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Uniformed Public Services

Public Services - Level 3


The content of the new BTEC Nationals has been developed in collaboration with employers and representatives from higher education and relevant professional bodies. In this way the content is up to date and includes the knowledge, understanding, skills and attributes required in the Uniformed Protective Services sector.

The mandatory and optional content provides a balance of breadth and depth, while retaining a degree of choice for individual learners to study content relevant to their interests and progression choices.

The proportion of mandatory content ensures that all learners are following a coherent programme of study and acquiring the knowledge, understanding and skills that will be recognised and valued.

The Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Foundation Diploma in Uniformed Protective Services is intended to support progression to further study. Its primary purpose is to support post-16 learners in accessing higher education in public services and related areas, and ultimately for learners to progress to employment in the uniformed protective services. This reflects the shift towards increased graduate employment in the sector, for example in the police service.

The qualification is equivalent in size to 1.5 A Levels. It has been designed either as a one-year full-time study programme, that leads to a two-year, full-time study programme.

The content of this qualification has been developed in consultation with academics to ensure that it supports progression to higher education. Employers from the uniformed protective services sector have also been involved and consulted so that the qualification content is appropriate and consistent with current practice for learners who choose to enter direct employment in the sector.

The qualification gives learners the knowledge, understanding and skills that will prepare them for further study or training.

Mandatory units: Everyone taking this qualification will study four mandatory units:

  • Citizenship and Diversity (Pearson-set) - Internal
  • Behaviour and Discipline in the Uniformed Protective Services - External
  • Physical Preparation, Health and Wellbeing - Internal
  • Teamwork, Leadership and Communication in the Uniformed Protective Services - Internal

The mandatory content allows learners to develop the essential skills and knowledge identified in the sector, such as discipline, teamwork and communication. It also allows learners to develop a healthy lifestyle and the physical fitness skills that are required for entry to a number of uniformed protective services roles.

Learners will undertake one optional unit from the selection of units below designed to support progression to a range of sector-related courses in higher education, and that link to relevant occupational areas.

Optional Units:

  • Custodial Care
  • Sociological Perspectives
  • Skills for Outdoor Activities and the Uniformed
  • Protective Services
  • Expedition Skills
  • Developing Personal Fitness Programmes
  • Introduction to Criminology
  • Police Powers and the Law
  • Professional Development in the Uniformed Protective Services

You will need five GCSEs at grade 4 or above, including English Language.
Students with full Level 2 vocational qualifications with an overall Merit/Distinction in Public Services will also be considered.


Assessment is specifically designed to fit the purpose and objective of the qualification. It includes a range of assessment types and styles suited to vocational qualifications in the sector. For these qualifications, there are two main forms of assessment that you need to be aware of: external, internal and synoptic.

Externally-assessed Units: Each external assessment for a BTEC National is linked to a specific unit to allow learners to demonstrate breadth and depth of achievement. Each assessment is taken under specified conditions, then marked by Pearson and a grade is awarded. Learners are permitted to resit external assessments during their programme. Examinations are used for external assessment of qualifications in the Uniformed Protective Services suite. External assessments are available twice a year.

Internally-assessed Units: In sports coaching and development, all units are internally assessed.This means that you set and assess the assignments that provide the final summative assessment Learners could be given opportunities to: Write up the findings of their own research Use case studies to explore complex or unfamiliar situations Carry out projects for which they have choice over the direction and outcomes Demonstrate practical and technical skills using appropriate processes.

Synoptic Assessment: Synoptic assessment requires learners to demonstrate that they can identify and use effectively, an appropriate selection of skills, techniques, concepts, theories and knowledge.They are encouraged to apply their learning in realistic contexts using scenarios and realistic activities that will permit them to draw on and apply their learning. The synoptic assessment gives learners an opportunity to independently select and apply learning from across their programmes in the completion of a vocation.


The Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Foundation Diploma in the Uniformed Protective Services can lead to:

  • Further study
  • BA (Hons) in Criminology and Psychology, if taken alongside A Level Psychology
  • BA (Hons) in Social Work, if taken alongside A Levels in Sociology and Psychology
  • BA (Hons) in Criminology and Psychology, if taken alongside A Levels in Psychology and Sociology
  • BA (Hons) in Policing and Criminal Investigation, if taken alongside the Pearson BTEC Level 3
  • Foundation Diploma in Forensic Investigation
  • LLB (Hons) in Law, if taken alongside A Levels in History and Law
  • Entry-level roles within the uniformed protective services sector where you will complete additional training and qualifications to gain the skills and knowledge required to progress in your chosen profession
  • An apprenticeship within the sector, where you will complete additional training and qualifications to gain the skills and knowledge required to progress in their chosen profession.

Learning takes place in the classroom, the gym, the sports hall and other outside facilities. The purpose of the BTEC Nationals in relation to your development is as follows:

  • To apply learning that brings together knowledge and understanding (the cognitive domain)
  • To develop practical and technical skills (the psychomotor domain)
  • Through performing vocational tasks that encourage the development of appropriate vocational behaviours (the affective domain)
  • Through developing your transferable skills such as communication, teamwork, research and analysis, planning and completing tasks to high standards.

If you will be aged 16 to 18 on 31 August in the year you begin your studies and have been resident in the UK/EU/EEA for the past 3 years, your course will be free.

You may be eligible for financial help to support with books, travel, course materials and childcare costs – please click here for more information.

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