Regulated Qualifications Framework (RQF)
On the 1st October 215 Ofqual launched the Regulated Qualifications Framework (RQF) as the single framework for describing all regulated qualifications in England and vocational qualifications in Northern Ireland.
The RQF is designed to help people understand qualifications, providing detail on the challenge and size of each qualification. The framework also shows where a qualification sits in relation to others of differing level and size.
The new RQF replaces the Qualifications & Credit Framework (QCF). One of the reasons for this was that the QCF required Awarding Organisations (AOs) to recognise units awarded by other AOs, which made it harder for Ofqual to hold Awarding Organisations to account. Under the new RQF conditions, Awarding Organisations are completely accountable for the qualifications they develop.
So what does this mean for Centres offering Regulated qualifications?
In a recent blog published by Jeremy Benson, Executive Director for Vocational Qualifications at Ofqual, he wrote, “Even though the QCF rules are going, qualifications designed to meet the QCF rules don’t necessarily have to change. It’s unlikely you’ll see much difference in most qualifications as a result of these changes, at least in the short term. We are, though, introducing some changes to how we expect the size and level of demand of qualifications to be described”.
RQF size of Qualifications
Awarding Organisations will begin describing the size of their qualifications using some new terminology – Total Qualification Time (TQT). TQT is, essentially, an indication of how long a typical learner might take to study a qualification, including the time spent on their individual study and on assessment. It also includes Guided Learning Hours (GLH), which is the time spent actually being taught. As some learners will study faster or slower than others the TQT is really a guide, rather than an absolute. However it is useful to have an estimate of teaching and assessment time, to help plan timetables. For all existing qualifications a measure of size using TQT will be in place no later than 31 December 2017.
The RQF requires the same levels of demand as the QCF, Entry 1-3 and Levels 1-8 so Centres should not notice any immediate changes to existing qualifications. The RQF maps to the Framework for Higher Education Qualifications and the European Qualifications Framework.
RQF Qualification Titling
The new RQF requires all Awarding Organisations to review their qualification titles as they will need to have QCF removed from the title. Ofqual have allowed Awarding Organisations until December 2017 to do this, so you may see gradual changes to qualification titles and marketing literature. Learner certificates can continue to have QCF in the title of the qualification where they are awarded beyond 31 December 2017 if the term was in use in the qualification (and appearing in the register) at the time they started it.