Vocational qualifications are made up of units of study. You can study units at your own pace. These can then build into qualifications that are right for you. Each unit has a credit value that tells you roughly how long it takes to complete — one credit represents about 10 hours’ work. The terms Award, Certificate and Diploma do not describe qualification levels. It is possible to have an Award at level 5, for example, and a Diploma at level 3.
Single-unit level Awards can be built up over time to progress to the level 3 Certificate in Sales and Marketing or the larger level 3 Diploma in Sales and Marketing.
Every QCF qualification is made up of a number of credits:
- Awards are 1 to 12 credits (10 and 120 hours’ learning)
- Certificates are 13 to 36 credits (130 to 360 hours’ learning)
- Diplomas are 37 credits (370 or more hours’ learning)