From 2003 onwards all learning, including mainstream qualifications, offered in Wales is gradually being brought into a single unifying structure – the Credit and Qualifications Framework for Wales (CQFW).The CQFW framework merges the concepts of volume of learning achievements (credit) and the demands made by that learning on the learner (level) to create a system that is able to embrace all types and styles of learning, and all qualifications.

Credit is a means of recognising learning wherever, whenever and however it is achieved. It offers benefits to learners and employers by providing a system for valuing different qualifications in a consistent and standardised way.Credit is for all learners aged 14 and above. They will be able to benefit from Credit whether they are learning in the workplace, in the community, at school, college or university.

Agored Cymru is a Recognised Body within the CQFW and fully supports CQFW's 5 goals of:

  • enabling everyone to develop and maintain essential skills
  • encouraging people to become lifelong learners
  • supporting the development of skills in business and educational institutions
  • encouraging workers gain new skills
  • helping people within communities develop new skills

For further information about CQFW visit their web site.

As a CQFW awarding organisation, Agored Cymru operates within both the Qualifications and Credit Framework (QCF) and the Quality Assured Lifelong Learning (QALL) Pillars of CQFW. Through imaginative curriculum design Agored Cymru can build progression routes from adult and community learning, company training, voluntary sector learning and wider learning 14-19 into the Qualifications and Credit Framework. It does this in two ways:

  • by providing accredited progression routes that will prepare learners for qualifications, its own and those of other Awarding Organsiations, and
  • by building into its own qualification design the opportunity for learners to count units from QALL provison towards qualification achievement.

The Qualifications and Credit Framework (QCF)

The QCF is a new framework for recognising and accrediting qualifications in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. The framework is at the heart of a major reform of the vocational qualifications system designed to make the whole system simpler to understand and use and more inclusive. The intention is to make both the system and the qualifications offered far more relevant to the needs of employers and more flexible and accessible for learners.

The new framework presents qualifications in a way that is easy to understand and measure. Every unit and qualification in the framework will have a credit value (one credit represents 10 hours, showing how much time it takes to complete) and a level between Entry level and level 8 (showing how difficult it is).

There are three sizes of qualifications in the QCF:

Awards (1 to 12 credits)
Certificates (13 to 36 credits)
Diplomas (37 credits or more).

The unique learner number (ULN) is currently available to learners registered on courses leading to QCF qualifications. The ULN and Learner Achievement Record (LAR) enable learners to check their progress towards a chosen qualification, or see what other qualifications the units contribute to if they want to progress to a new goal. CQFW will be extending these features to QALL learning in time.