What does QCF, RQF, GLH & TQT stand for?
If you have been involved in Further Education for many years, then you may have seen the term ‘QCF’. But not for a long time now. In recent years, you will have seen a lot more of the acronyms ‘RQF’, ‘GLH’ and ‘TQT’. Before we go into the details as to why the QCF was replaced and what by, just in case you’re not quite on the same page, let us bring you up to speed.
What is QCF?
QCF stands for the Qualification Credit Framework. The QCF was the system that Ofqual introduced in 2010 to regulate all vocational qualifications. This framework used ‘credits’ to form qualifications.
The term ‘QCF’ often appeared at the end of qualification titles. For example, if you enrolled onto the CAVA assessor qualification in the past 10+ years, your certificate may have been for the ‘Level 3 Certificate in Assessing Vocational Achievement (QCF)‘.
To help you understand the system a bit better, we have broken down the main workings of the QCF into 5 bullet points.
- Each vocational qualification has a credit value;
- Every vocational qualification comprises units (mandatory and sometimes optional units as well);
- Each unit within a vocational qualification has a specific amount of Guided Learning Hours (GLH) assigned to it;
- Each unit within a vocational qualification is worth a specific amount of credits;
- When the total credit value of all mandatory units within a vocational qualification doesn’t add up to equal the credit value of the qualification, then the learner picks optional units to bring the overall credits up to the credit value of the qualification.
QCF’s replacement – The RQF
The Qualification Credit Framework was scrapped back in 2015. The QCF was replaced by the RQF – The Regulated Qualification Framework. RQF was branded as a “simple, descriptive framework” in Ofqual’s RQF publication from 2015. The RQF will be used to manage every qualification that is regulated by Ofqual. That includes qualifications that were stored on both the QCF and the National Qualifications Framework (NQF).
The Regulated Qualification Framework provides an easier way to measure all qualifications. Nowadays, anyone can see how both general and vocational qualifications relate to each other, which wasn’t that simple before.
How does the RQF do this? Well, mainly through the introduction of TQT.
What is TQT?
TQT stands for Total Qualification Time. This is what awarding bodies must use to describe the size of a qualification. TQT is the average amount of hours a typical learner will take to complete the respective qualification. TQT takes into account the learner’s study-time with and away from the assessor. Total Qualification Time (TQT) has replaced Guided Learning Hours (GLH). But GLH still exists. Just bear with us…
GLH was used as a way to measure the size of qualifications on the QCF. However, it soon became apparent that Guided Learning Hours often weren’t an accurate representation of how long a learner would actually take to complete their qualification. Thus, making them next to pointless. Therefore, Guided Learning Hours now form a part of the TQT.
What is QCF, RQF, GLH, TQT?
- QCF is the old framework that Ofqual used to store and manage all of the vocational qualifications they regulate.
- RQF is the new framework that Ofqual is using to store and manage all of the qualifications they regulate.
- GLH is the old measurement of the size of qualifications on the QCF.
- TQT is the new measurement of the size of qualifications on the RQF.
There we go, now you know what all those pesky three-letter acronyms are all about!
Steve is a Chartered Manager and a Fellow of the Chartered Management Institute.
He provides Educational Consultancy to the 19+ sector as well as being an Assessor, IQA, EPA and Digital Marketing Professional. When not doing any of these he finds time, every now and then, to write blogs and articles.