Higher Technical Qualifications | NCFE

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Higher Technical Qualifications

Facilitating the journey of lifelong learning

Sitting at Levels 4 and 5, Higher Technical Qualifications (HTQs) are quality marked by IfATE to signify their congruence with occupational standards. They offer clear, direct progression from T Levels, and tangible routes onto Level 6 or into the workforce. Their position in coherent learning pathways is pivotal to addressing the national gap in higher technical skills. 

Prestigious qualifications of the highest quality

NCFE is committed to ensuring that our HTQs remain the gold standard in this space. Without exception, our qualifications map to 100% of the knowledge, skills and behaviours of the occupational standards with which they are aligned. We've already had three qualifications approved as HTQs and we will be looking to create more over the coming years.

New qualifications launching September 2024 

HTQs will be funded through the Lifelong loan entitlement (LLE), which comes into force in the academic year 2025/26. Until that point there will be a mixture of Higher Education Student Finance (HESF) and Advanced Learner Loans (ALL), depending on whether your centre is registered with the Office for Students (OfS). The current guidelines are:

  • ALL and HESF funding may not be mixed for an individual HTQ course within a single provider.
  • Providers registered with the OfS and also have a contract with the ESFA to deliver ALLs-funded provision, must determine which funding route will apply to their HTQ course.
  • Providers registered with OfS but do not have an ALLs contract, can only offer the HTQ through the HESF funding route.
  • Providers not registered with OfS but have an ALL contract, can only offer the HTQ through the ALL route. A provider may subsequently seek OfS registration, which would enable their students to access HESF for certain courses.

This update has cleared up the confusion around funding stream relating solely to length of course. You can read the full guidance here.

An introduction to NCFE Higher Technical Qualifications with David Rowley, HTQ product manager
Working together to meet local skills needs

We believe in the power of learning to change lives. Your centre sits in a unique local economy, and we want to help you build progression pathways that will address the specific skills needs of your region. Collaborate with us, and together we can comprehensively address the demands of the future workforce and change the face of higher technical education in the UK.

Collaborate with us

My experience of working with NCFE on qualification development has been very positive. It was great to see that we had the right people in the room to contribute to the development – it was useful to hear everyone’s thoughts on how they would benefit from the new qualifications.

Sonya Mullen, Learning and Development Business Partner at Home Group

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