Thursday, 25th April 2019


National Vocational Qualifications (NVQs) are awards given in industry-based subjects. These qualifications are described as 'competence-based' as they teach the practical necessary skills required for performing a certain occupational role.

Subject areas of an NVQ

In most of the subject areas of NVQs, there is a stronger emphasis on practical, hands-on training, as opposed to theory or classroom based learning.

Candidates compare their own skills with the framework set out by a current competent worker in the chosen field.

NVQs are awarded in a range of vocational subjects including:

Like BTEC qualifications, each level, of which there are five, has an approximate GCSE, A level and Higher Education qualification equivalent:

  • NVQ Level 1 (four to five GCSEs grades D – E)
  • NVQ Level 2 (four to five GCSEs grades A* – C)
  • NVQ Level 3 (two or three A levels or BTEC National Diploma)
  • NVQ Level 4 (approx. Bachelor’s Degree or BTEC Higher National Certificate or Diploma)
  • NVQ Level 5 (approx. Master’s Degree)

NVQs are available to all, both adults and young people. They are taken whilst employed, in part-time employment or studying with access for work placement.

To look for an NVQ course near you, please follow the below link:

Next Step Course Search