FAQs

General

What types of Qualifications does VTCT offer?

Technical Qualifications

Technical Qualifications at Level 2 (Technical Certificates) have been developed for the purpose of leading learners to sustainable and worthwhile employment in their chosen service sector. They can also be a progression to Level 3 Technical Level Qualifications which lead directly to employment opportunities.

Apprenticeships

The new Professional Apprenticeship Standards start for hairdressing and barbering on 1 May 2017. These replace the current SASE system and have been created as a result of the Trailblazer process where employers, professional associations and awarding organisations have come together to create a fit for purpose Apprenticeship.

For beauty therapy, the SASE standards continue whilst the new professional standards are being finalised.

Vocationally Related Qualifications (VRQs)

VRQs offer different levels which focus on the development of the underlying principals and practical skills required in varying industries. They are designed to deliver a high level of occupational capability and progression into employment. The flexible structures ensure they will appeal to individuals in full time or part time education, as well as continuous professional development.

National Vocational Qualifications (NVQs)

NVQs are qualifications that are usually completed in the workplace. One of the benefits of a NVQ is that they test your ability to actually do the job, which makes them suitable to take whilst in work. A key part of your course will include proving that you can do certain work-related tasks. During the course you will be assessed through your portfolio, where you build evidence of the work you have done, and by observation, where an assessor watches you work and checks that you can perform the necessary tasks.

Scottish Vocational Qualifications (SVQs)

SVQ are the Scottish equivalent of NVQ’s

Essential Skills

These are available in Wales. They cover the key areas of communication, numeracy, information and communication technology, problem solving and working with others, which are required in almost every workplace.

Functional Skills

Functional Skills are qualifications in English, maths and ICT that support you to develop the practical skills you need for life, education and the workplace.

What level qualification do I need?

Qualifications on the Regulated Qualifications Framework (RQF), Qualifications and Credit Framework (QCF) and National Qualifications Framework (NQF) are levelled from Entry to Level 8. VTCT offers vocational qualifications up to level 5 and the level you require will depend on your previous education and experience and what you are trying to achieve.

Will I get a job after studying for a VTCT qualification?

VTCT qualifications are designed for progression to higher level qualifications or to make learners ready for employment.

What do the qualification credits mean?

Qualifications that are on the QCF have a credit value. This indicates the size of the qualifications and how long it typically takes to achieve. The size of a QCF qualification is shown by its credit value. There are three size ranges of qualifications on the QCF: an award which has 1 to 12 credits, a certificate which has 13 to 36 credits and a diploma which has 37 credits or more. A credit represents 10 hours of learning.

Qualifications on the RQF have Total Qualification Time (TQT) allocated to them.

The size of other qualifications is indicated by the number of guided learning hours typically needed to complete a qualification.

What does TQT/GLH mean?

Total Qualification Time (TQT) is a term used within qualifications regulated by Ofqual as part of the Regulated Qualification Framework (RQF). It aims to provide users of qualifications with an indication of the minimum length of time it would take the average learner to complete their qualification.

Guided Learning Hours (GLH) are defined as all times when a member of staff is present to give specific guidance towards the learning aim being studied on a programme. They include lectures, tutorials and supervised study in, or example, Open Learning Centres and learning workshops. It also includes time spent by staff assessing a learner’s achievements, for example in the assessment of competence for National Vocational Qualifications (NVQ’s). It does not include time spent by staff in the day-to-day marking of assignments and homework where the learner is not present, nor does it include hours where supervision is of a general nature and is not specific to the study of Learners.

Centres

How do I order record of assessment books and badges?

VTCT record of assessment books are ordered on the VTCT website through the Linx2 portal (Linx2Product) by approved centres. VTCT learner badges can be ordered in the same way. All VTCT record of assessment books can also be downloaded from the Qualifications section of the website for reference and to enable lesson planning.

How do I become a VTCT approved centre?

How long does it take to become an approved centre?

Where your centre requires an approval visit, your application will be processed within 30 working days from payment (This timeframe may vary depending on the centre’s availability for a visit). Where your centre is eligible for desktop approval, your application will be processed within 15 working days from payment. More information can be found on the ‘Become a Centre’ page of this website.

How do I arrange a preliminary Regional Business Development Manager (RBDM) visit?

If you telephone VTCT Customer Support on +44 (0) 23 8068 4500 or email customersupport@vtct.org.uk they will be happy to put you in touch with your local RBDM.

What are VTCT’s fees?

