Confused about qualifications?

Confused about qualifications

Applying for a job?  Making post 16 choices? Thinking about going back to college?

There are hundreds of different types of qualifications available. The situation can be confusing.

We have some tips and information that may help you understand qualifications and levels.

  • All qualifications in the UK fit into levels. Take a look at our Qualification Wheel. The qualifications you have (or hope to get) will fit somewhere within the levels.
  • You may need a specific level of qualification to apply for a job or course. Job adverts and prospectuses often mention the level of qualification needed in a specific subject. For example -


Teaching assistant job advert

A minimum of a Level 2 Teaching Assistant qualification (or equivalent)
Recent, relevant experience of working in a Primary School setting with KS2 children
Experience of providing 1:1 support and an understanding of additional learning needs
Strong behaviour management skills/experience
A positive and enthusiastic attitude and a genuine nature.


Entry qualifications for BTEC (engineering based) course at a college

You will normally need to have at least one of the following level 2 qualifications: · A BTEC First Certificate or Diploma in related subject  · At least four GCSEs at grade A*-C including Mathematics


  • Job and careers information will often list entry qualifications as levels. Take a look at one or two jobs in our job information section.
  • If you have a job or career in mind always check out the level and type of qualifications required. You may be asked for a level of qualification and a specific subject or subjects.
  • You can progress along the levels as you train and study – both in education and at work. Take a look at our ‘what comes next’ section.

These notes try to explain qualifications and levels as simply as possible. But – it is still a complicated area. If you have a query about qualifications you may need to contact a specialist – possibly a tutor, careers adviser or teacher.

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