Who we are

We are a world-leading education charity and awarding body, recognised by the British Department for Education and regulated by Ofqual.

Our mission is to design and deliver qualifications which mobilise generations of students so they can develop into confident, independent thinkers. We are committed to UNESCO’s sustainable development goals for education. We aim to build citizenship through lifelong skills development, inclusivity, human dignity and gender equality.

NCFE was established in 1848 to provide training and skills for British workers during the Industrial Revolution. CACHE was formed in 1945 to provide skills and training in childcare and education services after World War II. It is the UK’s leading provider and policy influencer for childcare, healthcare, social care and teacher training qualifications and became part of NCFE in 2015.

Today our qualifications are changing the lives of hundreds of thousands of students event year. The qualifications cover all education sectors and are recognized by leading private and public sector employers such as the NHS, Rolls Royce and EY. We are proud to work in partnership with charitable organisations such as Save The Children, and with government and non-government organsations like the DIT, DfE, and international qualifications regulators.

Our qualifications are designed to develop both knowledge and skills and are fully mapped to competencies and skills for employment. Our assessments go beyond theoretical knowledge of the subject and ensure that learners have the skills needed to excel in their careers.

With more than 170 years of experience in education, employability, skills innovation and workforce planning, our qualifications range from school-based to highly skilled professionals, with a clear focus to develop skills for global prosperity and equality.  We have over 1,000 Ofqual-regulated qualifications and bespoke programmes. We are very proud that almost million learners graduate from our programmes each year. That’s one million people who, through their education, now have the opportunity to make informed choices about their future prosperity.

We have more than 600 dedicated staff working to develop and deliver innovative programmes and education services. Our partners can choose from our pick and mix style catalogues to create bespoke CPD programmes as well as school, further education and training provider programmes.

Our Level 3 qualifications hold UCAS Points for progression on to British universities and many of our Level 4 and Level 5 qualifications are recognised for entry and credit exemption at British universities.

We welcome new centres and has a simple but robust accreditation process, visit our Work with us page for further details. 

Ofqual – an overview

NCFE is an awarding body which is approved and regulated by Ofqual - England’s statutory regulator for qualifications.  Our recognition enables us to approve colleges and training centres to deliver our qualifications and in turn learners can choose those centres with confidence. It means they have high teaching quality and robust processes to treat their learners professionally and fairly. Being regulated by Ofqual is testament of our enduring commitment to deliver our best to learners and centres. In turn they receive the highest quality training materials, and we expect them to deliver the highest quality education.

Regulated qualifications follow strict rules as to their content and delivery. Above all qualifications must be relevant and fit for purpose. Materials must be kept up to date in line with best practice, and organisations which manage learners must do so within the guidance laid out by the regulations.

Regulated qualifications are named according to the size of the qualification, or how long it will take for a learner to qualify. The size of qualifications is determined in terms of the total qualification time (TQT) – this is made up of Guided Learning Hours (GLH) or teaching time, and self-study. The amount of hours it takes to complete the course determines whether learners achieve an award, a certificate or a diploma.


The hours are as follows

120 hours or less – Award

121 – 369 hours – Certificate

370+ hours – Diploma.


Qualification levels relate to the level of difficulty, with level 7 being the highest, at postgraduate level.

The Register of Regulated Qualifications Framework can be found here

Who we work with

We work with a whole range of partners including government education departments internationally, charities and NGOs such as The World Bank and Save The Children, Corporates such as Rolls Royce and with agencies such as the NHS.

Our experience enables us to develop both regulated qualification programmes and bespoke accreditations.

We help aid agencies and governments develop qualifications and curricula to meet the needs of developing countries, as well as supply bespoke education services for our broad range of clients in the public and private sectors across the workd.

Above all we support the development of sustainable education goals across the world. We are committed to ensuring our qualifications are fit for purpose and build the skills and knowledge needed for a rapidly changing world.

Get in touch

Get in touch with out International Team on [email protected] or call us on +44 191 239 8000.