Compare qualifications

The Qualifications and Credit Framework (QCF) is the national credit transfer system for education qualification in England, Northern Ireland and Wales. The QCF replaces the National Qualifications Framework (NQF) which closed for accreditations at the end of 2010.

The following table is designed to help you compare and understand the differences between the two systems.

Level​

Examples of qualifications​

Examples of QCF qualifications​

Entry​

  • Entry Level certificates
  • English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL)
  • Skills for Life
  • Functional Skills at Entry Level (English, Maths and ICT)​
  • Awards, Certificates and Diplomas at Entry Level
  • Foundation Learning at Entry Level
  • Functional Skills at Entry Level​

1​

  • GCSEs grades D-G
  • BTEC Introductory Diplomas and Certificates
  • OCR Nationals
  • Key Skills at Level 1
  • Skills for Life
  • Functional Skills at Level 1​
  • BTEC Awards, Certificates and Diplomas at Level 1
  • Functional Skills at Level 1
  • Foundation Learning Tier pathways
  • NVQs at Level 1​

2​

  • GCSEs grades A*-C
  • Key Skills Level 2
  • Skills for Life
  • Functional Skills at Level 2​
  • BTEC Awards, Certificates, and Diplomas at Level 2
  • Functional Skills at Level 2
  • OCR Nationals
  • NVQs at Level 2​

3​

  • A Levels
  • GCE in applied subjects
  • International Baccalaureate
  • Key Skills Level 3​
  • Access to HE Diploma
  • BTEC Awards, Certificates and Diplomas at Level 3
  • BTEC Nationals
  • OCR Nationals
  • NVQs at Level 3​

4​

  • Certificates of Higher Education​
  • BTEC Professional Diplomas Certificates and Awards
  • HNCs
  • NVQs at Level 4​

5​

  • HNCs and HNDs
  • Other higher Diplomas​
  • HNDs
  • BTEC Professional Diplomas, Certificates and Awards​

6​

  • National Diploma in Professional Production Skills
  • BTEC Advanced Professional Diplomas, Certificates and Awards​​
  • BTEC Advanced Professional Diplomas, Certificates and Awards

7​

  • Diploma in Translation
  • BTEC Advanced Professional Diplomas, Certificates and Awards​
  • BTEC Advanced Professional Diplomas, Certificates and Awards
  • NVQs at Level 5 (in the QCF framework)​

8​

  • Specialist Awards​
  •  Awards, Certificates and Diplomas in strategic direction​