Band Framework

The structure, purpose and outcomes of international qualifications vary widely. No direct equivalence between awards is possible; UK NARIC instead focuses on comparisons.

Once UK NARIC reaches a recognition decision about the comparable UK level of an international qualification, we then identify the closest UK counterpart qualification(s).

Both comparable levels and comparable qualifications are referenced in our Statements of Comparability.

The UK NARIC Band Framework © is a hierarchical set of outcomes, with 16 Bands, designed to provide maximum differentiation and detail in comparing qualifications.

The Bands reference existing qualifications in the UK and also the established qualification frameworks. This is shown in the table below.

The Band Framework therefore acts as a translation mechanism for international qualifications – illustrating comparable level, and the types of UK qualification to which the international award best compares.

Academic
UK Framework Levels RQF Entry Levels 1-2 / SCQF Levels 1-2 / CQFW Entry Levels 1-2
Comparable UK Qualification(s) RQF/CQFW Entry level 1-2 Certificates / Functional Skills Awards / SQA National 1-2 Courses / SQA Awards at SCQF level 1-2
Vocational
UK Framework Levels RQF Entry Levels 1-2 / SCQF Levels 1-2 / CQFW Entry Levels 1-2
Comparable UK Qualification(s) RQF/CQFW Entry Level 1-2 Award/Certificate/Diploma / SQA National Certificate at SCQF level 2 / SQA National Progression Award at SCQF level 2
Occupational
UK Framework Levels RQF Entry Levels 1-3 / SCQF Levels 1-3 / CQFW Entry Levels 1-3
Comparable UK Qualification(s) RQF/CQFW Entry Level 1-3 Award/Certificate/Diploma / SQA National Certificate at SCQF level 1-3 / SQA National Progression Award at SCQF level 1-3
Framework
UK Framework Levels RQF Entry Levels 1-3 / SCQF Levels 1-3 / CQFW Entry Levels 1-3
Comparable UK Qualification(s) No direct comparison

[For qualifications lower in standard, ‘No Comparability’ statement applies.]

Academic
UK Framework Levels RQF Entry Level 3 / SCQF Level 3 / CQFW Entry Level 3
Comparable UK Qualification(s) RQF/CQFW Entry level 3 Certificates / Functional Skills Awards / SQA National 3 Courses / SQA Awards at SCQF level 3
Academic
UK Framework Levels RQF Entry Levels 1-3 / SCQF Levels 1-3 / CQFW Entry Levels 1-3
Comparable UK Qualification(s) Below GCSE
Vocational
UK Framework Levels RQF Entry Level 3 / SCQF Level 3 / CQFW Entry Level 3
Comparable UK Qualification(s) RQF/CQFW Entry Level 3 Award/Certificate/Diploma / SQA National Certificate at SCQF level 3 / SQA National Progression Award at SCQF level 3
Academic
UK Framework Levels RQF Level 1 / SCQF Level 4 / CQFW Level 1
Comparable UK Qualification(s) GCSE (grades D-G / 3-1) / Scottish National 4 / Foundation Welsh Baccalaureate
Further Consideration(s) English and Maths are graded on a 9 (highest) to 1 scale, with 3-1 representing an equivalent level of performance to the grades D-G.
Vocational
UK Framework Levels RQF Level 1 / SCQF Level 4 / CQFW Level 1
Comparable UK Qualification(s) BTEC Level 1 Certificate / Diploma / Scottish National 4
Occupational
UK Framework Levels RQF Level 1 / SCQF Level 4 / CQFW Level 1
Comparable UK Qualification(s) Level 1 NVQ / SVQ Level 1
Framework
UK Framework Levels RQF Level 1 / SCQF Level 4 / CQFW Level 1
Comparable UK Qualification(s) No direct comparison
Academic
UK Framework Levels RQF Level 2 / SCQF Level 5 / CQFW Level 2
Comparable UK Qualification(s) GCSE (grades A*-C / 9-4) / Scottish National 5 (grades A-C) [1] / Intermediate Welsh Baccalaureate
Further Consideration(s) Depending upon the pass mark and whether English is studied as a first language, individual subjects may be considered directly comparable to their UK counterparts. English and Maths are graded on a 9 (highest) to 1 scale, with 9-4 representing an equivalent level of performance to the grades A*-C.
Vocational
UK Framework Levels RQF Level 2 / SCQF Level 5 / CQFW Level 2
Comparable UK Qualification(s) BTEC Firsts / SQA National Certificate at SCQF Level 5 / SQA National Progression Award at SCQF Level 5
Occupational
UK Framework Levels RQF Level 2 / SCQF Level 5 / CQFW Level 2
Comparable UK Qualification(s) Level 2 NVQ / SVQ Level 2
Framework
UK Framework Levels RQF Level 2 / SCQF Level 5 / CQFW Level 2
Comparable UK Qualification(s) No direct comparison
Footnotes

[1] A Scottish National 5 grade D is also considered a SCQF Level 5 qualification.

