+971 58 1785782 info@iqe.academy

Qualifications Explained




Accreditation is not overseen by any independent third party, Ofqual, or Regulatory body. Its value is largely subjective as there are many accredited courses and the value of the accreditation varies greatly.


Abu Dhabi Centre for Technical and Vocational Education and Training (ACTVET)

ACTVET is committed to establishing policies and standards that effectively regulate technical and vocational educational institutions in the emirate of Abu Dhabi. ACTVET is also responsible for the licensing of trainers and tutors that meet the demands of the UAE’s local market.


An appeal is a procedure through which an awarding organisation or an approved centre may be challenged on the outcome of a decision made.


Making a judgment about the extent to which a learner’s work demonstrates that the learning objectives of a qualification have been achieved.

Assessment Method

The activities used to provide evidence that a learner has met the assessment criteria of a unit. Activities can include; tests, assignments, professional discussions, observations etc.

Assessment Criteria

Defines what the learner must do in order to show that the learning outcomes have been achieved.

Assessment Evidence

Proof that a learner has achieved or is working towards the Assessment criteria of a unit of a qualification.


A centre staff member who assesses a learner’s evidence.

Awarding Organisations (AOs)

An organisation that is recognised by regulatory authorities, such as Ofqual in UK, to design, develop and award the recognition of learning outcomes (knowledge, skills and/or competences) of an individual following an assessment and quality assurance process.

Awards, Certificates, and Diplomas

Qualifications are also broken down into Awards, Certificates, and Diplomas, which relate to the number of hours required to complete each qualification. It indicates the size of the qualification.


An organisation such as a college or training provider who are approved by an awarding organisation to deliver and assess qualifications to learners on their behalf.


The process by which an awarding organisation recognises a learner’s achievement and issues a certificate.

Continuing Professional Development (CPD)

CPD is a piece of training developed by an individual or organisation that sits outside the Regulated Qualifications Framework.


A course is any programme of study but is not necessarily certificated, does not necessarily sit on the Regulated Qualifications Framework or approved by any regulatory body.

Credit Value

The credit value of a unit or qualification gives an indication of the size of the unit. One credit represents ten hours of learning. For example, a unit with a credit value of six will take a learner on average 60 hours to complete.


An academic degree is a qualification awarded to students upon successful completion of a course of study in higher education at a university.

Endorsed Course

An endorsed course is a programme of study which sits outside the Regulated Qualifications Framework, is not certificated and approved by any regulatory body. However, it may be quality checked by an Awarding Organisation.

Externally Assessed

The assessment tasks a learner completes are marked by the awarding organisation. Results are given to the centre.

External Quality Assurer (EQA)

A person, who on behalf of an awarding organisation, assesses the quality procedures, administration, delivery and assessment decisions within an approved centre.

Guided Learning Hours (GLH)

The number of hours of teacher led or directed study time required to teach a unit or qualification.

Internally Assessed

The assessment tasks a learner completes are marked by approved centre staff members. Results are given to the awarding organisation and are subject to external quality assurance.

Internal Quality Assurer (IQA)

A person appointed to oversee the internal quality assurance systems and procedures within a centre.

Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA)

The Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA) is responsible for the growth and quality of private education in Dubai. They support schools, universities, parents, students, educators, investors and government partners.


An indication of the difficulty of a qualification. The higher the level, the more difficult the qualification is on the RQF.

Learning Outcomes

The knowledge, skills and understanding learners are expected to acquire when undertaking a qualification.


This is any activity or practice which results in non-compliance of an awarding organisation’s administrative regulations and requirements. This can include the application of persistent mistakes or poor administration within a centre (e.g. keeping inappropriate learner records).


This is any deliberate activity, neglect or default that compromises the integrity of the assessment process, and/or the validity of certificates.

Mandatory Units

These are the units of a qualification that a learner must achieve in order to meet the requirements for that qualification.


The regulator for vocational qualifications in England and Northern Ireland. Ofqual give formal recognition to awarding organisations and monitor their activities.

Optional Units

These are the units of a qualification that a learner may choose to select in order to achieve the right number of credits that meet the requirements of a qualification.

Professional Education

Professional education is a formalised approach to specialised training through which learners acquire content knowledge and learn to apply techniques. It is designed to produce responsible professionals and then to ensure their continuing competence in the profession.


A qualification is a course of study which is certificated and approved by both a Regulator and recognised Awarding Organisation (or a University in the case of degrees). Regulated Qualifications are regarded as higher value to Certificates of Achievement/Attendance or unregulated training courses.

Qualification Specification

A document that contains information regarding a qualification, including the qualification content, structure, assessment and internal quality assurance arrangements for nationally recognised qualifications.

Reasonable Adjustments

These are any changes, alterations or accommodations that can be made for learners who have an additional learning need or disability.

Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL)

A process by which learning, wherever and however it has taken place, can be assessed and recognised as part of the assessment evidence for a qualification. This might occur before or as part of a formal process of learning.


A qualification or institution that is recognised by a government-appointed regulatory body. In the UK this is Ofqual or Awarding Organisations governed by Ofqual.

Regulated Qualification Framework (RQF)

Formally the Qualification and Credit Framework (QCF), the RQF is a qualification framework that relates to all qualifications regulated by Ofqual in England. Qualifications are generally sorted by level, indicating the difficulty and complexity of the knowledge and skills associated with a qualification, and size, referring to the total amount of time it could typically take to study and be assessed for the qualification.

Special Considerations

These can be applied after an assessment has been undertaken, if there was a reason the learner may have been disadvantaged during the assessment e.g. unwell or an event outside of their control has had, or is likely to have had, a material effect on that learner’s ability to achieve an assessment.


The process to ensure that assessment criteria for a qualification are applied in the same way by all assessors and internal verifiers.


A transcript is a document produced and certified by the Awarding Organisation that provides a complete and broken-down list of all the assessments you have completed with them. This comes along with your certificate and provides more in-depth information.


A set of learning outcomes and assessment criteria, that make up a qualification. Individual units can be certificated, as well as the whole qualification.


An institution of higher (or tertiary) education and research, which awards academic degrees.

Vocational Education

Vocational education offers an alternative to traditional academic subjects. It is education that prepares students for work in a specific trade, or in professional vocations such as engineering, accountancy, nursing, medicine, architecture, or law.