Study Programme Principles

NCFE substantial qualifications

Our range of qualifications cover a variety of sectors giving learners choice and flexibility.

Applied Generals

  • Level 3 qualifications aimed at post-16 learners
  • each qualification is included in the DfE performance tables
  • does not require work placements/employer involvement during the delivery
  • assessed through a mixture of internal and external assessment.

Substantial qualifications

  • Level 2 and 3 qualifications aimed at post-16 learners
  • assessed through a portfolio of evidence with no external assessment
  • suitable for a variety of learners, including those who underperform in exam conditions.

All level 3 substantial qualifications attract UCAS points.

Explore the NCFE range of substantial qualifications subject areas

  • Uniformed services
  • Business
  • Business and enterprise
  • Travel and tourism
  • Creative media
  • Music technology
  • Art and design
  • Photography
  • Sport and physical activity

CACHE substantial qualifications

From the leading sector specialists in health, social care and childcare, CACHE qualifications offer learners the best possible start in these growth sectors.

Tech Certs and Tech Levels

  • Level 2 and 3 qualifications aimed at post-16 learners
  • provide learners with the knowledge and skills necessary for skilled employment or further technical study
  • include elements of work placement, allowing learners to apply knowledge in real work environments
  • details of work placements can be found in the qualification specifications via the qualification pages below.

Explore the CACHE range of substantial qualifications:

English and maths

Learners are expected to hold at least a GCSE grade 4 (or grade C) in these important subjects. However, those who have achieved a grade 2 or below (or grade E or below) can study an alternative qualification, such as Functional Skills.

Learn about Functional Skills

Because Functional Skills focuses on developing practical skills and applying them to real-life situations, it increases your learners’ chances of achieving the necessary maths and English grades.


Designed to complement a learners 16-19 full-time programme, our extensive range of smaller qualifications develops transferrable skills, improves confidence and helps with employment outcomes and support progression.

Higher level studies

  • Level 3 qualifications for learners who are considering studying at a higher level and wish to develop their higher level study skills.
  • Attract UCAS points.

Explore our range of higher level studies

Employability qualifications

Our range of employability qualifications supports your learners’ Study Programme and has been created to give them the best possible chance of success.

Explore our range of employability qualifications

Extra support

We offer a range of useful qualifications which support personal development and a learners understanding of issues that can affect them and others.

Explore our range of extra support qualifications

Work Experience

The qualifications we offer can help prepare learners for work experience, this being a key principle of the 16-19 Study Programme which helps develop career choices and improve critical employability skills.

Explore our pre-work experience qualifications

  • NCFE Level 1 Award in Personal and Social Development
  • NCFE Level 1 Award in Volunteering

Performance Points

Performance points awarded for one A’level versus an NCFE Level 3 Applied General Certificate (360GLH)

A level Grade

Performance Points awarded

L3 Applied General Grade

Performance points awarded

A* 60    
A 50 D* 50
B 40    
    D 35
C 30    
    M 25
D 20    
    P 15
E  10    

UCAS Points

If you want to know how many UCAS points a qualification attracts please visit QualHub here.

Want to build a bespoke programme of study for your 16-19 learners? Contact us now for support and advice.

Email: [email protected]


On our dedicated website QualHub, you’ll find:

  • details on all qualifications including learning resources
  • approval forms to get started or offer additional qualifications
  • delivery support – from assessment windows to sample portfolios
  • quality assurance advice – prepare for and request a visit
  • online assessment support
  • direct claim status information
  • policies
  • much more.
Visit QualHub