This page aims to providers educators with a detailed list of the qualificiations available across the UK.This page aims to providers educators with a detailed list of the qualificiations available across the UK.The qualifications you teach are based on the National Occupational Standards (NOS). These are frameworks that describe what an individual needs to do, know and understand in order to carry out a particular job role or function in a particular industry.

  • Standards
    • Standards are created by standard setting bodies such as Habia in partnership with industry and educators. These bodies will review and update the standards every so often in order to make sure they reflect best industry practise, reflect current job needs and meet the future demands of employers in terms of skills.

      Typically, a standard setting body will hold an industry wide consultation when reviewing the standards, before establishing Expert Working Groups to put forward recommendations. The changes are then put to Habia's industry forums and then further consultation before being finalised.

      These finalised standards are what are then used by Awarding Organisations to develop the qualifications such as NVQs/SVQs.

      As an educator, you are able to get involved at every step of the process, whether through the national online consultations or by applying to sit on the Expert Working Groups or industry forums.

  • Qualifications and Credit Framework (QCF)
    • The Qualifications and Credit Framework (QCF) represents one of the biggest changes to 14-19 qualifications in England, Northern Ireland and Wales.

      It replaces the National Qualifications Framework (NQF) from September 2010.

      It provides a national framework of qualifications that is simpler and clear to follow, more responsive to inviduals' needs, relevant to the demands of employers and flexible for learners.

      There are four basic aims of the QCF:

      1. Ensure a wider range of achievements can be recognised
      2. Establish a national qualification framework that is more responsive to learners and employers
      3. A simpler framework that is easier to for all users to understand
      4. Reduce bureaucracy in the accreditation and assessment of qualifications.

      In the QCF, there are nine levels.

      Qualifications Table

      All qualifications have the same three elements:

      1. Level: how difficult the qualification is
      2. Size: how long the qualification will take to complete
      3. Content: what the qualification is about. Each qualification is given a number of credits based on its size.

      There are three sizes, with one credit equal to 10 Notional Learning Hours (NLH):

      1. Award: equals 1-12 credits
      2. Certificate: equals 13-36 credits
      3. Diploma: equals 37+ credits

      All qualifications have Award, Certificate or Diploma in their title so their size can be determined.

      Job ready qualifications will have National Vocational Qualification ( NVQ ) in the title to distinguish them from preparation for work qualifications (Vocationally Related Qualifications).

      Qualifications are based on units, which can be put together to create qualifications using Rules of Combination.

  • Scottish Credit and Qualification Framework (SCQF)
    • Scotland has its own framework for qualifications independent of the Qualification and Credit Framework (QCF) in England, Northern Ireland and Wales called the Scottish Credit and Qualification Framework (SCQF).

      Like the QCF, the SCQF provides a national framework of qualifications that is simpler and clear to follow, more responsive to individuals' needs, relevant to the demands of employers and flexible for learners.

      There are four basic aims of the SCQF:

      1. Ensure a wider range of achievements can be recognised
      2. Establish a national qualification framework that is more responsive to learners and employers
      3. A simpler framework that is easier to for all users to understand
      4. Reduce bureaucracy in the accreditation and assessment of qualifications. The SCQF has 12 levels as opposed to the QCF's nine, as it includes three Access levels at Levels 1, 2 and 3.

  • European Qualifications Framework (EQF)
    • The European Qualifications Framework (EQF) is a common European reference framework which enables European nations to link their qualification systems to one another.

      The EQF relates different nations' qualification systems and frameworks together around a common European reference. It practice, it functions as a translation device making qualifications more understandable.

      The core of the EQF are eight reference levels describing what a learner knows, understands and is able to do - learning outcomes.

      Levels of national qualifications are placed at one of the central reference levels, ranging from basic (Level 1) to advanced (Level 8), thus enabling easier comparison between national qualifications and meaning that individuals do not have to repeat learning if they move to another country.

      The EQF applies to all types of education, training and qualifications, from school education to academic, professional and vocational. It helps learners and workers wishing to move between countries, or employers looking to recruit overseas.

      The EQF is completely voluntary and has no regulatory function.

Regulation of Qualifications

Qualifications are regulated differently depending which part of the UK you are in.

  • Ofqual
    • Ofqual is responsible for maintaining standards, improving confidence and distributing information about qualifications and examinations. It regulates general and vocational qualifications in England and vocational qualifications in Northern Ireland.

      It gives formal recognition to Awarding Organisations that deliver qualifications and assessments. We also accredit their awards and monitor their activities (including their fees).

      It is not directly controlled by the government but report to parliament.
      http://www.ofqual.gov.uk/

  • Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA)
    • SQA is the national accreditation and awarding body in Scotland.

      In its accreditation role, it accredits vocational qualifications that are offered across Scotland, including Scottish Vocational Qualifications and approve awarding bodies that wish to award them.
      http://www.sqa.org.uk/

  • Welsh Government
    • Vocational qualifications are regulated directly by the Welsh Government in Wales, which recognises and monitors sawarding organisations to make sure they operate fairly and consistently. It also works with awarding organisations to maintain standards in qualifications and assessments and to ensure that the public has confidence in the qualifications system, and develop qualifications frameworks.
      http://wales.gov.uk/

Other organisations

  • Association of Colleges
    • The Association of Colleges (AoC) exists to represent and promote the interests of Colleges and provide members with professional support services.

      As such, it aims to be the authoritative voice of Colleges - based on credible analysis, research, advocacy and consultation with Colleges. The AoC was established in 1996 by Colleges themselves as a voice for further education and higher education delivered in Colleges at national and regional level.

      Its membership includes General and Tertiary Further Education Colleges, Sixth Form Colleges and Specialist Colleges in England. It works with represents Colleges in Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland through affiliation of AoC and partnership with sister bodies in both countries via the UK Council of Colleges.
      http://www.aoc.co.uk/

  • Association of Employment and Learning Providers (AELP)
    • The Association of Employment and Learning Providers (AELP) is a national membership organisation and is the recognised voice of independent providers who engage in government funded skills training and employability programmes throughout England.

      The majority of its 600 members are private, not-for-profit and voluntary third sector independent training organisations delivering government-funded skills and welfare-to-work programmes. In addition, within the full membership there are also 50 further education colleges. Collectively, AELP's members deliver most of the Apprenticeship training and the majority of adult vocational skills provision in England. Membership is open to any provider committed to quality skills or employability programmes.

      Also in membership as Associates are a number of non-delivery organisations such as Awarding Organisations, Business Consultants, Sector Skills Councils (SSCs) and other government organisations. This includes Habia.
      http://www.aelp.org.uk/

  • Scotland's Colleges
    • Scotland's Colleges was created in 2009 from the merger of the sector organisations, SFEU, SCI, ASC and COLEG, in order to enhance collective efforts to make a positive impact on learners in the Scottish college sector. Legally SFEU and ASC continue to exist with SFEU as the parent company and ASC as it's wholly owned subsidiary.

      Scotland's Colleges exists to support, represent and promote the Scottish college sector.
      http://www.scotlandscolleges.ac.uk/home.html

  • Colleges Northern Ireland
    • Colleges Northern Ireland (CNI) is the membership body representing all six Northern Ireland regional colleges. Its activities include providing the voice for the College sector, advocacy on behalf of the sector, including lobbying government departments and other agencies, providing a platform for its member colleges, providing an interface between the colleges and a wide range of stakeholders, supporting colleges in a range of activities and managing initiatives on behalf of the sector; and building consensus on policy on behalf of the Colleges.
      http://www.anic.ac.uk/