticeships are for those who wish to learn a specific occupation ‘on the job’. These are typically 80% on-the-job and 20% in the classroom. It is more suited to those who know what occupation they want to pursue, are at the working age of 16 and want to earn a wage while learning at the same time.
  • A Levels are for learners who wish to continue academic education

If a learner wants to start a T Level from September 2020, which of your colleges will be offering it?

Below is a breakdown of the T Level pathways and the AQ responsible for the TQs:

Wave one – September 2020 delivery

  • NCFE are responsible for Education and Childcare
  • Pearson are responsible for Construction: Design, surveying and planning and Digital: Digital production, design and development.

Wave two – September 2021 delivery

  • City & Guilds are responsible for Construction: On-site and Building Service Engineering
  • NCFE are responsible for Digital: Business Services and Support services, Health and Healthcare Science and Science.

Wave three – September 2022 delivery

  • City & Guilds are responsible for Engineering and manufacturing: Manufacturing, Processing and Control, Maintenance, Installation and Repair and Design and Development.
  • City & Guilds are responsible for Business and Management: Management and Administration.

Where can I find your timeline of activities?

Our T Level timeline of activities are accessible from the following pages:

What is the implementation timeline for T Levels?

  • Sept 2020: Launch of wave one routes in Construction, Digital, Education and Childcare - taught by 54 selected providers. City and Guilds will not be offering these T levels
  • Sept 2021: Launch of wave two routes in Construction (On-site and BSE), Digital, Health and Science. City & Guilds will be offering the Construction on-site and BSE route only
  • Sept 2022/2023: Launch of wave three routes in Engineering and Business - City and Guilds will be offering both TQs.

How do I become eligible to deliver T Levels for 2022 delivery?

Providers who have expressed an interest in delivering from 2022 will be notified of their eligibility in May 2020. The process is managed by ESFA, please check their website for all information.

Where can we access more information from?

We regularly update our T Level webpage, however for more information on T Levels please visit the Gov.uk website.

Which T Level TQs is City & Guilds developing?

City & Guilds is working with the Panel to develop the technical qualification specification and developing the assessment strategy for the following qualifications:

  • Construction Onsite and Building Services Engineering – available for first teaching from September 2021.
  • Engineering and Manufacturing – available for first teaching from September 2022
  • Business Management – available for first teaching from September 2022.

Are the new T Levels TQs the same as City & Guilds current Technical Qualifications?

No. The new TQs and T Level programmes are new, and are not the same as the current Technical Qualifications.However, if you have been delivering the City & Guilds Technical Qualifications, you should be in a good position to deliver and assess the T Level TQs, as the assessment strategy for City & Guilds Technicals is very similar to that proposed for the T Level TQs (external assessment, including examinations, and synoptic assignments).

Are learners required to have a Level 2 in English and maths prior to starting their T Level Technical Qualification (TQ)?

No, learners don't need English or maths before starting their TQ.

However, they are required to achieve either Level 2 Functional Skills in English and maths or GCSE Grade 4 in English and maths to achieve the T Level.

What support is available for eligible providers in terms of teaching, delivery and assessment?

We’re currently developing support resources for eligible providers for first teaching from September 2021. We will be sharing these with you as soon as they are ready. Visit our dedicated page for regular updates.

We are also producing two core textbooks through Hodder Education. A Building Service Engineering and a Construction edition. These are currently scheduled for publication in October and November 2021.

In the meantime, you can access the government’s NexT Level campaign launched last year. It has the information young people need to apply for the first of the pioneering T Levels starting September 2020.

There is also a new Department for Education (DfE) website for more information on T Levels. The Education and Skills Funding Agency has recently updated its collection of leaflets, posters, and templates to promote T Levels. You can access these free resources tailored for your learners and employer network via the government’s website.

The Education and Training Foundation has been asked by the DfE to deliver a workforce development offer ahead of T Levels. The T Level Professional Development offer aims to ensure that further education and post-16 providers are T Level ready. This means ensuring that teachers, trainers, and leaders have the teaching skills, subject knowledge and confidence needed to deliver high-quality courses from the outset. Visit their website for more information.

