Vocational qualifications

The Qualifications and Credit Framework


The Qualifications and Credit Framework (QCF) contains most vocational qualifications available in Northern Ireland, England and Wales. These vocational qualifications have been developed with input from employers to ensure that they meet their skills needs, and are based on national occupation standards that are managed by sector skills councils.

QCF qualifications can be gained through a range of different learning types, including training provided by employers.

QCF units and credits

Qualifications on the QCF are achieved by completing units. Most qualifications include some mandatory units and some optional units which the learner can select depending on what skills or work they wish to focus on. Your employees can study units at a pace to suit your business needs and build these up to full qualifications of different sizes over time.

Every qualification and unit on the QCF has a credit value, showing how long it takes to complete. Employees can transfer completed credits from one qualification to another providing certain criteria are met, and keep credits as they move jobs.

Read more on the QCF.

Many employers provide high quality in-house training to help their employees perform better at work and to progress. Employers can have this training accredited onto the QCF so that it is nationally recognised. For more information, see accrediting your in-house training.