The Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET) has revamped its flagship diploma qualification as part of several changes to its educational programme that will also see the launch of a level 3 spirits course.
From August 2019, coverage of spirits will be removed from the diploma qualification and from the WSET Level 2 award in wines and spirits, with the WSET introducing a new level 3 award in spirits instead.
The WSET said the changes would allow ‘more in-depth coverage of wine’ in a new Level 4 diploma in wines, with other changes including the introduction of a new research assignment to evaluate current trends in wine.
The changes follow a ‘thorough review’ of the WSET qualifications, and the new courses will benefit from ‘an enhanced, updated specification and learning materials’.
A WSET spokesperson told Decanter.com, ‘Pricing information will not be available until spring 2019 when the dates for the 2019/2020 academic year courses are announced.’
WSET chief executive Ian Harris said, ‘We continually work to ensure that our qualifications remain current and job-relevant, equipping students with the skills and expertise they need.
‘Extensive consultation with key industry stakeholders indicated a clear demand for specialist product education in the categories of wine, spirits and sake; our newly updated suite of qualifications directly addresses this demand, completing the separation of our products into three distinct subject-matter streams.’
The new level 3 award in spirits will cover a broader spectrum of world spirits, including the key Asian categories of baijiu, soju and shochu.
The new exam will include a blind tasting and a written paper with multiple-choice and short written answer questions, similar to the level 3 exam for wines.