• TVET qualifications certify a learner’s knowledge, skills and behaviours. 
  • Qualifications are available at all levels from basic (EQF 1) to higher degree level (EQF 8). 
  • Universities award foundation degrees, bachelor’s and postgraduate degrees and degree apprenticeships. 
  • Further Education Colleges mainly focus on vocational qualifications below degree level (EQF 6), but also deliver some higher education courses, including degrees, usually in partnership with universities.
  • Qualifications are regulated to ensure that they are not overly specific to one industry or company and to ensure that learners have the skills needed for life as well as work

Learning measured through technical qualifications tends to be more practical and employment related than academic qualifications. Technical qualifications are recognised by employers and enhance learners’ transition from training to employment or further study. 

There are many different types of qualifications, awarded by a range of awarding organisations:


EQF Level(s)

Apprenticeship L3 – L7
Degree Apprenticeship L5 – L7
Certificate L1 – L8
Higher National Certificate (HNC) L5
National Diploma  L4 – L3
National Higher Diploma (HND) L5
National Vocational Qualification (NVQ) L2 – L7
Foundation Degree L5
T Level L4

Awarding TVET qualifications 

  • Awarding organisations in the UK are independent organisations that operate in a competitive market place. 
  • Many UK qualifications and awarding organisations also operate internationally. 
  • Awarding organisations are regulated by public regulatory bodies in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland (Ofqual, SQA, Qualifications Wales and CCEA). This allows TVET awards to be recognised as part of national qualifications frameworks making them transferable and internationally valid.

Awarding Organisations in the UK also: 

  • Provide advice on building employer responsive curricula, including best practice in pedagogy design, competency-based and assessment methodologies;
  • Support learner provider delivery systems, including e-portfolios and digital credentialing;
  • Run large-scale testing, marking and examination systems, including external quality assurance and verification.