New framework for vocational courses

New Framework for Vocational Courses

A new Qualifications and Credit Framework (QCF) will recognize the achievements of people who complete plumbing courses.

Vocational courses on the QCF are comprised of mandatory and optional units which allow learners on electrical courses to progress step-by-step until they achieve a full qualification. Each unit on the QCF has a credit value that shows how long it takes to complete.

Each credit has a value of ten hours of ‘learning time’ and students can advance at their own pace. Learning time is calculated by the length of time an average person would be expected to complete a unit.

There will be no repeat learning in subjects like tiling courses because all units will be kept on record. This means students can ‘bank’ their new skills and track their learning on a personal centralised online learner record as the course advances.

Each qualification is given a title which details its difficulty level, size and subject content. Those interested in plumbing courses can chose what level they want to learn at. Each qualification ranges from entry level to level 8. Levels 1 and 2 are GSCE standard while level 3 is equivilent to an A level and a PhD is at level 8.

People interested in plastering courses can choose the size and level of a qualification that best suits their needs, providing they meet the entry criteria.

The number of credits a student earns will determine the size of their achievement and QCF qualifications can include units from different levels depending on the rules of combination.

An Award is the smallest type of qualification on the QCF and is worth between one and 12 credits. A Certificate is worth between 13 and 36 credits and a Diploma is worth 37 credits or more.

The QCF will be fully implemented by the end of 2010 and will replace the National Qualifications Framework in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. People interested in plumbing courses can complete different units across these areas of the UK.

Those wanting to sign up to plumbing courses in Scotland will operate under the Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework, which does not use the same system. Both QCF and NQF qualification registrations will co-exist until the end of the year.

Other vocational qualifications such as BTECs and NVQs are being changed into units and moved on to the QCF, although some qualifications will continued to be called NVQs.

City & Guild currently have over 50,000 people studying in one of their 500 QCF accredited qualifications such as plastering courses.

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