What is an Endorsed or Accredited Certification?  

Accredited certification could describe any certification or qualification issued by an Awarding Organisation. This could be an Endorsed Certificate of Achievement, an Ofqual Regulated Qualification, or Certification gained after completing 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 usually require a specific Ofqual regulated vocational qualification and we always recommend researching job roles before starting a course to make sure it is suitable for your needs.

Certification Issued by UK Awarding Organisations

Most courses will lead to a "Quality Endorsed Certificate of Achievement" or an "Ofqual Regulated Qualification" issued through a UK awarding organisation, 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 number 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.

  • Award: Credit values of 1 to 12
  • Certificate: Credit values of 13 and 36
  • Diploma: Credit values of 37 credits or more

Further information about Qualification descriptors can be found here: Gov.uk - What Qualification Levels Mean.





  • NCFE CACHE Level 1 (RQF)

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.


  • Quality Licence Scheme (QLS) Level 2 Certification
  • Open Awards Level 2 Quality Endorsed Certification
  • NCFE Level 2 Customised Qualification
  • NCFE CACHE Level 2 (RQF)
  • TQUK Level 2 (RQF)

Level 2 Quality Endorsed Certificates 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.


  • Quality Licence Scheme (QLS) Level 3 Certification
  • Open Awards Level 3 Quality Endorsed Certification
  • NCFE Level 3 Customised Qualification
  • NCFE CACHE Level 3 (RQF)
  • TQUK Level 3 (RQF)

Level 3 Quality Endorsed Certificates 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.


  • Quality Licence Scheme (QLS) Level 4 Certification
  • Open Awards Level 4 Quality Endorsed Certification
  • NCFE Level 4 Customised Qualification

Level 4 Quality Endorsed Certificates 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 Endorsed Certification and Qualifications from UK Awarding Organisations

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.

Open Awards Qualifications and Quality Endorsed Unit Course Certificates:

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.

Open Awards Badge of Excellence Certificate:

The Open Awards Badge of Excellence is a quality assurance mark and Certificate which recognises excellent training, development and learning provision and meaningful outcomes for learners. It can be offered as a Certificate of Completion for learning where the learner is not applying for or receiving regulated qualifications or quality endorsed units..

Quality Licence Scheme (QLS) Endorsed Certification:

The Quality Licence Scheme is part of the Skills and Education Group, a charitable organisation that unites education and skills-orientated organisations that share similar values and objectives. With more than 100 years of collective experience, the Skills and Education Group’s strategic partnerships create opportunities to inform, influence and represent the wider education and skills sector. The Skills and Education Group also includes two nationally recognised awarding organisations; Skills and Education Group Awards and Skills and Education Group Access. Through our awarding organisations we have developed a reputation for providing high-quality qualifications and assessments for the education and skills sector. We are committed to helping employers, organisations and learners cultivate the relevant skills for learning, skills for employment and skills for life.

NCFE CACHE Qualifications: 

NCFE CACHE are a national awarding organisation who offer high-quality qualifications for the care and education industry, making them the UK’s leading sector specialist. NCFE and CACHE were separate awarding bodies until they merged in 2015 but qualifications may still be offered by either organisation. NCFE CACHE qualifications are highly regarded and suitable for those wanting to prove competence in vocational roles such Teaching Assistants and Child or Early Years Care. Distance Learning Courses Limited is an approved centre for delivering NCFE Qualifications. Courses leading to an NCFE CACHE qualification can also be delivered by Kendal Publishing, NCC or O-S-C who have all undergone an external quality check to ensure that the organisation and the courses it offers, meet certain quality criteria.

NCFE Customised Qualifications:

NCFE also offer customised qualifications which are a type of Endorsed Certification which can demonstrate new skills, knowledge and competence achieved through training. The certificates include the NCFE logo. Customised qualifications are not Ofqual Regulated and the certificates are offered in conjunction with NCC.

TQUK Qualifications:

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 delivered and 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 is 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.

Accreditation from Industry-Specific Organisations

CIW Certification:

Distance Learning Centre is proud to be an official partner of CIW and the Official Certified Internet Webmaster Certification Courses. CIW comprises the world's fastest growing vendor-neutral Web technology education and certification programs for professionals. CIW certifications verify that certified individuals have the job skills necessary to master a technology-driven world. In today's competitive workplace, certified CIW professionals have proven abilities that set them apart from other Web professionals.

CompTIA Certification:

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 Certification:

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.

Adobe Certification:

Becoming Adobe Certified is the best way to communicate your proficiency in leading products from Adobe. Adobe currently offers Adobe Certified Professional (ACP) Certification, and the tests can be arranged through Certiport testing centres.

Microsoft Certification:

Microsoft offer different industry recognised certification routes designed to meet the demand for qualified and knowledgeable people in the modern workplace. Microsoft Certification include MOS (Microsoft Office Specialist), Microsoft 365 Certified: Modern Desktop Administrator Associate and MTA (Microsoft Technology Associate) Certification. Microsoft Qualifications include MOS (Microsoft Office Specialist) Microsoft 365 Certified: Modern Desktop Administrator Associate and MTA (Microsoft Technology Associate) Certification.