Funding

Would the T Level rule out or cause a reduction in funding if they were to progress onto an apprenticeship?

City & Guilds are working closely with the Institute and the DfE on the progression opportunities for T Level learners across different sectors. We will provide an update when we have more information.

Can a learner progress and still get full funding for a Level 3 though or will APL apply?

Prior learning must always be taken into consideration and duration and funding adjusted when a learner is moving from one programme to another, at the same level or lower in a similar occupational area.

How will the funding work for someone moving onto a Level 3 apprenticeship programme?

As long as the learner is assessed to ensure that prior learning has been taken into account, moving from a T Level to a Level 3 apprenticeship presents no issues from a funding aspect.

What is the funding band for Onsite Construction and Building Services Engineering (BSE)?

Onsite Construction is a band 6 whilst BSE is a band 7.

Table below shows the average and minimum hours and funding rate for each band

Average planned hours

Minimum planned hours required for the band

Funding rate (2 years)

Band 6 - small T Levels

1250 hours

1100 hours

£8,726

Band 7 - medium T Levels

1450 hours

1300 hours

£10,122

Band 8 - large T Levels

1600 hours

1500 hours

£11,168

Band 9 - very large T Levels

1750 hours

1650 hours

£12,216

 

More information can be found on the Government’s website.

Progression

Which universities recognise and accept T Levels?

As T Levels are new qualifications, the DfE are working closely with universities to raise awareness of T Levels and their progression routes to higher education. 

UCAS have published the tariff points for T Levels to support progression to higher education.

Note: Not all universities and colleges use the UCAS tariff when making offers to prospective learners, but if you’re concerned about whether a qualification will be accepted, it’s best to get in touch with the university or college directly for more details on their entry requirements for the particular course of interest.

Some employers have raised concerns on the lack of progression routes at Higher Level Apprenticeships. In some sectors, Apprenticeships are not suitable as progression routes from T Level as they would not have the industry skills and experience required for these higher-level job roles. How can this be addressed?

City & Guilds are currently in discussions with both the Institute and DfE regarding progression options for a student post T Levels. The aim of T Level is to provide a broad curriculum which allows various options for a student.

If a learner steps off a T Level mid-way through do they get anything to show what they have achieved if anything?

We will publish a result slip on Walled Garden to show what a learner has achieved towards the Technical Qualification (e.g. Core exam/Occupational specialisms). ESFA will also release Statement of Achievements to providers to capture at component level what a learner has achieved (e.g. Core/Occupational specialism/Industry placement).

Is there an intention for the T Level to be valid as an exemption within the apprenticeship standard? It could be a potential progression route after completing the T Level?

City & Guilds, with support from EAL, are currently working on content mapping and amplification which will be discussed with the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education (the institute) in order to provide a clear guidance on progression routes.

Are T Levels only for 16-year olds that leave school, or for learners of any age?

T Levels are a broad programme that follow GCSEs and are equivalent to three A Levels. These two-year courses, which launched September 2020, have been developed in collaboration with employers and businesses so that the content meets the needs of industry and prepares students for work, further training or study. T Levels offer students a mixture of classroom learning and ‘on-the-job’ experience during an industry placement of at least 315 hours (approximately 45 days). These are specifically designed for 16-19 year old learners however, an adult could also undertake a T level programme.

Content outline

What will the new TQ be covering? 

The new TQ in Management and Administration pathway will cover the following optional occupational specialisms:

  • Business Improvement
  • Team Leadership/Management
  • Business Support

Where can I access the outline content for the TQs from? 

The outline content can be accessed via the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education (IfATE) website.

How can I get involved in the development of the TQs?

There are a few ways to get involved:

Providers: to support City & Guilds and ILM in the development of the T Level, which will involve writing and reviewing qualification content and assessment. Please get in touch with our team to find out how you can get involved: qualdevelopment@cityandguilds.com.

