The Qualification and Credit Framework (QCF) Explained
Following recommendations that were made in the 2006 Leitch Review of Skills, the Government is now in the process of simplifying the entire vocational qualifications system.
The new QCF has been designed to work as a framework for recognising and accrediting qualifications in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. It aims to simplify the qualifications system by making it easier to understand and use.
The introduction of the QCF is designed to give employers and learners a high level of quality assurance coupled with a greater freedom of choice. By introducing the QCF, the Government aims to ensure that qualifications and units of learning are:
- Transferrable: because where the credits learners have gained for particular units of learning are relevant to other qualifications, they can be used again
- Flexible: because the framework recognises stages of achievement. There are no time limits, so learners can store credits and achieve full qualifications at their own pace fitting them in with their work commitments and personal circumstances
- Progressive: because it makes it easier for individuals to progress towards gaining higher level qualifications/units by taking smaller, more convenient steps
As part of this initiative, all vocational qualifications across every sector will have to be part of a new QCF. The QCF will run alongside the existing National Qualifications Framework until the old framework closes for registrations on 31 December 2010.
QCF qualification titles will be standardised across all awarding organisations. Each one will show the size of the achievement as well as the level of challenge involved.
Qualifications and units of learning in the QCF are demand led. Prior to any qualification being included in the framework it must be approved by employers, Sector Skills Councils and industry bodies within the appropriate sector. This process ensures that the qualification always remains relevant to the industry.
EAL have worked in association with a number of Sector Skills Councils to offer QCF qualifications for their sectors. As a result, when developing new QCF qualifications, the sectors EAL will be focusing on are:
- Engineering and Manufacturing
- Building Services
- Energy and Utilities
EAL is committed to making the transition from the National Qualifications Framework to the QCF as seamless as possible and is working hard to ensure that the impact on all involved is minimal.