New Technical Award: Health and Social Care

Published: Thursday 9 Jun 2016

We’ve developed a new Technical Award in Health and Social Care to engage and excite young learners who want an introduction to life and work within the health and social care sector.

The new qualification will be available for first teaching in September 2017. It replaces our existing GCSE Health and Social Care and offers a more accessible, contemporary range of study options.

Technical Awards are practical, vocational qualifications available to 14-16 year olds to take alongside GCSEs. If approved by the Department for Education, a single award will be equivalent to a GCSE qualification and will count towards performance tables. They could then be included in Progress 8 as part of the non-Ebacc open group of subjects.

Course content

Our new qualification allows learners to:

  • acquire knowledge of development through the life stages
  • understand the well-being of individuals in health and social care
  • develop an awareness of healthy lifestyles and promotion campaigns.

Learners will have the opportunity to put their knowledge into practice through a combination of research, practical experience, theoretical study and independent learning.

All learners will be taught and assessed in the same way, and there is no need to split your class into Level 1 and Level 2.

Assessment structure

There are two internally-assessed units, and a third unit that is externally assessed.

Unit 1: Individual well-being in Health and Social Care (30%)

Learners will undertake health measures and create a health plan for a client or celebrity of their choice.

Learners will:

  • use a range of testing techniques to measure health
  • draw evidence-based conclusions about the health of the individual by interpreting data from tests
  • produce, implement and review a plan for their chosen client or celebrity to make lifestyle changes that could improve health
  • consider organisations and agencies that can support health issues related to their chosen client or celebrity.

Their portfolio will include evidence of health measures with conclusions and a health plan for their chosen client or celebrity.

Unit 2: Healthy living (30%)

Learners will research health promotion campaigns and develop a small-scale health promotion of their choice. The task is flexible, so learners can focus on a topic of interest.

Learners will:

  • understand how risks to health can be avoided or minimised by following the messages and advice from health improvement and promotion campaigns
  • plan, deliver and review a small-scale health promotion campaign
  • carry out independent planning and research, evaluate their success, and suggest improvements.

Their portfolio will include evidence of the small-scale health promotion with an evaluation of its success.

Unit 3: Development through the life stages (40% – external assessment)

Learners will be assessed on the following topics:

  • The stages and patterns of human growth and development
  • Expected development at each life stage
  • Life events
  • Sources of support/services for life events
  • Roles of professionals from the sectors who are involved in supporting life events
  • Definitions of health and well-being
  • Factors influencing health and well-being

Why choose AQA

Insight from teachers in the health and social care community:

The new Technical Award is most appealing particularly to the age range of 14-16 year olds. The subject content is accessible, interesting and current. The coursework focuses on healthy lifestyles and health promotion which will be something that my learners would enjoy.

Heather Brennand, Learning Co-ordinator of Health, Social & Childhood Studies & Public Services, St Wilfrid’s Church of England Academy, Blackburn

A course clearly written with 14-16 year olds in mind. Love the coursework, which allows students to investigate own interests.

Jo Lyons, Teacher of Food and Health, St Bede’s School, Redhill, Surrey

The focus on health will fit in with the school’s ethos. Pupils will enjoy completing the new NEA.

Janet Cottrell, Teacher of Child Development and Health and Social Care, Moat House School, Stockport

Where this award leads

This Technical Award is designed to equip learners with the practical health and social care skills they need to progress to further general or vocational study. They’ll develop a broad understanding of health and social care, so they can make informed decisions about their career opportunities.

Learners will also develop valuable transferable skills including communication and collaboration.

We’ve worked with post-16 education providers to ensure that Technical Awards count equally alongside GCSEs when applying to do further study in either general or vocational qualifications.

Support and resources

We’ll be submitting our draft qualification to the Department for Education in September 2016, when we’ll share the draft specification with you. We’re also planning a series of free support events throughout the autumn term, alongside a full set of resources.

Contact us

Our subject team is here to help. Sign up for updates on our new Technical Awards, or contact Amanda Luby and the customer support team on 0161 957 3334 or by email at

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