Employers: to support local providers with the delivery of the Industry Placement for T Levels: The Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) and National Apprenticeship Service (part of ESFA) will work with employers and providers on industry placements. Employers interested in finding out more about industry placements can contact 08000 150 600 or email: tlevel.placement@education.gov.uk.

The Education Secretary has recently unveiled a new package of measures so employers can be at the heart of T Levels. For more general information, please visit the dedicated webpage.

Is the T Level only for Level 3 standard learners?

The intention for any learner undertaking a T Level is to reach the Threshold Competency at a level 3 standard at the exit point for the programme.

Each provider will undertake a rigorous interview and induction programme to ensure that the T level is right programme for the learner.

Employer Industry Board

Are there any fees to join the Employers Industry Board (EIB)?

No, there are no fees join the EIB. We will just need your time and expertise.

Is there a limit on the number of boards or trailblazer groups that I can be involved in?

There are no limits. Sharing experience is a positive thing as long as there is no conflict of interest.

Industry placement

How can employers get involved in T Levels?

There are a number of ways employers can get involved:

Supporting City & Guilds in the development and amplification of qualification and assessment materials. Get in touch with our team to find out how you can get involved: qualdevelopment@cityandguilds.com.

Supporting local providers with the delivery of the Industry Placement for T Levels: The Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) and National Apprenticeship Service (part of ESFA) will work with employers and providers on industry placements.

Employers interested in finding out more about industry placements can contact 08000 150 600 or email: tlevel.placement@education.gov.uk.

The Education Secretary has recently unveiled a new package of measures so employers can be at the heart of T Levels.

Discover more about the support for employers >

How can employers offer industry placements?

Employers can offer industry placements as a block, day release or a mix of these.

The placements will last 315-420 hours (approximately 45-60 days). Providers will support employers offering industry placements, including assistance with the necessary paperwork, a careful planning process, and support with designing the placement.

The Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) and National Apprenticeship Service will work with employers and providers on industry placements. Employers interested in finding out more about industry placements can contact 08000 150 600 or email: tlevel.placement@education.gov.uk.

For more information visit the government website or visit the T Levels website.

Learn more industry placements from the Department for Education’s website.

Are there any restrictions as to when work placements would need to take place? Could placements take place over the summer period, or do they need to only be during the academic year?

Industry placements can vary in length but must last for a minimum of 315 hours (approximately 45 days), not including lunch breaks. There is guidance on industry placement on the government website which outlines the industry placement requirement and support available. Industry placements give students an opportunity to develop their practical and technical skills in a role directly relevant to their vocational course. They also give employers the chance to ensure that young people are developing the skills and experience that industry needs. Placements are recorded in hours rather than days - to reflect different working practices.

Do we know how the work placement will work? Do we need to commit to provide these through Government targets?

There is no commitment on employers providing placements unless or until you confirm a placement with the provider. More information can be found here.

Will there be any government targets for employers to meet in relation to the workplace?

There are currently no public sector targets for providing T Level placements. However, this might change in the future.

As more employers are embracing working from home, how can we adapt work experience to incorporate remote working?

Employers will work closely with the Training Providers throughout the industry placement. They should work together to design the placement ensuring it meets both the needs of the business and that the student is given the experience they need to complete their course by allowing them to put into practice the knowledge and skills they have learnt in the classroom. Development of technical skills, knowledge and work-based behaviours in a real working environment must also be included.

With regards to work placements and the time allocated to these, how would this affect individuals who may need visas to work (paid or unpaid) and their interaction with T Levels. Are T Levels open to people requiring visas as they can do traditional Study Visa qualifications such as colleges?

For the purposes of T Levels, the funding guidance for 16-19 provision applies regarding student eligibility. As work placements are unpaid, they are unaffected by the need for a work visa and form part of the programme of study. The relevant student eligibility criteria can be found in Annexe F of the post 16 Funding Regulations

How do you envisage integrating work placements within the course?

