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What is a BTEC qualification?

It is a work-based, vocational qualification which assesses both skills and knowledge. The Frontier Tropical Habitat Conservation BTEC Diploma and Certificate and the Expedition Management (biodiversity research) BTEC Certificate have been specially created by Frontier so that participating volunteers can demonstrate that they are competent in a wide range of expedition skills. The BTEC is only available on Frontier conservation projects.

What does BTEC stand for?

The "Business and Technology Education Council". BTEC (a leading provider of vocational qualifications) and London Examinations Board (one of the major GCSE and A-Level examining bodies) form the Edexcel Foundation – Frontier's BTEC partner.

Why is Frontier able to offer a BTEC qualification?

We are the only organisation of our kind that can offer you the opportunity to qualify for an internationally recognised qualification while on your project. The staff and facilities of Frontier have been through a rigorous approval and training regime set by the Edexcel Foundation that allows us to assess our volunteers for BTEC qualifications. The staff training is undertaken in London as well as on our field projects. Edexcel inspectors routinely visit our Frontier field HQ, Frontier project camps and our London HQ. As an Edexcel examining centre we have been awarded the highest level (an A-grade status) for Quality of Assessment and received the following evaluation:

"Dedicated staff members are providing reliable assessment decisions on candidates' competence ensuring that the quality of work produced is worthy of the academic qualification the candidates leave with. Top class assessments, feedback, and candidate support."
Mike Todd, External Verifier for Edexcel.

Why opt for the BTEC?

  1. The courses were written and devised around activities already in place in the field. Therefore it enhances the work already being achieved, rather than detracting from it. You will find it makes your work on a project even more focused, relevant and meaningful. You'll be doing the training anyway and with continual assessment you will find it a straightforward way in which you can improve your skills.
  2. Many participants have used their Frontier project as a prominent component of their CV, and found it essential in facilitating further work and study opportunities. In creating the BTEC qualification we have helped employers and universities to distinguish the Frontier experience involving valid and rigorous field science, from other "project" experiences, that are usually more aimed at personal development.
  3. While there are many opportunities to gain academic qualifications in environmental conservation related disciplines, there are fewer opportunities to validate practical field skills especially in tropical habitats. For some it has proved invaluable. Here is what one of our recent volunteers said about the BTEC:
    "The BTEC gave me a specific focus for the project and definitely optimises time on camp. Mentors are very well-trained and very supportive. I would recommend it to every volunteer, it was fun and easy. And it was really good value for money, especially as now I effectively have another A-Level."