All fees can be found in our Qualifications Brochure, which is available on this site.

Who do I contact about EQA rotation and contact details?

How do I apply for further approval?

Further approval for a new suite of qualifications: complete the Additional Sector Application –   Centre Recognition Forms on ‘Become a Centre’ page.

Further approval for a new site: complete the Additional Site Application stating the associated centre – Centre Recognition Forms on ‘Become a Centre’ page.

Send the completed forms to: qualityassurance@vtct.org.uk

How do I register learners?

Learners can be registered via secure login to Linx2Online, which is available by clicking Centre Log-In on the top menu of this website. You will also find videos and other guidance on this page. You will need to be able to manually or automatically populate a csv or spreadsheet with the details.

 

How do I resolve a query with a registration file?

How do I amend an incorrect registration, transfer or withdraw a registration?

How can I apply for reasonable adjustments or special considerations?

How do I certificate my learners?

Learners are certificated via secure login to Linx2Online, which is available by clicking Centre Log-In on the top menu of this website. You will also find videos and other guidance on this page. You will need to be able to tick a few boxes but can only do one qualification per event (multiple learners).

For unit only (single unit) certificates use Linx2Exchange or import to Linx2Online.

How do I resolve a query with a certification claim?

How do I amend an incorrectly claimed certificate?

You will need to return the certificate to VTCT with an explanatory letter stating the circumstances leading to the error. Send for the attention of Customer Support to VTCT’s Eastleigh office.

Exams Officers

I am approved for a qualification but it does not appear for me to register a learner on?

How do I request approval for further qualifications?

If you are already approved to deliver qualifications within the vocational sector that the new qualification(s) comes under, Hair and Beauty for example, to request approval you will need to email your External Quality Assurer (EQA) and also copy in qualityassurance@vtct.org.uk. The email will need to include the qualification title(s) and product code(s) of the qualification(s) you are seeking approval for. If you do not know your EQA’s email address please contact customer support customersupport@vtct.org.uk

If you do not have approval for any qualification within the vocational sector that the new qualification(s) comes under, Hair and Beauty for example, then you will need to complete an additional sector application form found in the Centre Login part of this site. Please refer to the fees document for information on further sector approval fees.

How do I register learners?

Through the Linx2Online system. Please go to the information page in the Centre Login part of this site where you will find guidance and a link to the login page.

Don’t have a login? Exam officers can request a login by emailing linx2help@vtct.org.uk – Note: please make sure to email us from the email address we have registered for you.

How do I register learners on Apprenticeship?

TBC.

I have created a registration file but there are errors?

Refer to the ‘How to correct an error’ video guide here.

Can I withdraw a registration?

Can I transfer a learner’s registration to a different qualification?

You can request a transfer by emailing customersupport@vtct.org.uk. Please confirm the learner details and which qualification they are transferring from and to.

Note: fees may apply, please refer to the fees document.

Can I amend a registered learner’s name?

Pre-certification:
  • If the error is on registration email customersupport@vtct.org.uk confirming the details
  • If you require a change of name, e.g. marriage, email customersupport@vtct.org.uk confirming the details and include a photocopy of the accompanying documentation, e.g. marriage certificate
Post-certification:

The regulatory authorities do not allow the issue of replacement certificates with details changed. If exceptional circumstances apply, such as gender re-orientation or a witness protection programme, VTCT will consider an application for alteration. Any application must be put in writing to VTCT, enclosing the certificate, any evidence and supporting documentation. Our address can be found at the bottom of the page.

If a name error was made upon registration you will need to return the certificate to us by recorded delivery along with a letter of explanation.

Note: fees may apply, please refer to the fees document.

Can I transfer a learner’s registration to my centre from another VTCT centre?

You will need to complete the Learner transfer form located in the Centre Login part of this site. The receiving centre may not be charged a registration fee.

Note: The learner must sign the transfer form by hand.

How can I apply for a Reasonable Adjustment or Special Consideration?

Reasonable Adjustment and Special Consideration information is located in the Centre Login part of this site.

How am I invoiced for registrations I have made and how can I pay these?

VTCT will send you an invoice by email within 7 days of you making the registrations.

You can pay an invoice in several ways:

  • By card on either our website here or by calling Customer Support +44 (0) 023 80684 500
  • By bank transfer. Our bank details are located on your invoice
  • By Sterling cheque (UK centres only) – Our address can be found at the bottom of the page

How do I order Record of Assessment books?