Industry placement is part of the wider T Level programme and not part of the technical qualification (TQ) design. It will be monitored and developed within the colleges and by the Department for Education (DfE). We will make some suggested curriculum plans that a centre may find useful.

How will consistency of experience be maintained between colleges, regions, employers and industries?

We are responsible for the TQ development and as such our quality assurance process will monitor the delivery of assessment assigned to the qualification delivery. We will not monitor the industry placement as that will be the role of DfE.

What flexibilities are available regarding employer projects for those employers working in safety critical industries where there are mandatory training requirements before anyone can start work. Will employers be expected to pay for that mandatory training?

DfE and the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education (the institute) have worked with employers to understand which T Levels may require prior training to enable the learner to go on-site for their placement. The T Level Placements Industry Guidance Document Annexe D, offers guidance on how placements in those industries that require prior training for safety, can take place. The document can be found on the website here.

Are there any industries / types of employers being targeted for the initial roll out of these T Levels?

T Levels cover occupations across the breadth of the Engineering and Manufacturing sector and they are targeted at providing the core knowledge needed to enter the sector. The outline of content for each pathway can be found on the website here.

Will technical curriculum have flexibility depending on the dominant industries in the local areas?

This will be down to the centre to decide which occupational specialism they intend to offer; we would imagine this will be based on their local industrial needs.

T Level learners won’t be in employment, so how can there be an "Employer Project" as part of the assessment for the Core?

Although the learners won't be employed, they are required to complete 45-60 days of work experience.Learners will apply the learning from their work experience and qualification to complete a project that we will create with employers.

Is the expectation that the work placement will be one 'chunk' or spread across the two years of the T Levels?

Work placements can be delivered flexibly, either in blocks or through a day release model.

Who will be offering the work experience if employers are engaging with apprentices?

The government’s vision is that employers will engage with these young learners.

When it comes to delivery of T Levels, technical support is clearly available from City & Guilds. But for SME in particular, is there likely to be any mechanism, or central resource, to help businesses deal with all the admin of placements, including safeguarding and all the other necessary but very time-consuming realities of working with young people?

This is something that our Employer Industry Board can help. This includes advice and share best practice and ideas to support all employers. The government has published the following guidance, which will support all providers and is updated regularly.

Construction and BSE

When will the wave two TQ specifications for 2021 delivery be ready?

The specifications for Onsite Construction and Building Service Engineering are available on our dedicated page.

As a 2021 provider will I be able to see the specification/s earlier than September 2020?

Yes, we actively encourage involvement from centres during the TQ development phase. We will keep publishing our draft specifications, which will be used at our regional network meetings currently planned for the summer term.

Who is the target audience for an ‘On-site’ and ‘BSE’ T Level Pathway?

Young people who are between the ages of 16 to19 and interested in pursuing a career in construction but unclear of the pathway available to them. The opportunity to undertake a T Level programme will give them the knowledge and skills within their chosen occupational specialism to take them to threshold competency.

Is there a bridging qualification so learners can access apprenticeships afterwards?

Currently, there isn’t a separate bridging qualification available. However, the TQ will be based on the apprenticeship standard for that occupational area as agreed by IfATE.

Engineering and Manufacturing

Is there a level 4 qualification? Is it envisaged apprentices would eventually be completing this qualification?

T Levels are at Level 3 but there is a progression route onto a Level 4 in suitable occupations.

How do T Levels progress onto a Level 3 Apprenticeship Tech Engineering or do they only progress higher?

From a T Level a learner would be able to progress onto a Level3 Apprenticeship standard such as the Engineering Technician standard.

How many pathways will you be offering in the Engineering and Manufacturing route?

City & Guilds and EAL will deliver all three pathways within the Engineering and Manufacturing route: Design and Development; Maintenance, Installation Repair and Manufacturing Processing and Control.

What will the new TQ be covering?

The TQ consists of an overarching core content and a range of specialist core skills and workplace practices that are relevant to the pathway studied.

