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Qualifications in England, Wales and Northern Ireland

Adult Vocational Qualifications

Skills for Health champions the benefits of qualifications that assess occupational competence, making sure that learners can apply their knowledge and skills in the workplace. Based on, or linked to, National Occupational Standards (NOS), these qualifications are made up of individual units. Each unit contains learning outcomes and assessment criteria and is assigned a level. Units may also be assigned notional credit.

Learners must have access to work-based experience or be employed within the sector as assessment usually takes place while they are in their normal work role. Assessment is carried out in line with the Skills for Health Assessment Principles.


In England, occupational competence qualifications may be included in Apprenticeship Standards. All qualifications are detailed on the Register of Regulated Qualifications.

Northern Ireland

Qualifications offered in Northern Ireland are detailed on the Register of Regulated Qualifications


In Wales, occupational competence qualifications are used in Apprenticeship Frameworks and are detailed on Qualifications in Wales. All qualifications are on the Credit and Qualifications Framework for Wales (CQFW).

Your Awarding Organisation will be able to provide you with additional information, materials, and guidance on entry criteria to individual qualifications.

Qualification support process

Awarding Organisations can seek support from Skills for Health for their regulated qualifications prior to accreditation by the qualification regulator. Our support is given when qualifications meet a number of criteria, known as the Skills for Health Qualifications Design Criteria. Awarding Organisations can seek support from Skills for Health for the following:

  • Competence based qualifications/SVQs in Scotland
  • Qualifications for inclusion in Apprenticeship Frameworks in Wales and Northern Ireland
  • Qualifications that will be mandated in Apprenticeship Standards in England
  • Qualifications that are required for statutory or voluntary registration

On receipt of formal support from Skills for Health, Awarding Organisations can use the Skills for Health logo and strapline which states that a qualification Meets Skills for Health Qualifications Design Criteria. Employers and learners may wish to check for the logo and strapline when selecting qualifications.

If you are a regulated Awarding Organisation and would like to request support from Skills for Health for health qualifications going into the RQF in England and Northern Ireland or the CQFW in Wales, please complete this request proforma and email it to

If you have any queries please contact us.

Further resources