Qualification levels

Comparison of qualification levels between the NQF and QCF frameworks

 

Level NQF Qualifications
examples
QCF Qualifications
examples
Framework for Higher Education
examples
Entry
  • Entry level certificates
  • Skills for Life at Entry level
Entry level VQs:

  • Entry level awards, certificates and diplomas
  • Foundation Learning Tier pathways
  • Functional Skills at Entry level
 
1
  • GCSEs graded D-G
  • NVQs at level 1
  • Key Skills level 1
  • Skills for Life
  • Foundation Diploma
Level 1 VQs:

  • BTEC awards, certificates and diplomas at level 1
  • Functional Skills level 1
  • OCR Nationals
  • Foundation Learning Tier pathways
 
2
  • GCSEs graded A*-C
  • NVQs at level 2
  • Level 2 VQs
  • Key Skills level 2
  • Skills for Life
  • Higher Diploma
Level 2 VQs:

  • BTEC awards, certificates and diplomas at level 2
  • Functional Skills level 2
 
3
  • AS/A levels
  • Advanced Extension Awards
  • International Baccalaureate
  • Key Skills level 3
  • NVQs at level 3
  • Cambridge International Awards
  • Advanced and Progression Diploma
Level 3 VQs:

  • BTEC awards, certificates and diplomas at level 3
  • BTEC Nationals
  • OCR Nationals
 
4
  • NVQs at level 4
  • Key Skills level 4
  • Certificates of higher education
Original NQF Level 4* Level 4 VQs:

  • BTEC Professional Diplomas, Certificates and Awards
  • Certificates of higher education
5
  • Higher national diplomas
  • Other higher diplomas
  • NVQs at level 4*
Level 5 VQs:

  • HNCs and HNDs
  • BTEC Professional Diplomas, Certificates and Awards
  • Diplomas of higher education and further education, foundation degrees and higher national diplomas
6
  • National Diploma in Professional Production Skills
  • NVQs at level 4*
Level 6 VQs:

    -

  • BTEC Advanced Professional Diplomas, Certificates and Awards
  • Bachelor degrees, graduate certificates and diplomas
7
  • Postgraduate certificates and diplomas
  • BTEC advanced professional awards, certificates and diplomas
  • Fellowships and fellowship diplomas
  • Diploma in Translation
  • NVQs at level 5*
Original NQF Level 5* Level 7 VQs:

  • Advanced professional awards, certificates and diplomas
  • Masters degrees, postgraduate certificates and diplomas
8
  • NVQs at level 5*
Level 8 VQs:

  • Award, certificate and diploma in strategic direction
  • Doctorates

 

 

 

 

 

 

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