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  • Adam Rendell Bsc PGCE

Training Courses vs Qualifications

North Care Training (NCT) is a registered Training Qualifications UK (TQUK) centre. As a training provider NCT can offer training courses as well as training qualifications.

So, what is the difference between these two types?

In order to know the difference we need to assess each type of course; below we will focus on these two and compare the differences in order to come up with a simple explanation in "layman terms".


Training Courses:

These are also known as continuing professional development (CPD) courses and can be described in many ways. They can be part of a workshop, training programmes, unstructured learning and informal learning. It is paramount that a CPD course is not misinterpreted as a qualification.

CPD training courses can be bespoke to the industry; meaning, that NCT's CPD courses can be tailored specifically to what our clients prefers. For example, a CPD training course in fire safety may specifically focus on using different fire extinguishers. An organisation may require their staff to be trained to use a fire extinguisher to improve safety in the workplace.

This 'training' may not be arranged as part of the qualification specifications (as this would apply to qualifications); however, it is required and must be delivered as a CPD practical training application and trainees are to be assessed by a qualified Trainer; doing so, increases the competence of delegates who may apply these newly gained skills in the event of an fire emergency at work. Even 'unregulated' sessions can be structured (planned) to allow each individual to be assessed and signed off using a competency passport system; some training providers like NCT are more thorough in assessing competency others have a more relaxed approach.

For this specific course, delegates are trained on how to tackle a fires safely using different fire extinguishers and methods. Even though unregulated training courses are not recognised as qualifications; the flexibility of bespoke training sessions can be invaluable and crucial for many organisations.

Training courses can be endorsed through the awarding body TQUK. It enables NCT to gain recognition for our own bespoke training courses. TQUK endorsed courses written and owned by NCT have the added benefit of a nationally recognised awarding organisations "stamp of approval".



Qualifications are listed on the Regulated Qualifications Framework (RQF) this is a national framework of UK qualifications, and the certificate of achievement is issued by an Awarding Organisation; for NCT this is TQUK.

  • Qualifications are subject to moderation; meaning, marked assessments will require internal verification (IV) to ensure internal quality assurance (IQA); a sample maybe sent for external verification (EV) before certificates can be issued. Once IQA and EV have passed, certificates can be issued. This means that the person is ‘qualified’ in that subject.

  • The certificates of qualifications are printed in a 'high quality' standard; TQUK also supply professionally printed cards with their RQF certificates.

  • Different types of qualifications exist, some qualifications can last for 6 - 10 hours (i.e. level 1 fire safety) others, such as vocational qualifications will require hundreds of hours of learning; for instance, TQUK Level 3 Diploma Adult Care RQF total qualification time is 580 hours see specifications:

  • Regulated qualifications are nationally and internationally recognised.

  • Training providers must follow the standardised units made available on the latest qualification specifications.

  • RQF's from the awarding body (TQUK) are regulated by Ofqual and endorsed on the certificates.

  • Arguably qualifications are recognised as more "professional"; structured into levels of certified achievement, they can be measurable. Meaning, a learner benefits from accessing higher level qualifications which will depend on the amount of credits he or she has achieved.

  • Vocational qualifications will be required for specific posts to provide evidence of competence to comply to national occupational standards (NOS).

  • RQF's are generally more expensive and time consuming to setup.

  • To conclude, unregulated and regulated courses are both very useful for many different organisations. unregulated courses have the flexibility to offer something that is more bespoke whereas regulated courses (qualifications) follow a standardised framework that specifies the units to be delivered. learning objectives must be achieved in order to meet the learning outcomes of a qualification which is also subject to internal and external verification. The administration of regulated qualifications is usually more "in-depth" and more expensive. However, the rewards from any course delivered through NCT is a phenomenal, lifechanging experience.


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