David Grailey is the chief executive of NCFE, the qualification awarding body

In the current economic climate we need an innovative approach to vocational learning. NCFE aims to help colleges and sixth forms to cope with the inevitable pressure on their funding streams and teaching resources whilst allowing them to remain engaged with the learner.

Focusing on the delivery of progressive short and medium length qualifications not only helps to engage and retain students but also allows colleges to optimise their funding in a period of tight spending.

NCFE has developed a large range of courses in popular sectors that offer the flexibility to help colleges make effective use of the resources they have available. Their versatile nature means they can be delivered in a variety of settings, making them suitable for full or part-time students as well as work-based learning.

As part of our on-going commitment to service, we’re also very pleased to make available an easy-to-use Advanced Qualification Finder online, that filters results by Guided Learning Hours, price, sector, keyword and credit value so as to identify the exact qualification that meets your needs. Feedback from customers confirms the finder saves a great deal of time and gives all the information required to make the right decision.

The finder is very appropriate as, at NCFE, we have hundreds of qualifications that fall into both the Single Adult Skills Budget and 16-18 Learner Responsive funding streams.

NCFE offers a large number of fundable short qualifications with Guided Learning Hours from 9-130 hours which are versatile enough to make up a full programme of study, to use as part of an induction programme or to add value to tutorial/enrichment activities. Over 300 NCFE qualifications are approved for 16-18 funding under Section 96. These range from the ever popular Level 1 Award in Learning to Learn, to Level 1 Awareness courses such as Alcohol Awareness and Substance Misuse.

Through these short qualifications, we can offer support to colleges in their curriculum planning, showing how courses can be incorporated into their inductions and even summer schools in order to maximise efficiency and choice.

Meanwhile, over 200 NCFE qualifications are confirmed for public funding as part of the Single Adult Skills Budget (2011/12). These qualifications are available on the Qualifications and Credit Framework (QCF) in a wide range of subject areas and are ideal to use for employer engagement and to support workplace agendas. Examples include Enterprise, Equality and Diversity, Effective Thinking Skills, Personal Progress and Employability

NCFE also has a number of fundable units and award sized qualifications, available for individual registration and certification. This offer is part of the new flexibilities under the Single Adult Skills Budget to support the unemployed.

This is not simply a list of courses, it’s about helping colleges across the UK to adapt their curriculum in a challenging and rapidly evolving environment.

By accrediting all aspects of a course, such as Job Search and Employability Skills, you can show the Government that you are engaging learners, while supporting the message that vocational courses need to be tangible and meaningful.

David Grailey is the chief executive of NCFE, the qualification awarding body

Read other FE News articles by David Grailey:


Apprenticeships: Company-wide insight into the challenges faced by colleges and private training providers

Association of Colleges Conference highlights growing Importance of employability outcomes

New solutions for getting young people into work

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