When you think of qualifications, what are the first that spring to mind? GCSEs, AS/A Levels and Degrees, right? Well, there is a lot more to this subject than meets the eye. You see, once you’ve finished your GCSEs, A Levels are not your only option. In fact, you can choose to follow an entirely different path by applying to do NVQs and RFQs. But what are they? And how to this fit into the qualification scale?
In this article, we shall provide some clarification…
What are NVQs?
Otherwise known as National Vocational Qualifications, NVQs are work based qualifications e.g. childcare, teaching assistant, electrician, etc. that are designed to test your ability to complete a job to set standard. They are assessed through a series of observational studies, as well as from a portfolio containing any work that you’ve done which demonstrates the skills you’ve acquired/learned.
In terms of ranking, NVQs range from level 1 (where you are taught basic work activities) all the way to level 8 where you’re expected to be able to work to a senior management level.
NOTE: NVQs are recognised across England, Wales and Northern Ireland, and are similar to SQVs offered in Scotland.
What are RQFs?
Also known as Regulated Qualifications Framework, these first came into existence in 2015 and are designed to let you index qualifications based on their level and size. This means, the higher the qualification, the greater the complexity and difficulty of skills/knowledge that is associated with it.
Similar to NVQs, there are comprised of 8 levels. However, RQFs differ from NVQs because they are supported by 3 entry levels. This is because not all of these qualifications can be assigned to a single level. As such, these entry levels are used to help with this overlap.
When it comes to ‘size’, this is based on the how long it will take you to roughly complete the course, including study time, finishing assignments and being assessed. Now, unlike a lot of courses there is no set deadline for completing these qualifications. Instead, you can do them at your own pace – similar to online courses – and spend as little as a few weeks to a few years finishing them.
Other benefits/ things you need to know:
• There are no design rules. This gives suppliers the freedom to regulate their qualifications (on their own terms).
• RQFs are a replacement of QCFs which were removed in 2017.
See what we mean? A Levels and Degrees are not your only option upon leaving Secondary school. Instead, you can take advantage of the breadth of NVQ and RQFs available and use them to work your way up the career ladder and achieve senior management level qualifications.
To learn more about these courses, take a look at our RQF online courses. Highly respected by employers in many industries, they are a great qualification to have under your belt.
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