Guide to the 2023 Level 3 qualification results for VTQs in England

Covering Applied General qualifications, T Levels, and other vocational and technical qualifications approved for reporting in the Department for Education performance tables

Over 378,000 results have been issued to students across over 575 vocational and technical qualifications (VTQs) this year, confirmed through the VTQ Results Action Plan. These results have been issued alongside nearly 800,000 A level results, supporting the achievements of all students to be celebrated on the same day.

Ofqual is today publishing the outcomes from 256 of these qualifications (those used in school and college accountability measures). For these qualifications, 23,500 (9%) were at top grades.

Students have worked extremely hard to achieve their qualifications, as have all those who have supported them across the course of their studies. These qualifications will allow students to take the next step, whether to education or employment.

Some VTQs – such as Applied Generals and Tech Levels – were reformed before the pandemic. The reformed qualifications introduced external assessment, and for some colleges this is the first year that many students have taken external assessments for the reformed qualifications. The number of students taking these reformed Level 3 qualifications has grown considerably compared with 2019, so it is not meaningful to compare the pattern of results with previous years.

In 2021 to 2022, Ofqual allowed awarding organisations to adapt their assessments, so that students studying VTQs could get the support they needed as we emerged from the pandemic.  These adaptations were designed to free-up time to recover lost teaching and learning.  For many students, results from those assessments will be used towards qualifications this year so that students are not disadvantaged.

Today is also the results day for students taking T Levels. Ofqual regulates Technical Qualifications (TQs) within T Levels, and the Department for Education (DfE) is responsible for the industry placement. Overall T Level results have been published by the DfE, and Ofqual has published an interactive guide for TQ component results.

This is the first year that T Levels are based fully on formal assessments, whereas those awarded previously included at least some contribution from teacher assessed grades. Awarding organisations were generous in awarding these, as is the custom with new qualifications, as students and teachers are less familiar with the assessments.

Ofqual will publish an equalities analysis, setting out the differences in results between students with different protected characteristics, in the autumn. It is not possible for us to complete this analysis ahead of results being issued, because final data is only available very close to results day.

Dr Jo Saxton, Chief Regulator, said:

"Congratulations to all students receiving results today. They should be proud of their results, which are a testament to their hard work and the support they have received from their schools and colleges.

"Thanks to the collective efforts of everyone in the sector, VTQs have been delivered on time this year. Last year so many students were left waiting for their results, and I was determined that this would not happen again. I believe that the changes made this year to results delivery will now lead to permanent improvements. We are committed to taking a similar approach next year, continuing with a term-time checkpoint and a clear deadline for awarding organisations to issue results.

"I’m delighted too that we can today publish for the first time the total number of VTQ results that are used for progression on to further or higher education, so that these students can be celebrated alongside their peers who took A levels. The greater visibility of information represents a significant step towards parity of treatment for students taking VTQs who are today getting the recognition they deserve."

2023 results

Today (17 August 2023) we are publishing:

Key points

  • Over 378,000 results have been issued to students across more than 575 vocational and technical qualifications this year, confirmed through the VTQ Results Action Plan
  • Results across 256 performance table qualifications (PTQs) have been awarded and outcomes for these are available on the Ofqual Analytics app
  • 23,500 of PTQ results (9%) were at the top grade available for that qualification
  • The 3 PTQ subjects with the most certificates issued against them are:
    • Business, administration and law – 61,200
    • Health, public services and care – 36,900
    • Social sciences – 36,500