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Regulatory navigation UK:

Like all things education related in the UK, there are a seemingly endless list of public and private companies all feasting at the government trough, sorry, providing quality educational services.

Wading through this lot needs a qualification in itself - perhaps a UEP (UK). (Understanding Education Providers). It is far easier to try harder at school and go to a proper university. Anyway here goes.

National Vocational Qualifications - NVQs

For almost all skilled labour, National Vocational Qualifications or NVQs are the national occupational standards prescribed in the UK. They are competence-based, work-related qualifications and should comprehensively outline the skills and knowledge required to do a job efficiently.

The qualification also denotes that a candidate is competent enough to handle the job in the field of work that the NVQ framework represents.

The NVQs outlines the current national occupational standards which are basically statements of performance that express the desired practices that professionals in a particular occupation are expected to be proficient in. The specifications range from current best practices to adaptability to trends and requirements of the future.

Since NVQs are achieved through training as well as on-the-job assessment through observation and questioning, candidates who graduate from these programs are highly skilled for the job. As and when candidates show competence in a particular skill level, assessors in the program sign off the unit and put them onto the next level. Assessors test the knowledge and understanding of the candidates and their work-based performance in order to ensure that they have the required competence to meet the demands and challenges of the workplace.

BTECs, OCR Nationals and other Vocational Qualifications

OCR Nationals are a non academic practical alternative to GCSEs, with no exams. OCR stands for the Oxford, Cambridge and RSA examiners which also incude normal GCSEs.

Business And Technology Education Council (BTEC) were the main sub degree awarding body until 1996 when it was transferred to Edexcel (see below).

To learn more about any job or to find more information about particular area of work, you can choose from various vocational qualifications. That for example could be BTEC qualifications or OCR Nationals. Several awarding bodies can guide you through the process of taken their sizes and levels, such as City and Guilds, Edexcel and OCR.

City & Guilds

The City & Guilds Group is the UK's leading vocational awarding organization. It employs over a thousand people and awards 1.8 million certificates every single year. 2008 saw the celebration of its 130th anniversary with the launch of the Centre for Skills Development - the latest in a long line of milestones promoting the development of skills in the UK and worldwide.

City & Guilds is the UKs main practical skill awarding body, with over 500 qualifications in 28 industry sectors. City & Guilds has over 8500 approved learning providers.

The City & Guilds Institute is located in London, England and also in Wales (no. RC000117). The City and Guilds registered charity number in England and Wales is 312832 and in Scotland, it's SC039576.

City & Guilds Head Office
1 Giltspur Street
T: +44 (0)20 7294 2800
F: +44 (0)20 7294 2400


Edexcel is a private Pearson company. It is one of the biggest awarding bodies in the UK, and offers academic and vocational qualifications and testing to schools, colleges, employers and other places of learning both in the UK and internationally.

190 High Holborn
London WC1V 7BH

0844 844 0655
0121 616 2576

0844 844 0655
0117 950 1115

0292 079 4865
0292 036 2830

+44 (0) 141 249 6764

0844 844 0655
0161 855 7570


OCR (Oxford Cambridge and RSA Examinations) is a leading UK awarding body, committed to providing qualifications that are suitable for learners of all ages at school, college, in work or through part-time learning. It has a range of General and Vocational qualifications for practical subjects. Courses are available through schools, colleges, workplaces and institutions in both the public and private sector.

Over 13,000 teaching centres provide OCR courses such as A Levels, GCSEs, and vocational qualifications such as OCR Nationals, NVQs and Basic Skills.

Registered office:
1 Hills Road
Tel: 01223 553998


EAL stands for EMTA Awards Limited. EAL manages 70% of vocationsal (non university) engineering qualifications in the UK.

EAL is one of (or only, recently) UK's main awarding bodies for engineering, technology and similar related sectors. EAl offers a wide range of vocational qualifications for industry.

EAL Head Office
14 Upton Road
Hertfordshire, WD18 0JT

Tel: +44 (0)1923 652400
Fax: +44 (0)1923 652401

EAL Customer Services
Tel: +44 (0)870 240 6889
Fax: +44 (0)870 240 6890

EAL National Verification Centre (NVC) - Leeds
3365 Century Way
Thorpe Park
LS15 8ZB

Tel: +44 (0)113 260 1188
Fax: +44 (0)113 232 1959


BPEC (Training) Ltd is a registered charity. BPEC identifies the education and training needs of those working in the building services and engineering industry. It claims to provides innovative solutions.

BPEC (Training) Ltd is based in Derby.

BPEC (Training) Ltd
2 Mallard Way
Pride Park
DE24 8GX

Tel: 0845 644 6558
Fax: 0845 121 1931

The NEBOSH National Certificate in Construction Health and Safety

This is from the British Safety Council.

It is an internationally recognised UK National Certificate in Construction Health and Safety. It is specifically for the construction industry.