FAQs relating to Ofqual/CEA and the UCAS tariff

1.What is the Regulation and Qualifications Framework (RQF)?

The  Regulation and Qualifications Framework is used by the regulators and the Government to show the relationship between different sorts of qualifications.

The basis of the Regulation and Qualifications Framework is individual units, which are all written against a standard template showing learning outcomes (what a learner should know, understand or be able to do) and assessment criteria (how they demonstrate that knowledge, understanding or practice).

These units are then grouped together to form qualifications.

2. What is credit? These are quite separate from UCAS points but are often confused.

The qualifications and Credit Framework works around a currency of “credit” which is based on 1 credit for every 10 hours of learning (both taught and private study).  Units in the QCF all have a credit value which indicates the amount of learning needing to be undertaken to achieve the unit.

3. What are Guided Learning Hours?

Guided Learning Hours are sometimes called “taught time” in that they are the number of hours of contact time between a teacher/tutor and the learner.  Guided Learning House are a useful indicator of how much time is needed to teach a learner the content of a unit so that providers can put together appropriate timetables and timescales for the delivery of qualifications.  Guided Learning House are usually added to any private study time to work out the credit value of a unit.

4. UCAS Tariff Points

Tariff points for entry to Higher Education courses are determined by UCAS who look at the level of demand (difficulty) and the size of qualifications at level 3 in the Qualifications and Credit Framework and decide the points value.

Dance examinations that are at level 3 (and thus are deemed equal to A level in broad level of demand) qualify for points that may be accepted by universities and colleges.  Grades 6/7/8 and Intermediate are the accepted qualifications.  The tariff points currently available are listed below.  Acceptance of the tariff points varies between higher education institutions.

NATD Examinations in Ballet/Classic (Russian) Ballet/Contemporary/Freestyle/Gymnastic Dance/Modern Stage/Musical Theatre/National Tap/Stage Branch Tap Graded Syllabus from April 1st 2015 may be referred to in a UCAS application.

Graded Dance Qualifications:

Official title: Certificate in Graded Examination in (Theatre) Dance


Grade                                  Tariff Points
Grade 8 Grade 7 Grade 6
Distinction 20 16 12
Merit 18 14 10
Pass 16 12 8

Grade bands:   8-10 (Grade 8), 6 – 8 (Grade 7), 4 – 6 (Grade 6)



Grade                                  Tariff Points
Distinction 24
Merit 16
Pass 8

Grade bands:   3 – 11 (Intermediate)


 Why are there no UCAS Tariff Points for Intermediate Foundation and Advanced 1 and 2?

UCAS points are only applicable to Level 3 qualifications (broadly A Level standard) which are grades 6-8 and Intermediate. You can see this more clearly below:

Grade 1-3 = GCSE’s graded D-G, NVQ’s at Level 1.

Grade 4-5 and Intermediate Foundation =  GCSE’s graded A*-C, NVQ’s at Level 2.

Grade 6-8 = AS/A levels, NVQ’s at Level 3 – UCAS tariff points awarded.

Intermediate  = AS/A Levels, NVQ’s at Level 3 – UCAS tariff points awarded.

Advanced 1 and 2 = First year of degree, Level 4.

5. Credits

Credits will appear on NATD certificates.

This applies to ALL Theatrical Branches, Musical Theatre and Freestyle – Grades 1 to 8, Intermediate Foundation, Intermediate, Adv 1 and Adv 2 as below.

Grades 1/2/3  –           7 credits

Grades 4/5     –           10 credits

Grades 6/7/8  –           13 credits

Int. Foundation –         28 credits

Intermediate    –           28 credits

Adv 1 & 2        –           33 credits

6. What are Unique Learner Numbers?

The Unique Learner Number (ULN) is a 10-digit reference number used to identify an individual learner, and is used to access the Personal Learning Record (PLR) of anyone over the age of 14 involved in UK education or training.  Learners retain the number throughout their lives, whatever their level of learning and wherever they participate in education, training and learning.

All school leavers are automatically provided with a ULN (except for private school leavers).  It can be found on their results slips or exam certificates.  Please check at schools and colleges for ULNs.

7. How are Unique Learner Numbers different from other numbers issued to candidates?

The ULN is the only number that is issued on a national basis.  All other candidate reference numbers are issued by individual awarding bodies.

8. What is the Personal Learning Record?

The Personal Learning Record (PLR) is a database which shows records of the achievements of individual learners from when they were at school, college or a recognised further education training provider from 14+ years.

The PLR allows individual learners access to their past and current achievement records.  It can share records with the school, college, further education training provider, university or employer.

Schools, colleges, further education training providers and universities staff can use the PLR to directly access records for individuals making applications or studying at their organisations.  They will typically use the PLR to verify learners’ qualifications because it’s quicker and easier than reviewing and checking certificates, so speeds up the application process.


Examination Fees England Only

Recognition of Qualifications Poster

Download this poster to display in your studio.