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3 Facts About Qualification Levels in England and Scotland

Details: Written by Kate Hutchinson |

Picture this. You are ready to upskill. You discover FREE online courses with The Skills Network and you live in Scotland. Good start. You discover over 40 fully funded online courses to choose from right at your fingertips. Even better! But you start to wonder, ‘Why would I enrol on a level 2 qualification, that can’t be right?’ And you click exit. Thanks to over 200 years of separate education systems and qualification frameworks, it is unsurprising that our Scottish learners can be somewhat confused about level 2 online courses from The Skills Network. Well, we’ve heard you, and it's time to clear a few things up. This blog will explore 3 key facts about understanding qualification levels and ultimately confirm that The Skills Network’s free online qualifications with certificates are expertly developed for learners in both England and Scotland. