Awards vs Certificates vs Diplomas
If you have had a browse through our Assessor qualifications, you may have noticed that we have a variety – some awards and some certificates. Understanding the difference between awards, certificates and diplomas can be quite confusing, no matter how young you are! You will probably feel like you have earned a qualification just by the time you have worked out what each of these mean. We thought it would be a good idea to make things easier for you.
Qualifications By Difficulty
Qualifications are usually organised by difficulty and size in order to show the standard they equate to. This means how hard they are, and how long on average they take to complete. The harder the qualification, the better it will look on your CV and that is what makes the Level 3 Certificate in Assessing Vocational Achievement (CAVA) the only qualification that will make you a qualified Assessor. The other qualifications are all Awards so are at a slightly lower level.
Level 1 NVQs are around Entry Level 1, with Intermediate Apprenticeships being the next stage up from there. Level 3 is where the National Diplomas come in, and a Higher Apprenticeship is at Level 4. This Level system represents difficulty, so then Awards, Certificates and Diplomas are then used to classify each qualification by size. Are you still with us?! An award is the shortest qualification, and a Diploma is the longest.
What Is An Award Qualification?
An Award is defined as a qualification that requires up to 130 hours to complete, and is equal to 13 credits. So as you probably guessed, 10 hours of learning equates to 1 credit. Credits, just to clarify, refer to the Regulated Qualification Framework (RQF) – a system that indexes qualifications by their size and level.
As we have mentioned, awards are the shortest format of course so they also have the fewest number of modules. The modules themselves are used to calculate the Guided Learning Hours (the duration) for each course.
What Is A Certificate Qualification?
Certificate qualifications are the next step up from Awards, and vary a lot in terms of credits and learning hours. They range from 130 hours to complete (13 credits) up to 370 hours (which equates to 37 credits). In the world of training, Certifications are the happy-medium. The course content is comprehensive and will give you a really good understanding of a specialist subject area. Giving you all the knowledge you need to take your career to the next level.
What Is A Diploma Qualification?
Diplomas are therefore the most comprehensive qualification available, and usually require over 370 hours of training. They provide a more detailed training schedule in order to develop your skills at a very high level. Although Diplomas are focused on one particular subject area, the knowledge you will learn will be very in-depth and more challenging than with a Certificate.
Choosing The Right Course
Even once you have determined the difference between Awards, Certificates and Diplomas, knowing which course is right for you can be extremely difficult. In general, it is always best to go for the course which has the longest total qualification time, and the most modules. This means that you will undergo a comprehensive learning experience and will best equip you with the skills and knowledge you need.
Ultimately, the decision is entirely up to you. It is always good to have a second opinion so why not give the friendly team at Brooks and Kirk a call on 01205 805155 and they will be able to help advise you on the best course for you.