Updated: Mar 6, 2021
We have recently completed our benchmarking of International Pre-school Curriculum (IPC) qualifications offered by AIM Middle East. The research found the AIM IPC Level 2 Early Childhood Care and AIM IPC Level 3 in Early Childhood Education Theory and Application qualifications to be comparable to RQF Level 2 and 3 respectively, whilst the AIM IPC Level 5 in Leadership and Management for Early Childhood Settings has been benchmarked at RQF Level 5.
UK NARIC conducted an initial evaluation project in 2018 and followed this with a review and benchmarking of the updated AIM IPC Level 2, 3 and 5 awards in 2020
The three courses are designed for students with varying degrees of experience in early years. The IPC Level 2 does not require entrants to have any experience in early years, although students need to have completed at least 12 years of education, whilst Level 3 requires at least one year of experience in an early years setting. The Level 5 qualification requires students to have completed at least one year as a lead teacher in an early years setting.
Each of AIM’s IPC courses comprises of a set of compulsory modules taught via an online Moodle platform. The IPC Level 2 qualification consists of seven modules totalling 410 hours and taught over six months with the subsequent Level 3 qualification taught over nine months and containing 680 hours of study time in nine modules. The more advanced Level 5 Leadership course is taught over a period of 12 months with students studying for 1,200 hours in 13 modules.
To complete the qualification, students are assessed in several ways including observed examinations, journal entries and assignments. The pass mark for both Level 2 and Level 3 is 60%, and is 75% for Level 5.
In terms of the comparison to the UK framework, our research found the AIM IPC Level 2 course combined academic study with 250 hours of work experience, meaning students were able to address routine problems and understand the broad area of work, aligning it to RQF Level 2.
Students are then able to progress onto the Level 3 course, which was found to meet RQF Level 3 standard in the UK as, in addition to skills learned at Level 2, students are able to address non-routine and complex problems.
The IPC Leadership Level 5 award, initially reviewed in 2018, was found to have an emphasis on developing leadership skills. This was reiterated in the module papers and assignments, which were found to show analysis of professional practices. The assessment of leadership skills in practice also led to the conclusion that this qualification is comparable to RQF Level 5.
AIM Middle East is a Dubai-based private provider licensed by the Knowledge and Human Development Authority offering qualifications on behalf of IPC, located in the USA. AIM and IPC developed the three qualifications we have compared in order to reflect global practices in early years education.
This benchmarking project was conducted by our benchmarking team who undertake a wide range of qualification comparison and evaluation work, including reviews of qualifications such as those offered by the Institute of Cost Accountants of India (ICAI) and Northern Consortium UK Ltd (NCUK).