- The QCF is made up of units. There is a common QCF unit template, so all units will have the same format
- Inorder to attract public funding, unit will usually be shared among Awarding Organisations. Units and Rules of Combination (RoC) have to be approved by the appropriate Sector Skills Council (SSC)
- The Awarding Organisation selects the units they want and combine them into qualifications using the RoC. Awarding Organisations can also write their own units, which will also have to be approved by the appropriate SSC.
- The units are then submitted for accreditation to the regulator. Awarding Organisations have to provide the content of the unit and the assessment strategy – this is where all the additional information, including the content, grading grids, delivery guidance and assessment guidance, are added to give the units a generic ‘BTEC feel’
- The Sector Skills Councils (SSCs) have identified skills gaps within their footprints and are now prioritising qualifications for the Learning and Skills Council (LSC). The LSC will decide which qualifications will be funded, and produce their own criteria and funding calculations for this.
Will there be any changes to funding?
The UK VQ reforms are intended to increase the number of learners completing vocational qualifications. This will ensure that employers benefit from increased skills through greater productivity and competitiveness. Therefore, public funding must be progressively aligned to those VQs which do most to raise demand from individuals and employers.
Funding decisions will be made by individual nations. Scotland has already refined its funding approach and Wales has a system of funding which supports unitised VQs. In England and Northern Ireland, the funding bodies are committed to reviewing and ensuring that their funding systems support the VQ reforms. For more information, please go to:
Funding information for England
Funding information for Northern Ireland
Funding information for Wales
Funding information for Scotland
Are NVQs going?
In the reformed system, SSCs develop Sector Qualifications Strategies (SQSs) and action plans for creating VQs based on these SQSs. Under this system, all VQs will be based on NOS (National Occupation Standards), making the distinction in content between NVQs and other VQs less apparent. The QCF has been developed with sufficient flexibility to contain a wide range of qualifications without the limitation of categorising them into 'types'.
It is becoming clear that the majority of SSC/Bs wish to retain NVQ within the title of QCF qualifications that attest to occupational competence. For the purposes of Edexcel Online and for the Edexcel Handbooks relating to the quality assurance of QCF and in the interests of clarity, NQF NVQs, QCF NVQs and QCF Competence-based Qualifications will be referred to collectively as ‘NVQs’.
NQF NVQs, QCF NVQs and QCF Competence-based Qualifications will be visible and accessible to centres for administration purposes via the NVQ tab on Edexcel Online.
‘RoC’ stands for rules of combination. These state the number of credits needed for a qualification and ensure that a coherent set of units contribute to a recognised qualification. This prevents credit gained from various sectors, eg. a carpentry unit, a dancing unit and a public transportation unit, from being considered as one qualification. However, learners may get unit certification for these separate units.
Can the units be ‘picked and mixed’?
Every unit and qualification in the framework will have a credit value (indicating the size of the units or qualification) and a level, which ranges from Entry level to Level 8 (indicating the difficulty).
In theory, learners will be able to “pick and mix” the units they want, but in reality, this will be limited by the rules of combination (RoC). Only coherent groups of units will contribute towards a qualification. They can also accumulate credits, or transfer it to another qualification, if they change their minds about what they want to do.
Centres will select which units they wish to offer to learners, as currently. It is expected that most centres will pick a selection of units that all contribute to one, already accredited qualification