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Changes to UK Qualifications and Certifications 2017

Qualification changes

Changes to UK Qualifications & Certifications 2017

With a new year comes new changes to qualifications and certifications in the UK. Here at FindCourses, we’ve put together an overview of the most significant updates and ongoing reforms you need to be aware of to stay up to date in your field.

UK Qualifications

Accrediting Bodies


Association for Project Management (APM)

What has changed?

The APM has updated the names of its qualifications and added a new one:

  • APM Project Fundamentals Qualification (PFQ) - (formerly: Introductory Certificate)
  • APM Project Management Qualification (PMQ) - (formerly: APMP)
  • APM Project Professional Qualification (PPQ) - (new qualification)

Who needs to know?

New and existing project management professionals looking to understand which exam they need to take to progress within their roles.

The qualifications are now progressive, beginning with the PFQ, developing management skills via the PMQ, and ending with project professional status through the PPQ.

Want more info?

Click here or search project management courses.

UK Qualifications


Project Management Professional (PPM) Exam

What has changed?

A new version of the PMP® Exam launched last year. Eight new tasks were added; the weighting of the exam changed; and emphasis has been added to content such as benefits realisation, the value of lessons learned, project charter and stakeholder relationships. 

Who needs to know?

Project management professionals who attended classes in preparation for the previous exam or own outdated study guides, who now need to familiarise themselves with the new exam content outline.

Want more info?

Click here or search project management courses.

UK Qualifications


Chartered Institute of Environmental Health (CIEH)

What has changed?

CIEH has decided to voluntarily surrender recognition as a regulated awarding organisation. It will withdraw its 38 regulated qualifications throughout the year, until the final surrender of recognition date of 28 July 2017.

It has also withdrawn its 18 non-regulated qualifications, which will end on 28 April 2017.

Who needs to know?

Centres/training providers, who should check the timeline for the operational end dates (OED) of all qualifications. After the OEDs, they will not be permitted to enrol learners on training programmes, or administer examinations or assessments.

Want more info?

Click here or search related courses:

UK Qualifications


RQF replaces QCF

What has changed?

The Regulated Qualifications Framework (RQF) replaced the Qualification and Credit Framework (QCF) in October 2015, but it won't come into full effect until the end of the 2017. The RQF sets the levels against which general and vocational qualifications can be recognised in England, as well as vocational qualifications in Northern Ireland.

Under the new framework qualification size must be expressed in terms of Total Qualification Time (TQT) - an estimate of how long it takes to study for the qualification. Requirements regarding use of credits and units no longer apply.

Who needs to know?

  • Awarding bodies, who must implement a measure of qualification size using TQT to all existing qualifications by no later than 31 December 2017.
  • Qualification and training providers, who must remove all references to 'QCF’ from qualification titles, marketing materials and websites by this date.

Want more info?

Find out more about the change or read our full guide to the RQF

UK Qualifications


Apprenticeship Standards

What has changed?

Apprenticeship frameworks are being replaced by employer-designed standards in England. Employer groups - known as 'trailblazers' - are developing the standards to clearly show what an apprentice will do and the skills required for each job role. As many new standards as possible will come into effect from 2017 to 2018.

Who needs to know?

  • Individuals looking for an apprenticeship
  • Employers looking for an apprentice
  • Training organisations working with employers to provide apprenticeships

Want more info?

Click here or look for apprenticeships.
UK Qualifications


GCSEs and AS/A Levels

What has changed?

A major reform to GCSEs and AS/A Level qualifications is in process.

  • GCSEs will have more demanding content (foundation-higher tier), a new grading system (1-9), be assessed mainly by exams, and taken over two years of study.
  • AS Level results will no longer count towards an A Level. Both AS Level and A Levels will be assessed largely by exams at the end of each course, and content for A Levels has been updated with input from universities.

Who needs to know?

  • Individuals looking to take GCSE or AS/A Level courses.
  • Institutions or training providers offering these courses.

Want more info?

Click here or search A Level courses.
UK Qualifications

About the Author

Emily Simpson has a Master's Degree in Writing from the University of Warwick and has worked in the science and technology and education industries for the UK market. She has developed specialist knowledge in the UK apprenticeship levy and has worked to educate and inform companies on emerging corporate learning opportunities.

Emily Simpson

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Last updated: 05 Aug 2019

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