Changes made for the Regulated Qualification Framework (RQF)

18 July 2016

We have made some minor changes to our suite of BTEC qualifications as a result of the introduction of the Regulated Qualification Framework (RQF) by Ofqual in 2015.

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These changes have been made to the following qualifications: 
  • BTEC Entry and Level 1
  • BTEC Firsts
  • BTEC Nationals (2010 and 2016 suites)
  • BTEC Specialist/Professional
  • Other qualifications (Please see spreadsheet below)

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In order to make the above RQF compliant by 30 June 2016, Pearson have updated all vocational specifications for these qualifications suites, on the UCAS tariff or performance tables, to reflect the following:

  • removal of references to the Qualifications and Credit Framework (QCF) and National Qualifications Framework

  • addition of Total Qualification Time (TQT).

Register of Regulated Qualifications

Whilst the specifications have been updated and references to the QCF removed, you will notice that the titles on Ofqual’s Register of Regulated Qualifications still say “(QCF)”. We will be updating the Register to remove these references by 31 December 2017.


Learners achieving a qualification originally regulated on the QCF, will continue to be certificated with a qualification title featuring “(QCF)” for the lifespan of the qualification, even if this is after 31 December 2017 when the Register will be updated.  

This is to ensure there is clarity for universities, learners and other external stakeholders about which qualification learners hold, as there have been no material amendments (e.g. changes to content or assessment methodology).

Frequently Asked Questions

A1. No. There are no changes to content or assessment, as a result of making the qualification compliant for the RQF.

A2. An estimate of the total amount of time that could reasonably be expected to be required in order for a Learner to achieve the level of attainment necessary for the award of a qualification.

TQT comprises of two elements:

  • Guided Learning Hours

  • An estimate of the number of hours a learner will reasonably be likely to spend in preparation, study or any other form of participation in education or training, including assessment. This should take place as directed by a lecturer, supervisor, tutor or other appropriate provider of education or training but, unlike guided learning, would not be under their immediate guidance or supervision....(Definition from Ofqual’s Total Qualification Time Criteria)

A4. In most cases, there are no changes, however, some qualifications used to have a range of Guided Learning Hours (e.g. minimum 450 GLH to 500 GLH). As part of the review, one total number has been suggested for the Guided Learning Hours.

A5. These changes do not affect learners or centres, and this communication is purely for information purposes. Centres do not need to take any action. We are partway through this work and have completed phase 1 of the updates (as detailed above) at the end of June 2016.

We will have updated all other relevant vocational specifications and related information on the Register by December 2017. We will update you once this work has been completed.


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