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Accredited certification could describe any certification or qualification issued by an Awarding Body. This could be an accredited Certificate of Achievement, an Ofqual Regulated Qualification, or an industry specific certification program.
Whether a certificate is recognised is largely dependent on what you are using it for and who you are applying to. If you are applying for a particular job or for further education, then they may have very specific prerequisites which should be researched prior to enrolment.
Some job roles (e.g. Teaching Assistant, Health Care Worker or Child Care Assistant) will need a specific Ofqual regulated qualification and we always recommend researching job roles before starting a course to make sure it is suitable for your needs.
Most courses will lead to an "Accredited Certificates of Achievement" or a "Ofqual Regulated Qualification" issued through a UK awarding body, and they are accredited according to the levels defined by The Regulated Qualifications Framework (RQF), with the level identifying the difficulty achieved.
The RQF sets the level against which a qualification is recognised in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. The frameworks are maintained by the three regulatory authorities, the Office of the Qualifications and Examinations Regulator (Ofqual) in England, the Department for Children, Education, Lifelong Learning and Skills (DCELLS) in Wales and the Council for Curriculum, Examinations and Assessment (CCEA) in Northern Ireland.
Please Note: Any course that leads directly to a Ofqual Regulated Qualification will have (RQF) within the course name, e.g. Supporting Teaching & Learning in Schools - Level 3 Certificate (RQF) Course.
As well as a qualification level, they can also be an Award, Certificate or Diploma level based on the amount of guided learning hours or credit value of the qualification, so an Award would not be considered as high as a Certificate and Diploma would be the highest of the three.
Further information about Qualification descriptors can be found here: Gov.uk - What Qualification Levels Mean.
Level 1 Qualifications recognise basic knowledge and skills and the ability to apply learning with guidance or supervision. Learning at this level is about activities which mostly relate to everyday situations and may be linked to job competence.
Level 2 Certificates of Achievement and Qualifications recognise the ability to gain a good knowledge and understanding of a subject area of work or study, and to perform varied tasks with some guidance or supervision. Learning at this level involves building knowledge and/or skills within an area of work or a subject area, and is appropriate for many job roles.
Level 3 Certificates of Achievement and Qualifications recognise the ability to gain, and where relevant apply a range of knowledge, skills and understanding. Learning at this level involves obtaining detailed knowledge and skills. It is appropriate for people wishing to go to university, people working independently, or in some areas supervising and training others in their field of work.
Level 4 Certificates of Achievement recognise specialist learning and involve detailed analysis of a high level of information and knowledge in an area of work or study. Learning at this level is appropriate for people working in technical and professional jobs, and/or managing and developing others.
Types of Awards and Qualifications
GCSE & IGCSE Qualifications
GCSE stands for the General Certificate of Secondary Education and is an academic qualification awarded in a specified subject.
IGCSE is the International alternative to the GCSE, and was developed as a secondary school qualification for pupils overseas, but is now being adopted by an increasing number of independent schools and colleges in the UK in preference to the standard GCSE as they are predominantly exam-based.
GCSE's & IGCSE's are national curriculum examinations usually studied by students aged 14 to 16 in secondary education in England, Wales and Northern Ireland but is open to all ages. The grading system used to be A* to G grade with A* to C being considered a pass, but a new 9 to 1 grading system was recently introduced with 9 being the highest grade.
A Level Qualifications
The A Level (or Advanced Level) qualification is the level above GCSE or IGCSE. Students can usually progress to A Level study after successfully completing four or five GCSE or IGCSE qualifications. They are highly valued by employers and universities, so they can open up lots of doors to further study and careers. A pass is indicated by one of the five grades, A, B, C, D or E, where A (and A*) is the highest and E is the lowest. UCAS points are gained from A Level Qualifications and can be used for University applications. The amount of UCAS points gained would depend on the grades achieved at A Level. The AS Level is a separate qualification in its own right that covers the first half of a full A Level specification.
ABC Awards Certificate of Achievement
ABC Awards and Certa Awards have long-established reputations for providing high quality vocational qualifications across a wide range of industries. ABC Awards and Certa Awards combine over 180 years of expertise combined with a responsive, flexible and innovative approach to the needs of their customers. Renowned for excellent customer service and quality standards, ABC Awards and Certa Awards also offer regulated qualifications for all ages and abilities post-14; all are developed with the support of relevant stakeholders to ensure that they meet the needs and standards of employers across the UK. Course leading to an ABC Certificate of Achievement have been endorsed under the ABC Awards and Certa Awards Quality Licence Scheme and will be delivered by either Kendal Publishing, NCC or O-S-C who have undergone an external quality check to ensure that the organisation and the courses it offers, meet certain quality criteria.
Open Awards Quality Endorsed Unit Course Certificate
Distance Learning Centre has been recognised as a centre to deliver Open Awards Validated courses and qualifications. Open Awards qualifications are approved by the regulator, Ofqual, have been developed and endorsed by the relevant Sector Skills Council, and are designed to meet the needs of learners and employers. The range of qualifications they offer are designed for learners who are seeking a stepping stone to their career, returning to learn or wishing to progress and build their skills and experience.
NCFE Certificates of Achievement & Qualifications
NCFE is recognised as an Awarding Organisation by the qualification regulators for England, Wales and Northern Ireland, who are: the Office of the Qualifications and Examinations Regulator (Ofqual) in England, the Welsh Government, and the Council for Curriculum, Examinations and Assessment (CCEA) in Northern Ireland. NCFE accreditation gives assurance that the content of a training course is of a high standard and meets the rigorous requirements of a national awarding organisation. NCFE awards are offered in conjunction with NCC.
Training Qualification UK are one of the newest, most dynamic awarding organisations in the industry, seeking to bring a fresh approach and excellent service to training providers, colleges and learners. TQUK qualifications are developed by leading professionals and delivered to centres and learners with integrity and compliance in mind. These courses are assessed by NCC, a licensed TQUK centre. TQUK are fully approved as an awarding organisation by Ofqual and award RQF courses in a number of sectors.
Distance Learning Certificate of Completion
Distance Learning Centre Certificates of Completion are given on completion of courses which do not lead directly to accredited certification.
The course assignments are marked by our expert team of Course Tutors, and an appropriate grade is issued.
Industry recognised certification is developed by leading organisations within their specified sector. These certificates do not have the same set levels as nationally accredited certification as they have been created for a worldwide audience. For example Microsoft, Cisco, CIW, Adobe and nearly all large industry leaders have created their own certification program to cover their applications and skills. Their exams can be sat in most countries around the World through appropriate testing centres such as Prometric, Pearson Vue or Certiport.
For Example: CompTIA is the world's largest developer of vendor-neutral IT certification exams. Experts and industry leaders from the public and private sectors, including training, academia and government work with CompTIA to develop broad-based, entry level exams that validate an individual's IT skill set.
CompTIA specialise in providing vendor-neutral IT qualifications like the A+, Network+, Server+, Security+ and Linux+. Whether you�re already working in IT, or considering a career in IT, CompTIA certification could be the key to new opportunities and higher salaries.
Cisco is the biggest network vendor in the world, The widely respected IT certification programs available through Cisco Certifications bring valuable, measurable rewards to network professionals, their managers, and the organisations that employ them.
Becoming Adobe Certified is the best way to communicate your proficiency in leading products from Adobe. Adobe offer two separate Certification programs for students, ACA (Adobe Certified Associate) and ACE (Adobe Certified Expert).
Microsoft offer different industry recognised certification routes designed to meet the demand for qualified and knowledgeable people in the modern workplace. Microsoft Qualifications include MOS, MTA, MCP, MCSA and MCSE.
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