The vocational courses are for learners aged 14 to 19. Younger learners can benefit from the courses but without accreditation. The courses are appropriate for key stage 4 to work towards a Level 1 qualification and for young people aged 16 to 18 to progress into sustainable employment and possible apprenticeship or for Post 16 students who are working at this level. There are no requirements for prior learning.
The course is assessed mainly through practical tasks but there are also some knowledge questions which can be answered through informal oral questioning or in a written format. Units can be mixed and matched from different learning areas including units in Animal Care and/or Horse Care as well as the generic Preparing for Work and Personal and Social Development options. The horse care and animal courses cover practical tasks such as skipping out a stable, grooming, catching and leading a horse, recognising food types, cleaning out, catching and restraining small animals.
As part of the course, each student compiles a portfolio of evidence which includes a range of photos, videos and witness statements. The programme is set out in a way that allows achievement, however small, to be recognised. It can be achieved as an ‘Award’, ‘Certificate’ or ‘Diploma’. The course is delivered in units which have credit values of 1 or 2 credits and guided learning hours (GLH) of 10-20 hours per credit. An Award can be gained with 6 credits (60 GLH), a Certificate with 22 credits (220 GLH) and a Diploma with 37 credits (370 GLH).
The Functional English and Maths Qualifications are delivered in context and assessed through short written tasks, rather than under exam conditions.