Choose a Qualification

How the Qualification Chart works

The chart below is called the National Qualifications Framework. It shows how the main types of qualifications relate to each other and how you can progress from one level of course to the next.

As you progress through the levels you will have to show greater knowledge, skills and understanding. The higher the level, the more difficult the qualification is.

There are three main types of qualifications:

  • Academic – subject based, in-depth study of a subject. Include A levels.
  • Applied general – broad study giving an introduction to an industry such as business, engineering, travel and tourism. Combine academic study with practical learning. Include BTEC and OCR qualifications.
  • Vocational or technical – focus on a specific industry or occupation. Involve more practical, work-based learning. Include NVQs, some BTEC and OCR qualifications as well as diplomas and certificates from other awarding bodies such as City & Guilds.

In addition to the above there is also Foundation learning which is made up of a package of qualifications that include vocational subjects and personal and social development and include maths, English and IT.

Apprenticeships and traineeships
There are different levels of apprenticeships and traineeships available as you will see in the table below. An apprenticeship or traineeship is not a qualification but you will take qualifications while working.