Ask Sheila - Archive England

Sheila Scott OBE has now retired and therefore is no longer available to answer your social care questions. However, you might still find the answer you’ve been searching for down below.

20th December 2018

Is a BTEC Diploma Level 3 certificate equivalent to NVQ Level 5?

Hi Sheila, I have got a BTEC diploma level 3 certificate and I wanted to know if this is the equivalent to having the NVQ level 5 qualification?


Dear L,


Thank you for your question.


I sought the advice of my colleague, Neil Crawford who is QCS’s Training and Development Director. This is his answer to your question:


The BTEC Diploma Level 3 is not equivalent to the Level 5 QCF (now RQF) Diploma in Care Leadership and Management.


The BTEC Diploma L3 is a more academic programme usually offered by FE colleges to full-time students. It does not require the learner to be employed in a job role in order to complete the programme, and does not have any occupational observation requirements to confirm competency as a formal part of the assessment requirements. Colleges often encourage learners doing the BTEC to undertake some short period of work experience etc.


The Level 5 Diploma is an occupational based qualification that requires the individual to be in the job role and able to show evidence of their knowledge, skills and competency in this role.  The formal assessment of the learner requires them to produce evidence to demonstrate this, including being observed by a competent assessor completing specified job role duties.


It is important to note that the level 5 is the stipulated qualification ( by S4C and CQC) that Registered Managers should possess.

If a learner has completed a BTEC Level 3 Diploma, then there may be some unit topics within that programme that overlap with some of the unit topics/criteria in the Level 5. This may be recognised as acquired prior learning by a training provider offering the Level 5, which may avoid the need for repeating this again.


I hope this is helpful. Please contact me if you require further information about Neil’s answer.




*All information is correct at the time of publishing.

About Sheila

Sheila Scott OBE has now retired and over the years , prior to her retirement she has answered thousands of your social questions. You can still access the many questions below.

For Sheila Scott OBE as the former CEO of National Care Association (NCA), care is Sheila's life. She possesses a strong command of the issues facing the care sector informed by her long career as a nursing professional, the owner and manager of a care business, and as a leader in the care sector.

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