Qualification wheel

What are ‘levels’ of qualification?

In the UK all qualifications, be they GCSEs, part-time diplomas or certificates, fit into one of 9 levels. This applies to qualifications taken through work or at school, college or university. Knowing about the different levels means that you can understand where your course or study fits in. It also allows you to see how you can move from one level to another.
Click on any of the 9 sections to find out more.
Further inside the wheel there are bands which show you where you can gain different levels of qualifications.
The ‘rainbow’ below will help you understand qualification levels. The outer sections are the qualification levels. We have explained each level and given you some examples of qualifications from that level.

  • Many qualifications are called ‘certificates ‘or ‘diplomas’. Make sure you understand the level of your course.
  • Some courses linked to work,and can often only be achieved while working or on a training programme. If you are not in employment make sure you find out how the qualification can be gained.
  • Understanding qualification levels is important for finding out how you can progress in your work or education.
  • Knowing about qualification levels can also be helpful for job seeking.
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