Academic
UK Framework Levels Between RQF Level 2 / SCQF Level 5 / CQFW Level 2 and RQF Level 3 / SCQF Level 6 / CQFW Level 3
Comparable UK Qualification(s) Between GCSE and GCE AS level
Vocational
UK Framework Levels Between RQF Level 2 / SCQF Level 5 / CQFW Level 2 and RQF Level 3 / SCQF Level 6 / CQFW Level 3
Comparable UK Qualification(s) Between BTEC First and BTEC National qualifications / SQA National Certificate at SCQF Levels 5 and 6 / SQA National Progression Award at SCQF Levels 5 and 6
Occupational
UK Framework Levels Between RQF Level 2 / SCQF Level 5 / CQFW Level 2 and RQF Level 3 / SCQF Level 6 / CQFW Level 3
Comparable UK Qualification(s) Between Levels 2 and 3 NVQ / Between SVQ Levels 2 and 3
Academic
UK Framework Levels RQF Level 3 / SCQF Level 6 / CQFW Level 3
Comparable UK Qualification(s) GCE Advanced Subsidiary (AS) level / Scottish Higher
Vocational
UK Framework Levels RQF Level 3 / SCQF Level 6 / CQFW Level 3
Comparable UK Qualification(s) BTEC National Certificate / Extended Certificate / Foundation Diploma / Scottish Higher / SQA National Certificate at SCQF Level 6 / SQA National Progression Award at SCQF Level 6
Occupational
UK Framework Levels RQF Level 3 / SCQF Level 6 / CQFW Level 3
Comparable UK Qualification(s) RQF/CQFW Level 3 Awards/Certificates / SQA Professional Development Award at SCQF Level 6 / SQA Awards at SCQF Level 6
Academic
UK Framework Levels RQF Level 3 / SCQF Level 6-7 / CQFW Level 3
Comparable UK Qualification(s) Overall standard of GCE Advanced (A) level / Scottish Advanced Higher / Scottish Baccalaureate / Advanced Welsh Baccalaureate
Further Consideration(s) Due to the scope of subject coverage, it may not be possible to compare individual subjects to their UK counterparts. In this scenario, passed subjects can be considered at least comparable to GCSE (grades A*-C) / Scottish National 5 (grades A-C).
Vocational
UK Framework Levels RQF Level 3 / SCQF Level 6-7 / CQFW Level 3
Comparable UK Qualification(s) BTEC National Diploma / Extended Diploma
Occupational
UK Framework Levels RQF Level 3 / SCQF Level 6-7 / CQFW Level 3
Comparable UK Qualification(s) Level 3 NVQ / SVQ Level 3 / SQA Professional Development Award at SCQF Levels 6 and 7
Framework
UK Framework Levels RQF Level 3 / SCQF Level 6-7 / CQFW Level 3
Comparable UK Qualification(s) No direct comparison
Academic
UK Framework Levels RQF Level 4 / SCQF Level 7 / CQFW Level 4
Comparable UK Qualification(s) Certificate of Higher Education (CertHE)
Vocational
UK Framework Levels RQF Level 4 / SCQF Level 7 / CQFW Level 4
Comparable UK Qualification(s) BTEC Level 4 / SQA Higher National Certificate (HNC) (SCQF Level 7)
Occupational
UK Framework Levels RQF Level 4 / SCQF Level 7 / CQFW Level 4
Comparable UK Qualification(s) Level 4 NVQ / SQA Professional Development Award at SCQF Level 7
Framework
UK Framework Levels RQF Level 4 / SCQF Level 7 / CQFW Level 4
Comparable UK Qualification(s) No direct comparison
Academic
UK Framework Levels RQF Level 5 / SCQF Level 8 / CQFW Level 5
Comparable UK Qualification(s) Diploma of Higher Education (DipHE)
Vocational
UK Framework Levels RQF Level 5 / SCQF Level 8 / CQFW Level 5
Comparable UK Qualification(s) Foundation degree / BTEC Level 5 / SQA Higher National Diploma (HND) (SCQF level 8)
Occupational
UK Framework Levels RQF Level 5 / SCQF Level 8 / CQFW Level 5
Comparable UK Qualification(s) Level 5 NVQ / SVQ Level 4 / SQA Professional Development Award at SCQF level 8
Framework
UK Framework Levels RQF Level 5 / SCQF Level 8 / CQFW Level 5
Comparable UK Qualification(s) No direct comparison
Academic
UK Framework Levels RQF Level 6 / SCQF Level 9 / CQFW Level 6
Comparable UK Qualification(s) Bachelor (Ordinary) degree [2]
Vocational
UK Framework Levels RQF Level 6 / SCQF Level 9 / CQFW Level 6
Comparable UK Qualification(s) RQF/CQFW Level 6 Diploma / SQA Professional Development Award at SCQF Level 9
Occupational
UK Framework Levels RQF Level 6 / SCQF Level 9 / CQFW Level 6
Comparable UK Qualification(s) Level 6 NVQ / SVQ Level 4 / SQA Professional Development Award at SCQF Level 9
Framework
UK Framework Levels RQF Level 6 / SCQF Level 9 / CQFW Level 6
Comparable UK Qualification(s) No direct comparison
Footnotes

[2] This level also encompasses the Scottish Master's (Ordinary) degrees as awarded at Scottish Ancient Universities.

