New qualifications framework

Student and tutor talking over books at a desk

The next chapter for qualifications

Over the next two years, the technical regulations that control qualifications are changing.  

What’s happening?

The current Qualifications and Credit Framework (QCF) will be withdrawn to make way for the Regulated Qualifications Framework (RQF) between now and Dec 2017.

What will change?

  • Units will no longer have to be worded exactly the same across different awarding organisations although the content will be a close match.
  • Different awarding organisations may add a particular focus to the core content of Diplomas and other qualifications for social care.
  • There will be a new emphasis by Ofqual on ensuring awarding organisations keep checking the quality of qualifications as they are delivered.

What’s staying the same?

  • A range of high quality qualifications will be available to meet the learning needs of those working in social care.
  • Familiar levels and titles will stay for familiar qualifications, such as the Diplomas at levels 2, 3, 4 and 5.
  • Qualifications can still be made up of units, so that learners can progress step by step.
  • Skills for Care will work with awarding organisations to make sure qualifications meet the needs of employers and learners.

What do I need to do about this?

Don’t worry! The changes are mainly for awarding organisations rather than learners and learning providers.

Nothing will change straight away and social care qualifications will not necessarily change very much as a result so please continue to use qualifications and Apprenticeships just as you do at the moment.

Keep watching the Skills for Care website and e-news for regular updates over the coming months and look out for opportunities to work with Skills for Care to prepare the content for up to date Regulated Qualifications Framework qualifications that will start becoming available from late 2016/early 2017.


The next chapter for vocational qualifications graphic which covers all the above information is here to download.  

Qualification Specifications

To ensure that the core content developed in new qualifications remains consistent and transferable, in consultation with employers and awarding organisations, we will develop ‘qualification specifications’. 

The specifications will outline the mandatory content expected within a particular qualification, as well as information about its size, level, assessment principles and optional units. Using our approval process Awarding organisations can use these specifications to develop their qualifications and submit them to us.  

The qualification specification currently available to all awarding organisations is:



Guidance for learning providers

We’re offering help to learning providers on all the new changes to social care qualifications and Apprenticeships

”By understanding the sector better you can improve your offer and potentially increase your business too”



Loading Icon

Please wait... logging you in.