The Regulated Qualifications Framework (RQF) came into effect on 1st October 2015, replacing both the Qualifications and Credit Framework (QCF) and National Qualifications Framework (NQF).

The RQF is not a set of prescriptive rules and does not require Awarding Organisations to carry out an immediate overhaul of current qualifications. Centres can continue to deliver QCF qualifications as you do now until we make any changes. We will keep you informed of our review process and timescales for implementing changes and it’s likely that there will be opportunity for you to be involved in the work we will be doing to update all our qualifications. Qualifications within the RQF are described in terms of level (E1 to L8) and size (expressed in Total Qualification Time).

TQT is the estimated total amount of time (in hours) it could reasonably be expected to take a typical learner to study and be assessed for a qualification. All new qualifications, developed after the 1st October 2015, must have TQT assigned. 

Not currently, however we will need to start identifying the TQT value for all our qualifications. For most of our qualifications, we have until 31st December 2017 to do this. For qualifications that are used in school performance measures an earlier deadline of 30th June 2016 has been set. In order to complete the work of determining TQT for all our qualifications by these dates we will commence allocating TQT on a rolling programme.

The process through which Awarding Organisations are required to identify TQT includes gathering estimates from centres on the number of hours of Total Qualification Time which a learner is reasonably likely to undertake. Where appropriate, we will also consult with employer organisations, funding agencies, inspectorates and relevant statuary bodies. 

Total Qualification Time includes Guided Learning Hours (GLH): the time typically spent being taught or supervised, rather than studying alone. Time spent being taught or supervised can include learning that takes place at a distance (for example online or by phone) but must be in real time. A webinar hosted by a tutor, who is present throughout the session would count as GLH. A learner working through a workbook, unsupported in real time, would not count as GLH; this would fall within the broader umbrella of TQT.

TQT is not a strict requirement; rather it is the notional hours that a typical learner might be expected to undertake in order to study for and demonstrate achievement of a qualification. As such, you will not be required to formally evidence TQT in relation to learners’ progress and achievement, although we would expect you to consider a qualification’s TQT to ensure sufficient opportunity for your learners to achieve. As we implement GLH we will work with you to establish how your delivery mode meets the assigned GLH to determine which qualification is the most appropriate one for your provision and your learners. 

No. The level descriptors given in the RQF are broadly similar to the level descriptors that we are familiar with from the QCF. One difference is that the level descriptor for autonomy and accountability has been removed but this will not mean changing the level of any current YMCA Awards qualifications or components (units). The level descriptors in the RQF are a) knowledge and understanding; and b) skills.

Awarding Organisations have until 31st December 2017 to remove QCF from the title of all qualifications. It is anticipated that Awarding Organisations should start this process much sooner than the 31st December 2017. This change is not as significant as the requirement to include TQT and GLH values so the impact to us, to you as providers and to your learners can be expected to be relatively small. The main work will be to ensure that reference to QCF is removed in relevant documentation, including reference to the qualification on websites, marketing and learner materials.

As we start to roll out a programme of removing QCF from the title of our qualifications we will contact you to advise you of the date by which you will need to remove reference to the title in your own marketing, delivery and assessment materials. If you are ‘going to print’ on any of your own materials prior to receiving notification of date for title change please get in touch and we can advise on what to do.

No. Qualifications based on agreed occupational standards can continue to be titled NVQ

Yes. If QCF was included in the title of the qualification (on the Ofqual register) at the time the learner was registered, the title on the certificate will include “(QCF)”. This includes certificates issued after 31 December 2017 if QCF was in the title at the point of learner registration.

No. There will be changes to qualifications which, over time, will include new structures, content and assessment methodologies but this is part of the ongoing development of qualification validity and currency. The removal of the term QCF does not affect the validity of a qualification and therefore public and user perception should not be affected.

Ofqual have issued a number of useful documents and resources that you may wish to refer further to: