What are RQF Qualifications?

What is RQF?

On the 1st October 2015 the Regulated Qualifications Framework (RQF) replaced the Qualifications and Credit Framework (QCF) in England and Northern Ireland

Regulated Qualification Framework (RQF)

Ofqual has implemented its plans requiring all regulated qualifications to be identified by a new descriptor to be known as the ‘Regulated Qualifications Framework (RQF)’. The framework is applicable to all qualifications regulated by Ofqual including both general and vocational qualifications and became operational on the 1st October 2015.

Within the new framework, qualifications will no longer have to be unitised or credit bearing, but could be if that was the best way for the qualification to meet its purpose.

Each qualification will be allocated a level by the relevant Awarding Body to help students, centres, employers and others to understand its level of demand.

Qualifications will also be allocated a size by the relevant Awarding Body , providing clear information about the typical time it should take to complete the qualification.

The new descriptive framework should make qualifications easier to understand.

RQF is not like the Qualifications and Credits Framework (QCF), which sought to impose a particular view of what qualifications should look like.

Ofqual’s General Conditions of Recognition (GCR) provide more freedom for the relevant Awarding Bodies to develop qualifications that better meet the needs of employers, stakeholders and others.

The introduction of the RQF has little impact on how Approved Centres deliver examinations and assessments.

However the changes do mean that the relevant Awarding Body has a considerable challenge in meeting all of the new requirements of the RQF in the timescales set out by Ofqual.



Ofqual regulate both general and vocational qualifications within the RQF in England and vocational qualifications in Northern Ireland.

Qualifications Wales (QW) regulates general and vocational qualifications in Wales. QW have adopted the Ofqual GCR having made amendments to them which specifically affect Welsh qualifications.


The effects of the RQF on existing certification schemes:

Certification schemes, including ACS and the Oftec Oil Technician Scheme, will continue to enable experienced operatives to demonstrate their competence and obtain the appropriate license. LCL Awards fully expects RQF qualifications to be an alternative route to registration to those two schemes, as well as enabling learners to meet the requirements of the Building Regulations Competent Persons Schemes and Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS).


For more information, visit:

Qualifications Wales
Federation of Awarding Bodies

Ofqual Video