Qualification Levels

The following is a brief introduction to understanding what ‘Level’ refers to when included within educational certificates.

In short, a level can be described as an indication of a person’s ability to control, measure and manage their performance and the amount of supervision that may require.

Levels 1 – 2 equivalent to GCSE
Level 3 equivalent to A level
Level 4 – 5 equivalent HNC/HND
Levels 6 – 8 equivalent to degree

The levels relate directly to the qualification credit framework. They broadly relate to the following skill areas.

  • Operational context and autonomy:
    Person’s ability to understand their position in the work place and their roles and responsibilities.
  • Knowledge and understanding:
    Person’s underpinning knowledge of particular skill area.
  • Cognitive skills:
    Person’s ability to research, analyse and evaluate information with a view to developing a strategy for either undertaking or improving performance.
  • Performance:
    Person’s ability to undertake tasks as measured against inception, planning, quality and oversight. Ability to work with others as part of a team.
  • Personal Enabling:
    Person’s ability to communicate effectively and evaluate their own performance

Level 3

Level 3 was the assessment level for the ‘NHIG Award for Heritage Skills – Blacksmithing’, which was developed as part of the NHIG Heritage Blacksmiths’ Bursary Programme. Therefore, in broad terms, the work of the trainees who acquired the NHIG Award can be described as being able to work as follows:-

  • Person will have good understanding of heritage Ironwork conservation principals and be able to apply them to their own work.
  • Person will be able to investigate research and analyse relevant project information and discuss finding with supervisor to develop schedule of works.
  • Person will be able to work under their own imitative or as part of a team to perform both routine and complex tasks competently.
  • Person will be able to evaluate work progress and communicate details with their supervisor. Consult supervisor when areas of difficulty arise, operating within their own limitations.
  • The overall NHIG Heritage conservation course was set at level 3 although some performance could be described as level 4 and other level 2.

The qualification set the level which becomes the highest level obtainable even if the performance by individuals indicates they are operating above this. Therefore some of the NHIG Trainees could well be described as performing at Level 4in some areas.

Further Information

Further information is available from The Southern England Consortium for Credit Accumulation and Transfer (SEEC) www.seec.org.uk who develop credit Level descriptors for Higher Education.