ABC Awards

Glossary of QCF Terms

Taken from Ofqual General Conditions of Recognition May 2011 and Ofqual Regulatory arrangements for the Qualifications and Credit Framework August 2008

Access Arrangements
Arrangements that are approved in advance of an examination or assessment to allow achievement to be demonstrated by learners with a disability, special learning needs (including where the learner's first language is not English, Welsh or Irish) or to avoid unlawful discrimination

The process through which the qualifications regulators confirm that a qualification conforms to the requirements of the QCF regulatory arrangements

Active Units
Units that have been included in an accredited qualification and as a result can be made available by awarding organisations to learners to achieve credit for

The process through which an awarding organisation may be challenged on the outcome of an enquiry about results or, where appropriate, other procedural decisions affecting a centre or an individual learner

A person who assesses a learner's work

The process of making judgements about the extent to which a learner's work meets theassessment criteria of a unit, or any additional assessment requirements of a qualification

Assessment Criteria
Descriptions of the requirements a learner is expected to meet to demonstrate that a learning outcome has been achieved

Assessment Standard
The standard that a learner is expected to reach in order to achieve credit for a unit, expressed through a combination of the learning outcomes and assessment criteria of that unit

A process under which evidence generated by a learner in an assessment is confirmed as having been generated by that learner (or identified and confirmed as being that learner's contribution to group work) and as being generated under the required conditions

Award of credits or qualifications
A certificate (electronic or paper-based) issued to an individual that recognises their achievement

A qualification with credit value between 1 and 12

Awarding Organisation
A body recognised by the qualifications regulators against the requirements set out in regulatory arrangements to award credits and qualifications

An organisation undertaking the delivery of an assessment (and potentially other activities) to learners on behalf of an awarding organisation. Centres are typically educational institutions, training providers, or employers

Centre recognition
A process through which a centre wishing to offer an award or awards is confirmed as being able to maintain the required quality and consistency of assessment, and comply with other requirements of the awarding organisation

Certificate (1) for a unit or qualification
A record of attainment of credit or a qualification issued by an awarding organisation

Certificate (2)
A qualification with a credit value between 13 and 36

An award made to a learner in recognition of the achievement of the designated learning outcomes of a unit

Credit Accumulation
The process of putting together a combination of credits to meet the achievement requirements of a qualification

Credit Transfer
The process of using a credit or credits awarded in the context of one qualification towards the achievement requirements of another qualification

Credit Value
The number of credits that may be awarded to a learner for the successful achievement of the learning outcomes of a unit

A qualification with a credit value of 37 or above

The facility for a learner to claim exemption from some of the achievement requirements of a QCF qualification, using evidence of certificated, non-QCF achievement deemed to be of equivalent value

Guided Learning Hours
The number of hours of teacher-supervised or directed study time required to teach a qualification or unit of a qualification

Learning Outcome
A statement of what a learner can be expected to know, understand or do as a result of a process of learning

An indication of the relative demand, complexity and/or depth of achievement, and/or the autonomy of the learner in demonstrating that achievement

Level descriptors for the QCF
A set of statements that enable achievements to be located at a particular level in the framework

The process through which the marking of assessments by Centres is monitored to make sure it meets required standards and through which adjustments to results are made, where required, to ensure that results are based on the required standard. This includes verification

The deliberate or wilful contravention or ignoring of the regulatory requirements of the QCF by an organisation recognised to operate within the framework

Mandatory Units
Units in a set of rules of combination that must be achieved for the qualification to be awarded

National occupational standards (NOS)
Describe what a person needs to do, know and understand in a job to carry out the role in a consistent and competent way

Optional unit
A unit named in a set of rules of combination that a learner may choose to complete to achieve the required number of units/credits for award of the qualification

A route to the achievement of a qualification that requires a combination of credits to be achieved from particular units and is identified by an endorsement to a qualification title

An award made to a learner for the achievement of the specified combination of credits, or credits and exemptions, required for that award

Qualification Level
An indication of the relative demand, complexity and/or depth of achievement, and/or the autonomy of the learner, represented by a qualification

Qualification Specification
A detailed statement defining the purpose, content, structure and assessment arrangements for a qualification

Qualification Title
A short description of the level, size and content of the qualification

Government-designated statutory organisations

Reasonable Adjustment
Defined in the Disability Discrimination Act as reasonable steps to ensure disabled people are not placed at a substantial disadvantage in comparison with non-disabled people, ‘substantial' being more than minor or trivial

Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL)
A method of assessment that considers whether a learner can demonstrate that they can meet the assessment requirements for a unit through knowledge, understanding or skills they already possess and do not need to develop through a course of learning

Required Combinations of Units
Units that must be counted together as part of a rule of combination for a qualification

Required to establish national standards for credits and qualifications and secure consistent compliance with them

The Regulatory Information Technology System, which is a system provided for awarding organisations by Ofqual, it may be varied and replaced from time to time

Rule of Combination
A rule specifying the combination of units which may be taken to form a particular qualification, any units which must be taken and any related requirements

Sector Skills Council
A body responsible for formulating and reviewing occupational standards for a specific sector across the UK, and for supporting the development of units and qualifications based on these standards. Each SSC is an employer-led, independent organisation and is licensed by government

Shared Unit
A unit that a recognised organisation places in the unit databank and makes available to all other recognised organisations to access for use in the development of its rules of combination and to award credit for

Special Consideration
A process that allows learners that suffer from temporary illness, injury or indisposition at the time of an assessment to demonstrate the achievement they are capable of for the units that are subject to special consideration

Standardisation of Assessment
A process to ensure that assessment leading to the award of credits and qualifications is applied consistently by individuals, centres and awarding organisations

Unique Learner Number (ULN)
The unique number that is used to identify an individual learner

A coherent and explicit set of learning outcomes and assessment criteria, with a title, credit value and level


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