Can Some of the Units be Exempted?

Question: I have worked in Management for a number of years, and I have completed a BA in Business Administration. Therefore, can I be exempt from some of the BTEC Level 7 Diploma’s units?

Answer: I understand your request, but I need to inform you of the nature of Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) with BTEC programmes. This programme is at level 7, which is the same level as a university Masters or MBA level, so the assessment will have to meet level 7 standards. Bachelor degrees are at level 6, so do not count for RPL on a level 7 course, even though the underlying concepts may be very similar, it is the assessment that differs.

A university can make a judgement of a person’s CV and offer to waive part of a course, and as they are the awarding body, they can do this. Pearson Edexcel do not offer such a waiver.

Having said that, it is still possible that previous work and study can be recognised, but it will still require gathering of sufficient evidence. Each of the detailed assessment criteria (AC 1.1, 1.2, 1.3, 2.1, etc.) for each of the units must have evidence to prove that the learner has fulfilled them. (See Assessment Criteria) A general pass certificate for another course would not be adequate, unless accompanied by a detailed transcript and learning outcomes assessed, and mention that it was at level 7. This is unlikely to be available for most courses, other than MBA.

It is possible that you could look at each assessment criteria and hunt through previous work that you have done for employers and submit that as evidence that you have fulfilled the criteria. Examples of this could be: For Strategic Marketing Management Unit, the following assessment criteria exist:

  • 3.1 use appropriate marketing techniques to ascertain growth opportunities in a market
  • 3.2 plan how to use marketing strategy options in a market
  • 3.3 create appropriate strategic marketing objectives for a market

If you have actually produced all of these for a company, and have documentation to show how you did it (not merely a letter from a boss that you did it), then this could be presented as evidence.

As can be seen, the effort involved in gathering such required evidence may be more than writing the assignment.

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