The Qualifications and Credit Framework (QCF) accredits qualifications for school support staff in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Scotland has its own system - the Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework (SQCF).
QCF qualifications are work-related qualifications which show you have the skills and knowledge to do a particular job to agreed national standards. Most are achieved through training and on-the-job assessment, not by sitting an exam at the end. Some are theory-based only, and do not require a work placement to complete.
Qualifications are made up of units, each of which has a credit rating. There are three size ranges of qualifications in the QCF:
- Award - for qualifications up to 12 credits in size
- Certificate - for qualifications between 13-16 credits
- Diploma - for qualifications of 37 credits or more.
Credits for units can be carried forward by learners. For example, someone moving from a childcare setting to working in a school may have already achieved one or more units that will contribute to a QCF qualification in supporting teaching and learning in schools.
The following seven qualifications were developed specifically for school support staff:
For more information on the Scottish Credit and Qualifications framework go to http://scqf.org.uk/