The most frequently asked questions:

What does QCF mean?

QCF stands for Qualification Credit Framework for creating and accrediting qualifications in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

These new qualifications are more relevant to employer’s needs and more accessible to a wider range of learners than the NVQs that they have replaced.

QCF qualifications are designed with the help of employers so the learners can be assured that they are gaining skills that meet employer’s needs.

What is a QCF Award, Certificate or Diploma?

The qualifications in the QCF are divided into three categories; Award, Certificates and Diplomas. Every unit in the QCF will have a credit value and one credit equals 10 hours, this shows the learner how much time is needed to coplete a particular course.  Each unit will also have a level ranging between the entry level and level 8.  The levels represent the difficulty of the course:

  • Award (1-12 credits)
  • Certificate (13-36 Credits)
  • Diplomas (37 credits or more)

The qualification type  (Award, Certificate, Diploma) represents the  size of a qualification, not the level of difficulty. Each QCF qualification title contains the following:

  • the level of the qualification (Level 1 to 8)
  • the size of qualification, (award, certificate or diploma)
  • the content of the qualification (the subject)

How are QCF Qualifications Achieved?

As with the old NVQs, QCF qualifications focus is on the workplace skills and allow learners to demonstrate that they have the skill, ability and knowledge to do their job to industry standards. Units of the QCF are completed through portfolio work and practical assessment in the workplace.  There are also units that cover knowledge and these can be covered by assignments set and marked by the assessor.

What does Work Based Learning mean?

This usually means an Assessor will come to your work place to help you to put together your portfolio of evidence to prove your competence in your job. Your assessor will observe you in your own working environment and at a time that suits you and your employer.