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Arts Award

Arts award logo

The Arts Award is an accredited course set out by the QCA (QCA maintains and develops the national curriculum and associated assessments, tests and examinations; and accredits and monitors qualifications in colleges and at work.) and uses the NQF (National Qualifications Framework) to sets out levels at which qualifications can be recognised. The NQF helps learners to make informed decisions about the qualifications they need. They can compare the levels of different qualifications and identify clear progression routes for their chosen career

What are the NQF levels?

An individual level in the NQF highlights the learning and achievement needed to gain a particular qualification recognised at that level.

Who are the regulatory authorities?

The regulatory authorities are government-designated organisations required to establish national standards for qualifications and whose task it is to make sure that those standards are complied to. The regulatory authorities for qualifications in England, Wales and Northern Ireland are respectively QCA, ACCAC and CCEA.

What is an accredited qualification?

If a qualification is accredited this means that the qualification conforms to the criteria set out by the regulatory authorities.



Level 1 qualifications recognise basic knowledge and skills and the ability to apply learning with guidance or supervision. Learning at this level is about activities that mostly relate to everyday situations and may be linked to job competence.

  • NVQ 1;
  • Certificate in Plastering;
  • GCSEs Grades D–G;
  • Certificate in Motor Vehicle Studies


Level 2 qualifications recognise the ability to gain a good knowledge and understanding of a subject area of work or study, and to perform varied tasks with some guidance or supervision. Learning at this level involves building knowledge and/or skills in relation to an area of work or a subject area and is appropriate for many job roles.

  • NVQ 2;
  • GCSEs Grades A*- C;
  • Certificate in Coaching Football;
  • Diploma for Beauty Specialists


Level 3qualifications recognise the ability to gain, and where relevant apply a range of knowledge, skills and understanding. Learning at this level involves obtaining detailed knowledge and skills. It is appropriate for people wishing to go to university, people working independently, or in some areas supervising and training others in their field of work.

  • NVQ 3
  • A levels
  • Advanced extension awards