Where can I access the outline content for the TQs?

The outline content can be accessed via the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education (IfATE) website. Alternatively, you can click directly to the pathway below to access the outline content you need.

Engineering and Manufacturing pathways:

When and how can we get more information about the Technical Qualifications (TQ) for Engineering and Manufacturing?

We will be hosting a series of provider validation panels in the coming months (November to December 2020 and Spring/Summer 2021), so please get in touch if you would like to be involved.

Once approved, the final specification, sample assessment materials, and supporting documentation will be available, and there will be a number of events that you can attend to look at the detail of the content, delivery and assessment from October to December 2021. You can find out more on the T Level webpage.

What are the key differences between T levels and what is on offer with current apprenticeship standards?

T Levels provide learners with a broad set of skills and knowledge where apprenticeships mean you will be fully competent within a specific occupation. Apprentices will be employed by a company whereas a T Level learner will be a full-time student. 

You have mentioned the Engineering Technician Standard and the Engineering Fitter Standard, both at level 3 and have mandated qualifications. How will a T-Level fit? Is it the same qualification delivered AME L3 Diploma?

There has been an attempt to align the T Level with a number of engineering apprenticeship standards. Some standards have mandatory qualifications and some don’t. The T Level is a programme rather than a qualification where all elements have to be achieved. This includes the technical qualification (TQ) itself and the work experience. The Advanced Manufacturing Engineering (AME) Level 3 Diploma and Extended Diplomas are different qualifications that are designed for apprenticeship standards.

What is the expectation of the work placement, and how can this be quality controlled?

It is expected that learners will complete a minimum of 45 days work experience with a maximum of 2 employers. The work experience can be a flexible as possible in terms of delivery between the provider and employer. For further guidance visit the dedicated page.

What IAG is being give to candidates to help them to choose T levels and the occupational specialisms?

We are working weekly with many different providers to ensure they are fully aware of the intention, content, assessment and progression associated with T Levels. Providers should be able to advise learners and parents. We are also working with social media outlets and creating different types literature around T Levels for stakeholder groups.

What does GLH stand for?

Guided learning hours.

How does 1400-1800 hours compare to a single A level?

One A-Level is equivalent to 360 GLH, an engineering T Level will be equivalent to 3 A Levels. Additional hours on programme are due to requirements such as the work experience (minimum of 315 hours).

You mentioned that the Employer Set Project is actually a real-life scenario, not an explicit project set by an employer - is there anything which actually does involve extended working with employers, and if so how will that be organised?

The employer set project is an assignment completed towards the end of year 1. The learners will be given a real life engineering scenario and be expected to complete an number of tasks based on that specific scenario. 

How long is the "Work Experience"?

It is expected that learners will complete a minimum of 45 days work experience with a maximum of 2 employers. The work experience can be a flexible as possible in terms of delivery between the provider and employer. For further information visit the dedicated page.

Is the intention of the Manufacturing strand to develop skills for people who will actually work on the shop floor ("Operators"), or people who will develop Manufacturing Processes (Manufacturing Engineers), or both?

In relation to progression, learners completing a T Level should be able to progress to higher education, apprenticeships or full time employment, so either option is a possibility.

Do you see any changes to the Apprenticeship Standards for Degree Apprenticeships as T-Level qualified people come in with more practical skills than historically A-Level Qualified people would?

The T Levels are not a replacement for any apprenticeships. T Levels will be one of three main options available to 16-18 year old learners at level 3, in September 2022.

So draft specifications are available if we email you - is there a specific email to request this from?

Draft assessments are available from samantha.ashman@cityandguilds.com

We have found that some employers will take an apprentice for 4 days a week and a T Level student for 1 day?

This could be a common theme that providers adopt to ensure the work placement is achieved. The exact details around the work placement will be agreed between the provider and the individual employer and many different models could be used.

Do all providers have to deliver all pathways?

No, providers can decide to do one, two or all three pathways based on their ability to deliver the different disciplines.

