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What is the Qualifications Credit Framework?

Updated: Oct 26, 2021

Text reads 'Qualifications Credit Framework' in front of a photo of someone studying on a laptop at a desk with files out, showing only their hands.

The Qualifications Credit Framework (or QCF) is a way of recognising skills and qualifications, with a focus on students having the freedom to learn at their own pace.

‘Credits’ are awarded to students who complete a unit of a course, with each unit being worth a set amount of credits. One credit is awarded for 10 hours of Learning Time.

Through this system, students can learn entirely at their own pace. There is no set deadline to achieve all the credits they need to pass a course. Simply, students pass the course when they decide themselves to complete each unit.

The QCF is a national framework referenced to the European Qualifications Framework (EQF). The EQF is a Meta framework intended as a reference so that qualifications in nation frameworks such as the QCF are understood across member states.

What is Learning Time?

Learning Time refers to how long a student is expected to take to complete the learning outcomes of their course as defined by assessment criteria. This includes contact time, direct learning, assessment preparation time and assessment time.

Learning time will look different depending on your level of study. For Entry Level and Level 1 courses, most of your learning will be with your tutor present, teaching you content. As you move up, you will find yourself working more independently, with more learning expected to take place away from your tutor.

Learning Time is different to Guided Learning Hours (GLH), regulation bodies’ previously-preferred measurement. GLH refers only to the time a tutor or member staff is giving course-related guidance to their students, such as within lectures, lessons or supervised study and assessments.

What are the aims of the QCF?

The introduction of the QCF was done so with four main aims in mind. These are:

  • To be more inclusive to ensure a wider range of achievements can be recognised.

  • To build a system that is more responsive to individual and employer needs.

  • To establish a simpler qualifications framework that is easier for all users to understand.

  • To reduce the burden of bureaucracy in the accreditation and assessment of qualifications.

What qualifications are recognised by the QCF?

The new credit system has been used to give value to different qualifications. The type of qualification you receive depends on the number of credits your course is made up of.

If your course is 1 to 12 credits (that is, 10 to 120 hours of Learning Time), you will receive an Award. 13 to 36 credit courses are Certificates and courses consisting of 37 or more credits are Diplomas.

All three of these are reflective of an inclusive learning culture, as they each can range from Entry Level to Level 8. Whatever your ability level in your subject or the level of difficulty you wish to study, you can choose to complete an Award, a Certificate or a Diploma.

Study in line with the Qualifications Credit Framework on a Notting Hill College teacher training course suited for you.



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