170 years

This year marks NCFE’s 170 year anniversary and through that time the organisation has evolved considerably from the Northern Union of Mechanics’ Institutes (NUMI), established in 1848, to one of the largest UK awarding organisations, offering a huge range of products in different sector areas.

You, our customers, are the reason that we’ve been able to thrive for 170 years and our commitment to learners and the importance of education has been there from the very beginning.

Look out for all of the fantastic things we have planned throughout the year to celebrate our rich heritage, sharing inspiring learners’ stories and looking ahead to what our next 170 years will bring. 

This month we’re celebrating 170 years of service at NCFE! We’ve always taken customer service very seriously and are committed to delivering the very best for our learners so this month we're sharing stories about what good service means to us.


History of NCFE

NCFE’s earliest incarnation held lofty ambitions. Its first report declared its intention to "become a centre from whence the elements of knowledge and civilisation shall go on with an unceasing progress, conferring intellectual, scientific and moral blessings throughout the length and breadth of the Northern Counties."

From 1920, the Northern Counties Technical Examinations Council (NCTEC or ‘Northern Counties’ as it became affectionately known) supplanted NUMI and, supported by nine Northern Local Education Authorities, provided examinations for technical colleges, schools and other centres for over sixty years until 1981.

In 1981, the Northern Advisory Council for Further Education (NACFE), which was established in 1947 to co-ordinate further education provision throughout the nine LEAs, merged with the NCTEC to become the Northern Council for Further Education.

When the further education sector was incorporated (made independent of the government) in the early 1990s the company felt the old name was incompatible with our new national focus and has since then been identified simply as NCFE with the letters no longer being an acronym.

NCFE today is a national Awarding Organisation, passionate about designing, developing and certificating diverse, nationally recognised qualifications and awards. These qualifications contribute to the success of millions of learners at all levels, bringing them closer to fulfilling their personal goals. Last year alone, over 340,000 learners from over 2,000 colleges, schools and training organisations chose NCFE as the Awarding Organisation to help them move their careers forward.


Life at NCFE

Find out more about life at NCFE.

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