What is it?

The Qualification and Credit Framework (QCF) is the new framework for creating and accrediting qualifications in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. The QCF recognises small steps of learning and enables you to build up your learning at your own pace and put them towards a full qualification. You can bank all your achievements over time so you don’t have to study anything you already know. QCF qualifications are designed with the help of employers so you can be assured that you're gaining skills that employers are looking for. 

The title of a qualification on the QCF tells you:

  • the qualification level - from entry level to Level 8
  • the size of the qualification - an award, certificate or diploma
  • the subject you’re studying - such as sport and active leisure

Where could I study?

Most vocational qualifications are moving onto the QCF. You will be able to study for these at local colleges, training providers and through work.

How long will it take me?

Every qualification in the QCF comes in one of three sizes — Award, Certificate or Diploma. Awards are made up of 1 to 12 credits (10 to 120 hours’ learning), Certificates 13 to 36 credits (130 to 360 hours’ learning) and Diplomas 37 credits or more (370 or more hours’ learning).

Options after the course?

Completing a QCF credit or qualification can lead to further training at the same or next level (depending on the number of credits completed). You could go all the way to a QCF level 8 - usually in a related subject area.