Level 3 Diploma in Business Administration (QCF)

Learning Outcomes (Competence and Knowledge Based):

Level 3 Diploma in Business Administration (QCF) is for learners who work in, or who want to work in the business administration roles such as:

• Personal Assistant, Office Executive, or Office Supervisor The qualification gives learners the opportunity to:

• Develop and demonstrate technical and wider sector-related knowledge to underpin competence in the job roles stated above. This includes the knowledge covering the broader cross-organisation processes such as business innovation, financial management, and marketing, as well as the principles and practices underpinning the tasks and responsibilities related to the job roles above such as methods of communication and information management.

• Develop and demonstrate a range of technical skills and behaviors that support competence in the job roles stated above. These include developing and managing administrative systems, processes, and staff. For example, using a range of internal and external communication methods and the systems that support them, organising diaries, meetings, and travel, managing resources and facilities, managing administrative processes and systems and supervising staff.

• Develop their own personal growth and engagement in learning through the development of personal, learning and thinking skills (PLTS).

• Have existing skills recognised.

• Achieve a nationally-recognised Level 3 qualification.

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    • An EU national or a family member of one
    • A refugee
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    • The child of a Turkish worker
    • Not in a full time study programme
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  • Entry Requirements
    No prior knowledge, understanding, skills or qualifications are required before learners register for this qualification, however, it is likely that they will be seeking work within the business administrative sector, or they may already be employed in a cross-sector role of function that involves responsibility for carrying out and managing business administrative operations and functions


A. Level 3 Diploma in Business Administration (QCF) (The learner will need to meet the requirements outlined in the table below before the qualification can be awarded):

  • Minimum number of credits that must be achieved (58 credits)
  • Minimum number of credits that must be achieved at level 3 or above (40 credits)
  • Number of mandatory credits that must be achieved (27 credits)
  • Number of optional credits that must be achieved from group B (13 credits)
  • Number of optional credits that can be achieved from group B, C or D (A maximum of 10 credits from Group C and a maximum of 8 from group D) (18 credits)
  • minimum number of credits that must be achieved (58 credits)
    • Assessment
      This qualification contains both knowledge and competence units, assessed through a combination of internal and external assessment.
      All competence units are internally assessed. Knowledge units can be assessed through internal or external assessment. The type of unit, whether knowledge or competence, is stated in the unit information section at the start of each unit. Information on the methods and requirements for both internal and external assessment is given later in this section. To achieve a pass for the full qualification, the learner must achieve all the units in the stated qualification structure.
    • Language of assessment
      External assessments for units in this qualification will be available in English. Assessments for units that are to be internally assessed may be in English, Welsh or Irish. If assessment is to be carried out in either Welsh or Irish then centres must inform the awarding body at the point of learner registration. A learner taking the qualification may be assessed in British or Irish Sign Language where it is permitted for the purpose of reasonable adjustment. Further information on the use of language in qualifications is available in our policy document Use of languages in qualifications policy. Further information on access arrangements can be found in the Joint Council for Qualifications (JCQ) document Access Arrangements, Reasonable Adjustments and Special Consideration for General and Vocational Qualifications

    • Competence units – internal assessment
      All competence units in this qualification are assessed through an internally and externally quality assured portfolio made up of evidence gathered during the course of the learner’s work. Each competence unit has specified learning outcomes and assessment criteria. To pass each unit the learner must:

      • Achieve all the specified learning outcomes.
      • Satisfy all the assessment criteria by providing sufficient and valid evidence for each criterion.
      • Prove that the evidence is their own.

      The learner must have an assessment record that identifies the assessment criteria that have been met. The assessment record should be cross-referenced to the evidence provided. The assessment record should include details of the type of evidence and the date of assessment. Suitable centre documentation should be used to form an assessment record. It is important that the evidence provided to meet the assessment criteria for each unit is:

      Valid: relevant to the standards for which competence is claimed

      Authentic: produced by the learner

      Current: sufficiently recent to create confidence that the same skill, understanding or knowledge persist at the time of the claim

      Reliable: indicates that the learner can consistently perform at this level

      Sufficient: fully meets the requirements of the standards

      Learners can provide evidence of occupational competence from:

      • current practice – where evidence is generated from a current job role.
      • A programme of development – where evidence comes from assessment opportunities built into a learning programme. The evidence provided must meet the requirements of the Sector Skills Council’s Assessment Strategy.
      • The Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) – where a learner can demonstrate that they can meet a unit’s assessment criteria through knowledge, understanding or skills they already possess, without undertaking a course of development. They must submit sufficient, reliable, authentic and valid evidence for assessment. Evidence submitted based on RPL should give the centre confidence that the same level of skill, understanding and knowledge exists at the time of claim as existed at the time the evidence was produced. RPL is acceptable for accrediting a unit, several units, or a whole qualification.

      Assessment Strategy
      The Assessment Strategy for the business administration specific competence units in this qualification is given in Annexe A. It sets out the overarching assessment principles and the framework for assessing these units to ensure that the qualification remains valid and reliable. The Assessment Strategy has been developed by Skills CFA in partnership with employers, training providers, awarding organisations and the regulatory authorities. Imported units in this qualification are governed by the Assessment Strategy in Annexe B. The unit assessment requirements section in each unit states where this strategy applies.

      Types of evidence
      To achieve a competence unit, the learner must gather evidence showing that they have met the required standard specified in the assessment criteria, awarding body quality assurance arrangements (see Section 10, Quality assurance of centres) and the requirements of the Assessment Strategies in Annexe A and Annexe B. In line with the Assessment Strategies, evidence for the competence units can take a variety of forms as indicated below:

      • direct observation of the learner’s performance by their assessor (O)
      • outcomes from oral or written questioning (Q&A)
      • products of the learner’s work (P)
      • personal statements and/or reflective accounts (RA)
      • professional discussion (PD)
      • authentic statements/witness testimony (WT)
      • expert witness testimony (EWT)
      • evidence of Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL).

      Learners can use the abbreviations in their portfolios for cross-referencing purposes. Learners must provide evidence of their achievement of the knowledge-based learning outcomes and the associated assessment criteria in competence units –achievement of these cannot be inferred from performance. Centres must ensure that the assessment methods used are appropriate for the specific learning outcomes and assessment criteria and are in line with the Assessment Strategies in Annexe A and Annexe B. Guidance may need to be given to learners before the assessment is conducted to clarify the requirements of different command verbs. This will ensure that evidence provided has sufficient breadth and depth to meet the assessment requirements. The Unit assessment guidance given in each unit is useful in supporting centres with the assessment process. Learners can use one piece of evidence to prove their knowledge, skills and understanding across different assessment criteria and/or across different units. It is not necessary for learners to have each assessment criterion assessed separately. They should be encouraged to reference evidence to the relevant assessment criteria. However, the evidence provided for each unit must reference clearly the unit that is being assessed. Evidence must be available to the assessor, the internal verifier and the awarding body standards verifier.


      • Provide learners with the knowledge and skills they need to operate as a successful business administrator
      • Confirm competence of those already fulfilling a business administration role
      • Allow learners to develop skills in a range of areas relevant to business administration roles, such as communication, presentation skills and providing administrative support.
      • Develop the skills and qualities valued in employees by employers
      • Understand and work on their strengths and weaknesses as a business administrator.