The Qualifications and Credit Framework or QCF is the new framework for creating and accrediting qualifications in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.  It replaces the National Qualifications Framework or NQF, which ends in December 2010.

The QCF is in essence a databank for units of learning; each unit is allocated credits (one credit per 10 hours of learning), with units being combined to create qualifications. It also ushers in standardised naming for qualifications to bring consistency and clarity to the new framework.

The names are determined by a qualification’s size:

  • An Award is worth 1 to 12 credits
  • A Certificate is worth 13 to 36 credits
  • A Diploma is worth 37 credits and above

The result is a clear, flexible and relevant framework for learners, learning providers and employers alike.