Hard copy Record of Assessment books

Please go to the Linx2Product information page in the Centre Login part of this site where you will find guidance and a link to the login page.

E-copies of Record of Assessment books:

VTCT includes downloadable versions of record of assessment books on our website, which enables centres to download and print them if they wish. Centres can also request free print ready versions (including bleed etc.) if they wish to outsource printing locally. Please email marketing@vtct.org.uk to request print ready versions.

How do I claim certificates?

Through the Linx2Online system. Please go to the Linx2Online information page on the Centre Login part of this site where you will find guidance and a link to the login page.

Don’t have a login? Exam officers can request a login by emailing linx2help@vtct.org.uk – Note: please make sure to email us from the email address we have registered for you.

I have claimed a certificate in error, what do I do?

If you have not yet received the certificate first contact Customer Support customersupport@vtct.org.uk / +44 (0) 023 80684 500.

If you have received the certificate you will need to return the certificate to VTCT by recorded delivery along with a letter of explanation, which will passed on to our Quality department for investigation. Our address can be found at the bottom of the page.

Note: fees may apply, please refer to the fees document.

I have created a certification file but there are errors?

Refer to the ‘How to correct an error’ video guide here.

How long will it take for the certificates to arrive?

Valid certificate claims will be processed and the certificates dispatched within 5 working days (10 working days between mid-July and mid-August), or within 20 working days where External Quality Assurer approval is required.

My EQA has rejected my claim, what do I do?

How do I enter a learner for an online assessment?

Online assessments are scheduled in the Linx2Achieve e-testing system through the Centre Login part of this site.

Don’t have a login? Exam officers can request a login by emailing linx2help@vtct.org.uk – Note: please make sure to email us from the email address we have registered for you.

What do I need to run an online assessment?

Our e-testing system is run through the internet browser, there is no need to install any software. Supported browsers are: Internet Explorer version 9 or above; Google Chrome; Firefox.

 

I cannot locate a learner when scheduling an online assessment?

First check whether there is more than one version of the assessment. The quickest way to do this is by typing in the unit code into the Assessment field on the Add schedule screen. By doing this all versions of that unit assessment will show and you may find that the learner is selectable on a different version.

Secondly check whether the learner has passed the assessment. The ‘How to view and print results’ section of the ‘How Linx2Achieve works, MCQ assessments’ guidance video here explains how to do this.

If you are still unable to locate the learner then please contact Customer Support customersupport@vtct.org.uk / +44 (0) 023 80684 500

How many attempts can a learner have at an assessment?

For most assessments, a learner can attempt each paper 3 times. If a 4th attempt is required you will need to email exams@vtct.org.uk to request a paper based B paper. Please include the learner details, the unit code and your website username.

Note: fees may apply, please refer to the fees document.

How long is the assessment for?

The duration of an assessment is indicated on the schedule page once a schedule has been created. If you need to know the duration before scheduling then open the ‘NVQ/SVQ/VRQ e-tests and durations’ list in the Centre Login part of this site.

What happens if my internet connection is lost or the system becomes unavailable during a test?

Internet connection lost:

If internet connection is lost the system will keep trying to connect until a connection is found. If you know your internet connection is going to be unavailable for a sustained period of time close down the browser. The learner has until the schedule window closes to login again and resume the assessment. If the assessment is not resumed and submitted before the schedule window closes any answers provided will be voided and no attempt is counted.

System unavailable:

The learner has until the schedule window closes to login again and resume the assessment. If the assessment is not resumed and submitted before the schedule window closes any answers provided will be voided and no attempt is counted.

The schedule window has closed but the learner(s) did not start the assessment?

No result is submitted and no attempt is counted. You will be able to create a new schedule.

Can assessments be sat offline?

Yes, offline testing guidance is located in the Centre Login part of this site.

How do I access a paper based assessment?

Paper based assessments are located in the Centre Login part of this site.

Don’t have a login? Exam officers can request a login by emailing linx2help@vtct.org.uk – Note: please make sure to email us from the email address we have registered for you.

Where can I find invigilation guidance?

The VTCT Instructions for Conducting Exams guide can be found in the Centre Login part of this site.

How can I apply for a Reasonable Adjustment or Special Consideration?

Reasonable Adjustment and Special Consideration information is located in the Centre Login part of this site.

Learners

What is my lifetime registration number?

You can find your lifetime registration number on any certificate that you have been awarded. If you do not know your number then you can contact customer support who will be happy to supply you with your registration number. The number is useful for requesting a replacement or e-certificate, or to ensure accurate registration should you change centres.

