Vocational Qualifications (Post-16)

CCEA offers a number of vocational qualifications at Level 1, Level 2 and Level 3 of the Regulated Qualifications Framework. These qualifications are practical in nature and relate to a specific job or career area. Their content may also be informed by the relevant national occupational standards.

There are three different sizes of vocational qualifications available at each level: Award, Certificate and Diploma. The size of a qualification relates to its allocated Total Qualification Time (TQT). TQT includes all supervised or direct contact time: the guided learning hours plus an estimate of the hours a learner will spend studying independently, not under direct supervision.

Qualification Size Total Qualification Time (TQT)
Award 10-120 hrs
Certificate 121-369 hrs
Diploma 370 + hrs

See the individual qualifications pages for details on the size and level of each vocational qualification.

Equivalency and Performance Measures

CCEA offer a range of qualifications at different levels and different sizes. The level of a qualification indicates the demand. The size of a qualification is indicated by TQT. For performance measure purposes, the Department of Education (DE) will consider the level of a qualification and the GL hours, which are the teacher-supervised hours. For example, this means that a Vocational Level 2 qualification is pitched at the same level of demand as a GCSE, however if it has less than 120 GL hours it may not necessarily be equivalent to a GCSE for performance measure purposes. When considering the GCSE/GCE equivalence of a qualification, two factors must be taken into account – the level of the qualification and the number of GL hours.

Refer to the following Department of Education link for the current information in relation to qualification equivalency and reporting performance:

Department of Education Qualifications (education-ni.gov.uk)

Any queries regarding the details contained within the link above or the NIEFQAN file should be raised with the Assessment and Qualifications Team within DE at [email protected] or 02891 279543.

View all Vocational subjects


Certificate of Personal Effectiveness