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NVQs/VQs - Level 4 and above

National Vocational Qualifications/Vocational Qualifications (NVQs/VQs) are practical qualifications that show you can do a specific job.

They are:

  • usually taken by people in work
  • offered in, for example: social care, retail, motor vehicle work, electrical installation, business administration, hairdressing, leisure and recreation, construction, engineering and childcare
  • equivalent to the first year of a degree.

Entry qualifications vary. You may:

  • have to take an entry or selection test
  • need a level 3 or equivalent qualification to do a lor level 4 course.

Higher apprenticeships involve doing a Level 4 NVQ and are usually studied by apprentices who have completed their level 3 NVQ or students who have passed A levels and want an alternative to university.

Assessment is through practical tests and a range of evidence, which show you can complete tasks well.

Look on GOV.UK for what different qualification levels mean