What is my Unique Learner Number (ULN)?

You should also have a Unique Leaner Number (ULN) if you are studying in England, Wales or Northern Ireland or a Scottish Candidate Number (SCN) in Scotland. Where ULN/SCN numbers are supplied at registration point by centres, VTCT will print them on your certificate.

What is a Personal Learning Record (PLR)?

The Personal Learning Record (PLR) allows individual learners access to their past and current achievement records. Individuals can share records with a school, college, further education training provider, university or employer. This is specifically useful when you are making an application to further education, training or employment. Organisations can use the PLR to verify your qualifications more quickly and easily than by reviewing and checking certificates.

Not all older achievements are included and if you are concerned about any missing achievement, first contact the centre where you studied.

Further information on the PLR can be obtained by clicking here

What is a portfolio?

A portfolio is a record of supporting information to confirm that you have the skills necessary to complete your qualification. Not all VTCT qualifications require you to build a portfolio and your centre will advise you. It can either be built in the form of hardcopy evidence or as an e-portfolio. VTCT has a bespoke e-portfolio (Linx2Record) to support our qualifications. Further details can be found by clicking here.

At the end of your course, your portfolio will become your property to show to potential employers.

How do I go about getting a replacement certificate?

There are two ways to apply for a replacement certificate. For recent certificates (since 2009) you can create a free account at Linx2Validate, or for older certificates, use a  Replacement Certificate request form available from the Learners’ section of this site and make the payment by cheque or postal order. Alternatively you can call Customer Support on +44 (0) 2380 684500 and pay over the phone using a credit or debit card. All replacement certificates are will be marked as ‘Duplicate’.

 

I have changed my name, can I have a replacement certificate in my new name?

The regulatory authorities do not allow replacement certificates to be issued in new names even when due to marriage or divorce. If your name changes while you are undertaking a VTCT qualification, you must write to us stating your registration number, new name and request for the database to be amended. You must also include a copy of the appropriate legal documentation to support your request (e.g. marriage certificate, deed poll). All certificates previously awarded will stay in your old name; any awarded in the future will display your new name.

Where can I study a particular course?

VTCT approves centres to offer our qualifications, but cannot advise which centres are running particular courses at any time. To find out which centres are approved to offer a particular qualification, click on the Qualifications button from the learner page and enter the details of the qualification you wish to study in the qualification finder, then click search. Next click on the title of the relevant qualification, you will then need to scroll down to the bottom of the page where you will find a list of centres accredited by VTCT to offer your chosen course (If necessary this can be narrowed down by selecting a specific county at the top right of the list). You can click on the centre name for contact information and contact them directly to find out which courses they are currently running and to obtain further details such as cost and duration.

How much will it cost to do a particular course?

VTCT accredits centres to offer our qualifications. To find information on course costs you would need to contact an accredited centre directly.

What if I have a specific need that may affect my ability to successfully complete my course?

If you have a learning difficulty, physical disability, health or other support need that may affect your learning, assessments or tests, your centre can make arrangements to support you and inform VTCT as necessary. It is important that you discuss any requirements you wish to declare with your centre on induction or at the start of your learning experience.

I have been told I may have to practise on real clients – is it safe for me to do so?

If you are practising on real clients in the workplace then adequate treatment liability insurance is essential. It is vital as a learner and also when you go on to practise that you have appropriate treatment liability insurance to cover you if you are working on clients. Your centre will usually have insurance to cover you in the workplace whilst you are training.

I have been told I may have to attend my centre on a day I don’t usually need to, because of an EQA visit – do I have to attend?

Learners are required to attend on specific occasions when required by VTCT External Quality Assurer (EQA). Learners are randomly selected for sampling by the EQA and these learners must attend the visit. Failure to attend the visit may result in certification being delayed and you may be required to attend the next EQA visit.

I have moved, can I give you my new address?

VTCT only retains learner addresses and postcodes when centres add them to registration files. The recording of postcodes at the time of registration helps us to check Unique Learner Numbers (ULNs) and names. It also helps us to be able to load your results to your national Personal Learning Record (PLR).You will only need to notify your current college or training centre if you change your address during your period of study to ensure your certificates are posted out correctly.

I have moved, can I attend a different centre to complete my course?

Yes you can, as long as you move to another VTCT approved centre that offers the course you are doing. You may need to negotiate any training fees and re registration with your new centre. but you should not need to re-register your qualification with VTCT.

