The Qualifications and Credit Framework (QCF) is a national framework developed by the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority (England), Department for Education, Lifelong Learning and Skills (DELLS) in Wales and the Council for the Curriculum, Examinations and Assessment (CCEA) in Northern Ireland.
The Qualifications and Credit Framework (QCF)
|QCF level||Examples of qualifications in each level*|
|Vocational qualifications level 8|
|Level 7||Masters degree
Postgraduate certificates and diplomas
|NVQ level 5
Vocational qualifications level 7
|Level 6||Honours degree
Graduate certificates and diplomas
|Vocational qualifications level 6|
|Level 5||Diploma of higher education Foundation degrees
Higher national diplomas
|Vocational qualifications level 5|
|Level 4||Certificate of higher education||Vocational qualifications level 4|
|Level 3||A levels
IB Advanced diploma
Advanced Welsh Baccalaureate
|NVQ level 3 BTEC level 3
National diploma/certificate level 3
Cambridge technical diploma/certificate level 3
|Level 2||GCSE Grades 9-4 (Previously A*-C)
Intermediate Welsh Baccalaureate
|NVQ level 2
BTEC level 2
National diploma/certificate level 2
Cambridge technical diploma/certificate level 2
|Level 1||GCSEs Grades 5-1 (Previously D-G)
Foundation Welsh Baccalaureate
|NVQ level 1
BTEC level 1
|Entry level||Entry level certificate||ASDAN† (e.g. ‘Employability’)|
NVQ, National Vocational Qualification; IB, International Baccalaureate; BTEC, Business and Technician Education Council; GCSE, General Certificate of Secondary Education.
*The lowest qualification is entry level and the highest is level 8. Levels 4–8 are part of the framework of higher education.
+ASDAN is approved as an awarding organisation for qualifications within the National Qualifications Framework and the QCF, regulated by Ofqual in England, DELLS in Wales and CCEA in Northern Ireland. All approved ASDAN qualifications have points that are comparable to GCSEs.
The QCF helps you to navigate the numerous examination boards, helping you understand the level of their qualifications. This progressive framework is designed so that you can see where any qualification which you are involved in teaching fits in. Qualifications vary in content, delivery and assessment methods. Therefore, familiarise yourself with the course specification and fully understand what is to be delivered and how it is to be assessed.