Understanding Qualifications

Ofqual regulates qualifications that use the rules of the Regulated Qualification Framework (RQF). The qualification that uses the RQF rules are made up of units. This provides flexible ways to get a qualification. Each unit has a credit value which tells you how many credits are awarded when a unit is completed. The credit value also gives an indication of how long it will normally take you to prepare for a unit or qualification. One credit will usually take you 10 hours of learning. Units build up to qualifications.

  • Award – you can achieve an Award with 1 – 12 credits
  • Certificate - you can achieve a Certificate with 13 – 36 credits
  • Diploma – to achieve a Diploma you will need at least 37 credits

If a qualification includes a unit that you have already been awarded, you can use the unit you have already taken towards that qualification. Units awarded by different awarding organisations can be combined to build up qualifications.

Click in this link for information on Correspondences between UK and Irish frameworks with European qualifications framework.