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Comparing Qualification Levels
To find out how one regulated qualification compares to another you need to look at the level, size and content of the qualifications.

Qualifications show others what you have learned and can do. They are best understood by their size, content and level of difficulty.

Comparing levels of qualifications

Each regulated qualification has a level between entry level and level 8. Qualifications at the same level are a similar level of demand or difficulty. The content and size of qualifications at the same level may be quite different.

Comparing the size of qualifications

Qualifications that are on the QCF have a credit value. This indicates the size of the qualifications and how long it typically takes to achieve. The size of a QCF qualification is shown by its credit value. There are three size ranges of qualifications on the QCF: an award which has 1 to 12 credits, a certificate which has 13 to 36 credits and a diploma which has 37 credits or more. A credit represents 10 hours of learning. The size of other qualifications is indicated by the number of guided learning hours typically needed to complete a qualification.

Compare the content of qualifications

The content of regulated qualifications varies greatly. The title of the qualification gives a good indication of its content. More detailed information is set out in the specification for the qualification. Awarding organisations publish specifications for each of their regulated qualifications.

You can find information about each regulated qualifications on the Ofqual Register of Regulated Qualifications. There are links from the Register to each awarding organisation’s website.

The Register will tell you the level of the qualification, its size and title. The diagram below can be used as a reference. If you want to know more about a specific qualification please contact us. We can’t give you more information or help you to compare qualifications.



Download a printable version of the diagram.

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