Qualification Levels Explained

What is the Qualifications and Credit Framework (QCF)?

The QCF is a government body who regulates Ordosafe training. These qualifications are made up of units. This provides a flexible way to gain a qualification. Each unit has a credit value which tells you how many credits are awarded when a unit is completed.

The credit value also gives an indication of how long it will normally take you to complete a unit. One credit will usually take you 10 hours of learning (Guided Learning Hours). The GLH specifies the amount of time the average candidate would take including time for induction, directed study time, tutorials and assessment.

Units build up to qualifications and there are three different types of qualification from Award to Certificate and Diploma.

You can achieve an Award with 1 to 12 credits; for a Certificate you will need 13 – 36 credits and for a Diploma at least 37 credits. Units and qualifications are each given a level according to their difficulty, from entry level to level 8. The title of a qualification will tell you its size and level.

If you have already achieved a qualification which includes a unit that you have been certificated for, you can use that unit towards another qualification. Units awarded by different awarding organisations can be combined to build up qualifications.

QCF/NQF Level Qualifications approximate comparability C&G Qualifications also include
8 Doctorate Fellowship (FCGI)
7 Master’s Degree
Postgraduate Diploma
Postgraduate Certficate
Membership (MCGI)
Master Professional Diploma
ILM QCF Qualifications
6 Bachelor’s Degree
Graduate Certificate and Diploma
Graduateship (GCGI)
Associateship (ACGI)
ILM Qualifications
5 Higher National Diplomas (HND) & Higher National Certificate (HNC)
Foundation Degree
Diplomas of Higher and Further Education
IVQ Advanced Technical Diploma
Full Technological Diploma
ILM QCF Qualifications
4 Certificate of Higher Education Licentiateship (LCGI)
Higher Professional Diploma
Level 4 Vocational (NVQ/VRQ/QCF)
3 A Levels
Advanced National Certificate in Education
BTEC National Certificate/Diploma
Level 3 Vocational (NVQ/VRQ/QCF)
Advanced Apprenticeship (England &NI)
Modern Apprenticeship (Scotland and Wales)
2 GCSE grades A – C Level 2 Vocational (NVQ/VRQ/QCF)
Apprenticeship (England & NI)
Foundation Modern Apprenticeship (Wales)
1 GCSE grades D – G NVQ Level 1
Level 1 Vocational Award
Entry 1,2,3 Entry level vocational qualifications and Progression Awards