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Skillsfirst Qualifications

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As an Awarding Organisation, we are totally committed to developing a wide range of pre-employment and work-based learning qualifications that truly engage both learners and their employers. Whatever your qualification needs, rest assured we have the depth of knowledge, understanding and flexibility to respond to any request quickly and professionally.

For a list of qualifications in each subject area and all related documents, simply click on the type of qualification you are looking for in the right hand column.

Implementation of the RQF


Ofqual have replaced the Qualifications and Credit Framework (QCF) with the Regulated Qualifications Framework (RQF).


As a result of this, awarding organisations are required to review all qualifications to ensure they meet the rules of RQF. These new rules must be applied to all qualifications which are open for registrations post December 31 2017.


Part of the RQF requirement is to allocate a Total Qualification Time (TQT) to our qualifications. Guided Learning Hours (GLH) remain in place and credits can remain but are not mandatory.


This will be a gradual process and will have minimal impact on our customers. If you have any questions relating to this please contact us on


Regulated Qualifications Framework (RQF)


The RQF provides a single, simple system for cataloguing all qualifications regulated by Ofqual.


Qualifications will be indexed by their ‘level’, type and size. Qualifications within the framework will have a level (ranging from entry level to level 8) to indicate the level of difficulty. They will also have a Total Qualification Time (TQT) value to indicate the size of the qualification which will be either an Award, Certificate or Diploma.


The RQF will also:


Each qualification has a Total Qualification Time (TQT) value based on the total number of hours learning required to achieve it. The TQT value reflects the number of supervised learning hours required to achieve the knowledge and assessment requirements, plus the length of time a learner would need to take to achieve the skills and capabilities to be deemed competent. All RQF qualifications are subject to an evaluation process to determine their fitness-for-purpose.


Qualifications and Credit Framework (QCF)


QCF is a way of recognising achievement through the award of credit for units and qualifications. It allows learners to accumulate credit and gain qualifications at their own pace along flexible routes using smaller steps of learning. Ofqual, along with its partner regulators are responsible for the regulation of QCF. The regulatory requirements that apply to QCF are set out in the Regulatory arrangements for the Qualifications and Credit Framework which are available on the Ofqual website.


Within the QCF framework, every qualification and unit has a level and credit value. Each unit has a credit value based on the total number of hours of learning required to achieve it (notional learning). Each 10 hours of learning equals 1 credit. So, for example, if a unit takes 30 hours of learning, it will receive a credit value of 3. Notional learning includes both independent learning hours and guided learning hours. Levels vary from entry level to level 8 and there are three sizes of qualifications:


  • Awards (1 to 12 credits)
  • Certificates (13 to 36 credits)
  • Diplomas (37 credits or more)
In this framework you can have an award at entry level or an award at level 8. This is because the qualification type (award, certificate or diploma) represents the size of a qualification, not how difficult it is. For more information about the frameworks we currently offer, please see the links on the right hand side of this page
Take a look at our full list of qualifications on the right hand side of this page, or for more information contact our customer services team on 0121 270 5100 or email us.
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  • Alternatively, please check the SFA Simplified funding rates 2016/17 by clicking here



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