Credit and Qualifications Framework for Wales

Understand and compare your qualifications using the Credit and Qualifications Framework for Wales (CQFW)

The CQFW can help you to understand and compare qualifications and learning attained in Wales, the UK and across Europe.

What is the CQFW?

The CQFW is an overarching framework which describes the qualifications system in Wales. It aims to help learners and others make informed decisions about learning and potential progression pathways from one level to the next, and to different types learning, e.g. work based learning, further education or higher education.

How can I use the CQFW?

The CQFW can help you to understand and compare qualifications and learning attained in Wales, the UK and across Europe.

The ‘fan’ diagram illustrates the levels of the CQFW and shows some examples of learning at each level. The level indicates how challenging the course is.  For example, a course at level 2 and a course at level 4 may both have the same credit values, but the level 4 course will be more difficult. Credit is a way of recognising the amount of learning that has been achieved, one credit is awarded for every 10 hours of learning time.

As the CQFW is referenced to the other UK qualification frameworks and aligned to the European Qualification Framework, you can also compare qualifications attained outside Wales. This is helpful if you want to work or study in another European country (as employers and training providers can compare the level of your qualifications with qualifications in their own country) and is particularly useful if you are recruiting staff from overseas.

Is my company training recognised within the CQFW?

In order to be recognised within the CQFW all learning provision must be developed in accordance with its High Level Principles – that means the learning must have a title, express its purpose for the learner, have a credit value, define the learning time, be based on recognised standards and have defined learning outcomes and assessment criteria.

If your in-house training does comply it is automatically recognised within the Quality Assured Lifelong Learning pillar, which recognises learning outside of higher education and regulated vocational and general qualifications. You may want to consider approaching a CQFW competent body* though to seek formal endorsement to verify compliance with the High Level Principles and ensure that the learning has been assigned an appropriate level.  

If your training does not comply but you would like to have it recognised within the CQFW, we recommend that you apply to a CQFW competent body* for it to be formalised as an accredited unit of learning.  The Quality Assured Lifelong Learning pillar recognises these smaller bite-sized units or modules of learning.

*Within the bounds of the QALL pillar a competent body is deemed to be either a recognised UK Awarding Body or a FEI in Wales or HEI in Wales which is recognised to credit-rate and award unitised accredited learning.

Want more information?

To find out more about the CQFW visit or email
Skills for Europe -

CQFW Fan Diagram


View CQFW fan diagram as pdf