Key Stage 4 & V Certs

V Certs are technical alternative qualifications to GCSEs at Key Stage 4 holding Department for Education (DfE) performance points and recognised in the Progress 8 Measure.

V Certs are the ideal fit for your curriculum and schools and learners will benefit from a range of subject areas to choose from. They have been designed to fit seamlessly in to timetables alongside core subjects.

V Certs are appropriate for learners aged 14-16 who are motivated and challenged by learning through hands-on experiences and through content which is concrete and directly related to those experiences. They offer equivalent levels of rigour and challenge to a GCSE with clear progression routes and career pathways.



We’ve a range of FREE V Cert resources which will help support both you and your Learners.

You can locate the resources available for each qualification by visiting the qualification page on QualHub
Support material and resources include:

  • Factsheets 
  • Evidence and grading tracker 
  • External assessment practice papers
  • Example portfolios
  • Internal assessment sample tasks
  • Chief examiner reports
  • Webinars and events
  • Video resources and tutorials

V Cert 1 Year Delivery

We understand that some schools and training providers may wish to deliver V Cert qualifications in 1 year.

We’ve provided some pointers to ensure that that you’re fully aware of the important steps that you must consider/be aware of:

  • As the qualifications are designed around 2 year delivery, it’s important to set up a scheme of work to ensure you can fit in the required Guided Learning Hours so that learners are not disadvantaged.
  • The qualifications are skills based, therefore learners need time to hone these skills and have time to practise to develop.
  • Learners will only have access to 2 assessment opportunities in this year. This includes learners first assessment attempt and one resit attempt.
  • The assessment window timescales can be found on the this website under Support Hub - it’s important to make sure that you’re familiar with this and have enough time to deliver the content of the externally assessed unit before learners attempt the examination.

If you are comfortable that this model is suitable for your learners then:

  • It is vital to register with NCFE as soon as possible to ensure you have access to support from your dedicated Customer Support Advisor.
  • Once you register you’ll get access to subject support from your External Quality Assurer.
  • Get an early quality assurance visit booked in as soon as possible so that we can support you with your internal grading decisions.


If you require any further information or support on any of the points, then please contact the schools team at NCFE on 0191 2408822.


On our dedicated website QualHub, you’ll find:

  • qualifications details
  • learning resources
  • approval forms
  • delivery support
  • much more.
Visit QualHub

Get in touch with our dedicated support team about delivering V Certs in your school.

Call: 0191 240 8833

Email: [email protected]

Grading Structure

This diagram explains how the NCFE grading structure compares to the new 1 - 9 grading model.


DfE Performance Tables Quick Guide

This guide has been created to support schools and centres with information on which qualifications have been approved by the Department for Education (DfE) and count towards Key Stage 4 and Key Stage 5 performance tables


V Cert Qualifications External Assessment Windows

This document provides the external assessment windows for our V Cert qualifications.


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Find our qualifications, learning resources and delivery support on our dedicated website QualHub
Visit QualHub

NCFE Events

We have a range of Events designed to guide you through your V Cert Delivery, head to QualHub to find out more.
Events for Schools