V Certs

V Certs is our name for the new generation of NCFE qualifications for schools. We developed these new qualifications following government changes to GCSE-equivalent qualifications which came into effect at the end of the 2012-13 academic year.

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From September 2013, most vocational qualifications ceased to hold GCSE equivalency so will no longer count towards your school’s performance tables.

This is a result of changes carried out by the Department for Education and falls in line with Professor Wolf's key recommendations for 14-19 education.

NCFE V Cert qualifications have been developed in-line with the new Department for Education measures as to what meets GCSE equivalency. V Cert qualifications are graded and contain both internally and externally assessed elements. Each V Cert qualification is equivalent to one GCSE.

Call us on 0191 240 8822 or visit our other V Cert pages for more information.

Why Choose V Certs?

Our V Cert qualifications have been developed specifically for pupils aged 14-16. There are a whole host of benefits to offering these Level 1 and Level 2 vocational qualifications.

Rigour and Application

  • V Certs meet all Ofqual and DfE requirements for rigour and balanced assessment
  • equivalent to one GCSE in school performance tables
  • between 120 – 150* Guided Learning Hours (GLH) so fit neatly into GCSE timetables
  • assessments are supported by a network of external moderators and examiners.

*All current V Certs are 120 GLH except NCFE Level 2 Certificate in Creative Studies: Art and Design which is 150 GLH.


  • V Certs can be delivered across different year groups and as a one or 2 year qualification
  • you can use these as a way to deliver out of hours additionality
  • project and theme-based learning and assessment which gives you flexibility for teaching and learning options
  • exemplar internal assessments for the internal units can be customised by you.

*We recommend a 2 year delivery model to give your pupils the best opportunity to succeed.

Internal and External Assessment

  • assessment methods encourage engagement with professionals from the relevant sector
  • grading descriptors are written in a learner friendly manner
  • assessment themes can be customised to suit the talents and needs of learner
  • sample internal assessments for the internal units can be customised by you.

Learner Engagement 

We’ve worked with schools over many years and found that vocational qualifications within this sector can improve pupil engagement which in turn contributes to improved school data. V Certs can:

  • aid individual pupil engagement and achievement
  • provide pupils with the option to specialise within the broader creative sector
  • create hands-on practical learning opportunities
  • give pupils a chance to explore and gain recognition for their practical skills
  • build student confidence
  • provide access to specific career paths within a variety of creative sectors 
  • provide pupils with access to specific career paths
  • open broad progression opportunities into Level 3 programmes and Apprenticeships.


  • we’ve a range of FREE sample materials and support resources including Qualification Specifications and Sample Portfolio/Assessments
  • our exclusive Career Cards, which can show learners the career options our V Certs present to them
  • the nature of the V Cert qualifications means you may be able to utilise existing GCSE resources for these new qualifications too.


  • we’ll provide you with your own dedicated Customer Support Assistant
  • we won’t keep you waiting – we aim to answer your phone call within 2 rings
  • fast certification – 1 day turnaround
  • no jargon in our documents – just plain English
  • dedicated V Cert website area - gives you access to our FAQs and free online resources
  • support from our experts – knowledgeable V Cert examiners and external moderators
  • we’re always clear and simple about costs - no hidden extras.

How can NCFE support your wider curriculum planning?

Beyond V Certs we can also support you in a number of ways:

  • each V Cert has a Level 1 equivalent qualification meaning you also have the option to offer a pathway on to V Cert qualifications from Year 9. What’s more, the Level 1 qualifications also carry points on the performance tables
  • from Nutrition and Health to Equality and Diversity, we also have a great range of other Level 1 and 2 vocational qualifications. Schools have been successfully delivering these qualifications with NCFE for several years. They can help to enrich your existing curriculum and with pupil engagement.
  • what’s more, don’t forget that the NCFE V Certs and many of our other vocational qualifications are also approved under section 96.

 If you’d like to speak to a member of the team about any of these qualifications then please give us a call on 0191 240 8822 or email [email protected].

View our V Cert video resources