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National vocational qualifications (NVQs) and Scottish vocational qualifications (SVQs) standards and frameworks


15th August 2022: COVID-19 has presented extraordinary circumstances that has required CITB to review the approach for the delivery of S/NVQ’s and issue this temporary guidance of the consolidated assessment strategy.

The following document has been updated and can be considered guidance to the following:

  • Consolidated Assessment Strategy
  • Assessment Strategy for Plant Operations and Lifting Operations

COVID-19 Guidance to the Consolidated Assessment Strategy (PDF, 142KB)

15th July 2022: The following documents have been updated to further extend the solution to ensure coverage of all apprentices that meet both of the following criteria:

  • Registered in academic year 2017 onwards
  • Originally due to complete in the academic years 2021/2022 or 2022/2023

To clarify, this now includes all those apprentices classed as ‘adult apprentices’ on a shortened duration as per the guidance in the MA Framework. The Solution Update July 2022 (PDF, 62.8KB) has been updated as well as the Skills Test Approach and Declaration Amend July 2022 (PDF, 238KB)

19th May 2022: The following documents have been updated to extend the ability for apprentices to take their Skills Test out of sequence. This guidance applies to those in the 2017/2018 cohort, and now also to those in the 2018/2019 cohort.

15th December 2021: On behalf of Scottish Government, SQA Accreditation, CITB Standard Setting Organisation, and SQA Awarding Body - the Construction Craft Apprenticeship at SCQF Level 6 solution proposal has been created.

October 2021: In order to continue to provide support for Scottish apprentices, CITB held a webinar to share a temporary amendment to the Skills Test approach. Please see the Skills Test Approach and Declaration and Construction Craft Apprenticeship Challenges - FAQs (PDF, 472KB).

What are NVQs and SVQs?

National Vocational Qualifications and Scottish Vocational Qualifications NVQs are  'competence-based' qualifications, which means you learn practical, work-related tasks designed to help you develop the skills and knowledge to do a job effectively.

The learning content of NVQs and SVQs is based on the National Occupational Standards in the relevant area. These standards define the skills, knowledge and understanding needed to do a particular job.

Find a qualification structure

CITB is working with stakeholders to develop up-to-date structures with the new measures required by legislation for each qualification in construction.

These structures are designed to meet the changing needs of each sector in construction.

Search for structures listed according to occupational area.

Awarding organisations

If you have a proposal for a vocational qualification, please open the word document below, save the file, complete the form and .

Qualification support application form.

Regulation of qualifications across the UK

The qualification frameworks are regulated differently across the UK.

The RQF provides a single, simple system for cataloguing all qualifications regulated by Ofqual and the qualifications are now indexed by their level and size.

The levels are the same as the previous frameworks but with new level descriptors. All qualifications will now have a measure of size known as Total Qualification Time (TQT) which indicates the time a typical candidate would take to achieve the learning outcomes.

See Ofqual's infographic describing the new RQF structure.

Under Scottish Government legislation, SQA Accreditation quality assures qualifications offered in Scotland by approving awarding bodies and accrediting their qualifications. Awarding bodies and their qualifications are regulated against published regulatory requirements.

SQA Accreditation website.

The CQFW is an all-inclusive framework that recognises all forms of learning across all levels and abilities. The framework is designed to provide greater clarity on the qualifications system in Wales.

See details on Credit and Qualifications Framework for Wales website.

Qualifications in Wales is the regulator of non-degree qualifications and the qualifications system in Wales. The database contains details of all qualifications that are approved for teaching in Wales for learners aged under 19, excluding higher education.

See the QiW database for information on qualifications.