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National vocational qualifications (NVQs) and Scottish vocational qualifications (SVQs) standards and frameworks

December 2023: The Consolidated Assessment Strategy (CAS) is currently being updated to incorporate the existing Covid-19 guidance - whilst this work takes place, please continue to use the guidance and existing CAS.

Please check this website regularly for updates.

The following document has been updated and can be considered guidance to the following:

  • Consolidated Assessment Strategy
  • Assessment Strategy for Plant Operations and Lifting Operations

COVID-19 Guidance to the Consolidated Assessment Strategy (PDF, 139KB)

The following documents have been updated to further extend the solution to ensure coverage of all apprentices that meet both of the following criteria:

This temporary solution is only applicable to learners registered on the SVQs accredited between August 2017 and July 2022. Note: Apprentices registered on SVQs accredited from March 2022 must meet the related Assessment Strategy and Methodology.

What are NVQs and SVQs?

National Vocational Qualifications and Scottish Vocational Qualifications NVQs are  'competence-based' qualifications, which means you learn practical, work-related tasks designed to help you develop the skills and knowledge to do a job effectively.

The learning content of NVQs and SVQs is based on the National Occupational Standards in the relevant area. These standards define the skills, knowledge and understanding needed to do a particular job.

Find a qualification structure

CITB is working with stakeholders to develop up-to-date structures with the new measures required by legislation for each qualification in construction.

These structures are designed to meet the changing needs of each sector in construction.

Search for structures listed according to occupational area.

Awarding organisations

If you have a proposal for a vocational qualification, please open the word document below, save the file, complete the form and .

Qualification support application form.

Regulation of qualifications across the UK

The qualification frameworks are regulated differently across the UK.

The RQF provides a single, simple system for cataloguing all qualifications regulated by Ofqual and the qualifications are now indexed by their level and size.

The levels are the same as the previous frameworks but with new level descriptors. All qualifications will now have a measure of size known as Total Qualification Time (TQT) which indicates the time a typical candidate would take to achieve the learning outcomes.

See Ofqual's infographic describing the new RQF structure.

Under Scottish Government legislation, SQA Accreditation quality assures qualifications offered in Scotland by approving awarding bodies and accrediting their qualifications. Awarding bodies and their qualifications are regulated against published regulatory requirements.

SQA Accreditation website.

The CQFW is an all-inclusive framework that recognises all forms of learning across all levels and abilities. The framework is designed to provide greater clarity on the qualifications system in Wales.

See details on Credit and Qualifications Framework for Wales website.

Qualifications in Wales is the regulator of non-degree qualifications and the qualifications system in Wales. The database contains details of all qualifications that are approved for teaching in Wales for learners aged under 19, excluding higher education.

See the QiW database for information on qualifications.

Off-the-job training

To pass an NVQ or unit for qualification successfully, learners have to provide work-based evidence of their ability. For a limited number of additional items in a unit, it is possible to show their skills in a simulated environment (off-the-job) - although this must be conducted according to assessment regulations.

See the current list of units it's possible to complete in an off-the-job environment (PDF, 66KB)