The National Qualifications Framework

NQF
The National Qualifications Framework (NQF) sets out the levels against which a qualification can be recognised in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

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QCA
The Qualifications and Curriculum Authority (QCA) maintain and develop the national curriculum and associated assessments, tests and examinations.

The National Qualifications Framework (NQF) has been revised by the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority (QCA) to recognise more precisely the academic levels of qualifications at the higher levels of the framework; it applies to England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Key Skills

NVQs

National Qualifications Framework (NQF)

Framework for Higher Education Qualifications (FHEQ)

Original levels

Revised levels #

Level 5 NVQs

Level 5 BTEC Advanced Professional Diplomas, Certificates and Awards

Level 8 BTEC Advanced Professional Diplomas, Certificates and Awards

D (Doctoral) doctorates

Level 7 BTEC Advanced Professional Diplomas, Certificates and Awards

M (Masters) masters degrees, postgraduate certificates and diplomas

Level 4 Key Skills

Level 4 NVQs

Level 4 BTEC HNDs and HNCs

BTEC Professional Diplomas, Certificates and Awards

Level 6 BTEC Professional Diplomas, Certificates and Awards

H (Honours) bachelors degrees, graduate certificates and diplomas

Level 5 BTEC HNDs and HNCs

BTEC Professional Diplomas, Certificates and Awards

I (Intermediate) diplomas of higher education and further education, foundation degrees, higher national diplomas

Level 4 BTEC Professional Diplomas, Certificates and Awards

C (Certificate) certificates of higher education

Level 3 Key Skills

Level 3 NVQs

Level 3 BTEC National Diplomas, Certificates and Awards

BTEC Diploma in Foundation Studies (Art and Design)

BTEC Diplomas, Certificates and Awards

A Levels

Level 2 Key Skills

Literacy Numeracy

Level 2 NVQs

Level 2 BTEC First Diplomas and Certificates

BTEC Diplomas, Certificates and Awards

GCSEs grades A*-C

Level 1 Key Skills

Literacy Numeracy

Level 1 NVQs

Level 1 BTEC Introductory Diplomas and Certificates

BTEC Diplomas, Certificates and Awards

GCSEs grades D-G

Entry Level Literacy Numeracy

 

Entry Level BTEC Certificates in Life Skills

BTEC Certificates in Skills for Working Life

# The revised NQF applies from 1 September 2004 and will be fully from 1 January 2006. Edexcel is working with QCA to implement the Framework for Achievement (FfA) from January 2006.

The actual content and other attributes of the respective qualifications are not altered or diminished. The revision also provides better alignment with the Framework for Higher Education Qualifications (FHEQ), used in universities and higher education institutions. BTEC Foundation Degrees are included at Intermediate level in the FHQE.

Revised NQF diagram – authorised by Michael Hewens – 3 August 2005