How long is the course that I want to study?

VTCT accredits centres to offer our qualifications. To find information on duration of courses you would need to contact an accredited centre directly.

I already have some qualifications or learning that duplicates what is in my new qualification. Can I get any recognition for what I have already done?

Recognition of Prior Leaning (RPL) is a method of assessment that considers whether you can demonstrate that you can meet the assessment requirements for a unit in a qualification through knowledge, understanding or skills that you already possess and do not need to develop through a course of learning.

You may possess skills and knowledge that have not been acquired through formal learning, (e.g., through work experience and/or other related learning that has not been formally certificated). This means that you may be able to proceed directly to assessment without further study, using evidence from un-certificated learning. Your centre will advise you if you think this may apply to you.

Is my qualification recognised outside of the UK?

VTCT offers a comprehensive suite of qualifications on the English Qualification and Credit Framework (QCF). They are recognised internationally through the Lisbon Treaty and are aligned to the EQF. The table below summarises the equivalencies between the various UK qualification levels and the EQF.

 

VTCT strongly recommends that you contact the Embassy or High Commission of your intended destination country, as they will be able to advise you about the transferability of qualifications and any other evidence which may be needed to work and to gain insurance.

VTCT supports the Europass service. This is a service shared across Europe and is made up of five documents designed to help learners highlight their qualifications in an effective way to prospective employers and higher/further education providers across Europe.

It is free and enables people to present their competences, skills and abilities in a clear, understandable way, removing the barriers sometimes faced when applying for jobs or continuing education abroad. VTCT is among the first UK awarding organisations to launch the Europass Certificate Supplement.

Other useful resources include the UK National Reference Point for Vocational Qualifications and Qualifications can cross boundaries.

What letters can I put after my name?

Once you have received your certificate, if you hold a VTCT Diploma (37 credits or above) or Certificate (13 to 36 credits) at Level 4 (England, Wales and Northern Ireland), Level 7 (Scotland), or Level 6 (Ireland) and the certificate was dated after 1st January 2012, you may put the appropriate format below after your name:

If you hold a Diploma (37 credits or above) or Certificate (13 to 36 credits) at Level 3 (England, Wales and Northern Ireland), Level 6 (Scotland), or Level 5 (Ireland), and received your certificate after 1st January 2012, you may put the appropriate format below after your name:

If you hold a Diploma (37 credits or above) or Certificate (13 to 36 credits) at Level 2 (England, Wales and Northern Ireland), Level 5 (Scotland), or Level 4 (Ireland) you may put the appropriate format below after your name:

Can I buy a badge to show that I am qualified with VTCT?

This depends on the qualification you have gained. We have a range of sector and level badges that you can order once you have been certificated for your qualification. Details can be found on the Qualification Badges page of this website, including a checker to show what you are entitled to order. You can also telephone VTCT Customer Support on +44 (0) 2380 684500 and order over the phone.

My name is incorrect on my certificate, or showing incorrectly in my e-test or other list, what can I do?

You can either let your college/centre know so that they can inform VTCT or alternatively return it to us with a brief covering letter stating what it should read with evidence and include a postal address, with evidence of the name change – it should correspond exactly with the name on official documents and will be the name on the certificates thereafter.

How quickly after I finish my course will you send me my certificate?

Once a certificate is produced it will be sent to the college or private centre you trained at who will arrange for it to get to you.

I don’t want to finish my course; can I still have a certificate?

If you have completed any units within your qualification, your centre can apply for certificates of unit credit to recognise your competence. You may incur additional costs for this service.

If I come across anything that may contribute to the award of fraudulent certificates, what can I do?

You can write, marking the envelope ‘Confidential’, direct to the VTCT Chief Executive. We guarantee that we will not disclose to your centre the source of your communication.

If I have a complaint against my training centre, what can I do?

Your training centre is the organisation that is responsible for delivering your course and who you have signed up to and paid money to. If you have a complaint against your centre you must take this up with centre through their complaints process. In some cases, once you have exhausted your centre’s complaints procedure you may be able to escalate your complaint to VTCT, the Scottish Public Service Ombudsman (SPSO) and/or the Regulators, further information on when you can escalate your complaint can be found in VTCT’s Complaints Policy.

If you are having trouble obtaining a complaint’s policy from your centre, or if your centre has not responded within their stated timeframes, you can contact VTCT who will contact the centre to request a response.