You said there's a funding deadline of 26 March, Is that 2021? 

What do you mean by "deadline"? For capital funding such as equipment, resources etc then the funding deadline is the 26th March 2021. For further information visit the dedicated page.

Who issues the actual certificates out of interest?

IFATE will issue certificates to learners completing T Levels.

Are the core exams set in stone, could a more blended approach be used for assessment. Combination of multi-choice, set paper based exam and a practical scenario?

Core exams are externally set and marked, they cannot be blended.

With so many pathways this will be difficult to offer as the student numbers will be too small?

Providers do not have to deliver all pathways or occupational specialisms so can concentrate on areas most relevant to their needs.

Will the students have to decide their pathway on enrolment?

As some will not understand the differences in the first few weeks? Providers will determine which T Levels they will deliver and learner will select accordingly. Providers can choose to run introductory events to learners. This will give learners a good understanding of the different specialisms available from that specific centre. Learners will have to be registered to a pathway shortly after enrolment.

Is the employer set project going to be general or specific to each pathway?

There is an employer set project for each pathway. So one for D&D, MIR and MPC.

What progress has been made with competency mapping to Apprenticeship Standards to inform progression pathways following a T Level?

Mapping a T Level into an engineering apprenticeship is quite a complex progress. Due to the number of specialisms available in the T Levels and number of engineering standards available there becomes a huge number of variables. This is something that will take some time to create guidance around as we know is important to providers and employers.

Are we going to get a drop in employers taking on apprenticeships if there are so many 45-60 day free work placements?

We don't expect this to happen. The work experience will give learners vital opportunities to show off their skills/ dedication and enthusiasm to potential employers. Getting learners into an industry workplace can only be a positive. We believe that apprenticeships will only grow in engineering.

How do centre’s know what to purchase?

If you are currently running any other engineering programmes such as Technicals, Diplomas etc then the equipment you have will suitable for the E&M T Level.

Will students on placements be paid or will it be accepted that its work experience and not paid employment?

Industry placements are part of a course and there is no legal requirement or expectation that students will be paid. However, employers can decide whether or not to pay the learner  and how much. For further information visit the dedicated page.

What are the response from universities regarding this qualification as it is clearly geared towards apprenticeships?

We have several university working with us to validate the content especially in the mathematics and science units. The common core section is general engineering, where as the OS has areas within the apprenticeship standard.

The core component is very general and may switch learners off who aiming for vehicles? 

The main aim of the E&M T Level is designed for learners to have a general understanding of engineering and be threshold competent in the occupational they choose which is why the core component is general. Those who are wishing to take the vehicle OS can apply the core knowledge they have gain into new technology of vehicles such as hybrids, electrics 

 

Business and Administration

What pathway will you be offering for the Business and Administration route?

We will be offering the Management and Administration pathway.

What will the new TQ be covering? 

The new TQ in Management and Administration pathway will cover the following optional occupational specialisms:

  • Business Improvement
  • Team Leadership/Management
  • Business Support

Where can I access the outline content for the TQs from? 

The outline content can be accessed via the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education (IfATE) website.

With regards to T Level, is it just the Business T Level that City & Guilds have linked with the government to develop?

No, City & Guilds have won contract to deliver the following T Level TQs:

  • On-Site Construction
  • Building Services Engineering
  • Engineering and Manufacturing (maintenance, installation and repair for engineering and manufacturing, engineering, manufacturing, processing and control, design and development for engineering and manufacturing)
  • Management and Administration.

Would City and Guilds facilitate Employer Project or the Colleges are expected to source it?

The Employer Set Project (ESP) will be set by City & Guilds as part of our assessment design. We will be using employers from the Management and Administration sector to develop these ESPs and review and validate all live assessment on a yearly basis. The provider will then facilitate the delivery of the assessment within a key date schedule set by City & Guilds.

Will the Management and Administration T Level have UCAS points?

Yes. T Levels will have UCAS points.