Academic
UK Framework Levels RQF Level 6 / SCQF Level 10 / CQFW Level 6
Comparable UK Qualification(s) Bachelor (Honours) degree [3]
Academic
UK Framework Levels RQF Level 6 / SCQF Level 10 / CQFW Level 6
Comparable UK Qualification(s) Bachelor degree
Academic
UK Framework Levels RQF Level 6 / SCQF Level 10 / CQFW Level 6
Comparable UK Qualification(s) Graduate Certificate / Graduate Diploma
Vocational
UK Framework Levels RQF Level 6 / SCQF Level 10 / CQFW Level 6
Comparable UK Qualification(s) RQF/CQFW Level 6 Diploma / SQA Professional Development Award at SCQF Level 10
Occupational
UK Framework Levels RQF Level 6 / SCQF Level 10 / CQFW Level 6
Comparable UK Qualification(s) Level 6 NVQ / SQA Professional Development Awards at SCQF Level 10
Framework
UK Framework Levels RQF Level 6 / SCQF Level 10 / CQFW Level 6
Comparable UK Qualification(s) No direct comparison
Footnotes

[3] This level also encompasses the Scottish Master's (Honours) degree standard as awarded at Scottish Ancient universities and the Master of Arts (Honours) awarded by Oxford and Cambridge Universities.

Academic
UK Framework Levels RQF Level 7 / SCQF Level 11 / CQFW Level 7
Comparable UK Qualification(s) Postgraduate Certificate
Academic
UK Framework Levels RQF Level 7 / SCQF Level 11 / CQFW Level 7
Comparable UK Qualification(s) Postgraduate Diploma
Vocational
UK Framework Levels RQF Level 7 / SCQF Level 11 / CQFW Level 7
Comparable UK Qualification(s) RQF/CQFW Level 7 Diploma / SQA Professional Development Award at SCQF Level 11
Occupational
UK Framework Levels RQF Level 7 / SCQF Level 11 / CQFW Level 7
Comparable UK Qualification(s) Level 7 NVQ / SVQ Level 5
Academic
UK Framework Levels RQF Level 7 / SCQF Level 11 / CQFW Level 7
Comparable UK Qualification(s) Master's degree
Academic
UK Framework Levels RQF Level 7 / SCQF Level 11 / CQFW Level 7
Comparable UK Qualification(s) Integrated Master's degree (e.g. MEng, MChem, MPhys, MPharm, MArch)
Academic
UK Framework Levels RQF Level 7 / SCQF Level 11 / CQFW Level 7
Comparable UK Qualification(s) Primary (or first) qualifications in medicine, (e.g. BM BS), dentistry (e.g. BDS) and veterinary science (e.g. BVSc)
Vocational
UK Framework Levels RQF Level 7 / SCQF Level 11 / CQFW Level 7
Comparable UK Qualification(s)
Occupational
UK Framework Levels RQF Level 7 / SCQF Level 11 / CQFW Level 7
Comparable UK Qualification(s)
Framework
UK Framework Levels RQF Level 7 / SCQF Level 11 / CQFW Level 7
Comparable UK Qualification(s) No direct comparison
Academic
UK Framework Levels RQF Level 7 / SCQF Level 11 / CQFW Level 7
Comparable UK Qualification(s) Master of Philosophy degree (MPhil) / Master of Research (MRes)
Vocational
UK Framework Levels RQF Level 7 / SCQF Level 11 / CQFW Level 7
Comparable UK Qualification(s)
Occupational
UK Framework Levels RQF Level 7 / SCQF Level 11 / CQFW Level 7
Comparable UK Qualification(s)
Academic
UK Framework Levels RQF Level 8 / SCQF Level 12 / CQFW Level 8
Comparable UK Qualification(s) Doctor of Philosophy degree (PhD)
Vocational
UK Framework Levels RQF Level 8 / SCQF Level 12 / CQFW Level 8
Comparable UK Qualification(s) Professional Doctorate (e.g. EdD, DClinPsy, DBA)
Occupational
UK Framework Levels RQF Level 8 / SCQF Level 12 / CQFW Level 8
Comparable UK Qualification(s) RQF/CQFW Level 8 Diploma / SQA Professional Development Award at SCQF level 12
Framework
UK Framework Levels RQF Level 8 / SCQF Level 12 / CQFW Level 8
Comparable UK Qualification(s) No direct comparison
Academic
UK Framework Levels N/A
Comparable UK Qualification(s) Post Doctoral award (e.g. DD, LLD, LittD, MedScD, SD)


No Comparability
UK Framework Levels N/A
Comparable UK Qualification(s) No Comparability




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