Signature Level 1 Award in British Sign Language

Since we began trading as Signature in January, we have been working hard to make a smooth transition of CACDP qualifications to Signature qualifications. We can now reveal that our first Signature qualification has been accredited by Ofqual, and is now on the new Qualifications & Credit Framework (QCF).

Available for delivery from 1 September 2009, the qualification’s accredited title is Signature Level 1 Award in British Sign Language (qualification ref: 500/6070/3).

Are there any changes to BSL Level 1?

Very little has changed from the qualification you are used to teaching. The points to note are:

i) The titles of qualifications in the new QCF are set by our regulator, Ofqual. All qualifications with less than 120 hours of study are called Awards.

ii) Most of the content of this qualification remains the same. In response to feedback from teachers and our assessors we have made a minor amendment to the mark sheet, and one of the assessment criteria has been removed. The new qualification specification will be available to download from our website from 27 May.

iii) After consulting with BSL teachers at our centres, we have increased the GLH from 50 to 64. GLH is the time that learners spend in the classroom with the teacher. The increase is for two reasons:

  • BSL teachers told us that BSL101 needs more than 10 hours for new learners
  • BSL102 and 103 require the teacher to be involved in the assessment of each candidate

The new GLH are:

  • BSL101 = 20 GLH
  • BSL102 = 22 GLH
  • BSL103 = 22 GLH

iv) Level 1 Award in BSL attracts nine credit points at Level 1. All qualifications on the QCF give the learner credit points when they achieve a unit or qualification. Credit takes account not just of time spent in the classroom (GLH), but also the time needed by a learner to practise, do private study, etc, to be able to pass the assessment. Nine credit points indicates that the average learner will take 90 hours to achieve it: 64 hours in the classroom plus 26 hours additional practice time.

What happens next?

We have an existing promise to centres that we will make no changes to our qualifications during the teaching year. As we renew accreditation for each of our qualifications over the next two years they will become Signature qualifications. The following qualifications are awaiting approval by Ofqual to be QCF-accredited Signature qualifications, and ready for teaching from 1 September 2009:

  • CACDP Level 1 Certificate in Irish Sign Language
  • CACDP Level 1 Certificate in Developing Awareness and Communication with Deaf and Deafblind People
  • CACDP Level 2 Certificate in British Sign Language
  • CACDP Level 2 Certificate in Irish Sign Language

Accreditation is expected shortly, and we will email you as soon as the QCF specifications are ready on the Signature website.

The remainder of our qualifications will be accredited as Signature qualifications and on the QCF published in May 2010 for delivery in September of that year. In the meantime, all our current qualifications remain accredited on the NQF (National Qualifications Framework), and remain eligible for LSC funding.

If you have any questions, please contact your Customer Support Officer who will be happy to help.

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