Types of Training in Hertfordshire

Guide to Qualification Difficulty Levels

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Entry

  • Entry level certificate
  • Entry level Skills for Life
  • Entry level award, certificate and diploma
  • Entry level Functional Skills Entry level Foundation Learning
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Level 1

  • GCSE (grades D-G)
  • Key Skills level 1
  • NVQ level 1
  • Skills for Life level 1
  • Foundation diploma
  • BTEC award, certificate and diploma level 1
  • Foundation Learning level 1
  • Functional Skills level 1 Cambridge National level 1
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Level 2

Equivalent to intermediate apprenticeships

  • GCSE (grades A*-C)
  • Key Skills level 2
  • NVQ level 2
  • Skills for Life level 2
  • Higher diploma
  • BTEC award, certificate and diploma level 2
  • Functional Skills level 2
  • Cambridge National level 2 Cambridge Technical level 2
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Level 3

Equivalent to advanced apprenticeship

  • AS and A level
  • Advanced Extension Award
  • Cambridge International award
  • International Baccalaureate
  • Key Skills level 3
  • NVQ level 3
  • Advanced diploma
  • Progression diploma
  • BTEC award, certificate and diploma level 3
  • BTEC National Cambridge Technical level 3
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Level 4

  • Certificate of higher education Key Skills level 4
  • NVQ level 4
  • BTEC Professional award, certificate and diploma level 4 HNC
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Level 5

  • HND
  • NVQ level 4
  • Higher diploma
  • BTEC Professional award, certificate and diploma level 5
  • HNC
  • Diploma of higher education
  • Diploma of further education Foundation degree
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Level 6

  • NVQ level 4
  • BTEC Advanced Professional award, certificate and diploma level 6
  • Bachelor’s degree
  • Graduate certificate Graduate diploma
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Level 7

  • BTEC Advanced Professional award, certificate and diploma level 7
  • Fellowship and fellowship diploma
  • Postgraduate certificate
  • Postgraduate diploma
  • NVQ level 5
  • BTEC Advanced Professional award, certificate and diploma level 7
  • Master’s degree
  • Postgraduate certificate Postgraduate diploma
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Level 8

  • NVQs level 5
  • Vocational qualifications level 8 
  • Doctorate

There’s no simple comparison for NVQ levels 4 and 5. Contact the National Careers Service if you need advice.