Vocational qualifications refer to work-related qualifications that staff can complete while they are employed in a particular job.

The qualifications framework has undergone significant changes in recent years and National Vocational Qualifications (NVQs) are progressively being extended by a system of awards, certificates and diplomas. The changes reflect a general restructuring of vocational qualifications brought about by the development of the Qualifications and Credit Framework, or QCF. This was introduced by the Government from September 2010 to restructure existing qualifications, including NVQs. The Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation (Ofqual) is now responsible for vocational qualifications in England and Northern Ireland. In Scotland, many employees complete Scottish Vocational Qualifications, or SVQs, which are regulated by the Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA), a body also accredited by Ofqual. Vocational qualifications in Wales are regulated by Qualifications Wales, which is a Welsh Government sponsored body.

This topic describes the vocational qualifications that are available for general practice settings, what the benefits are and how they are completed.

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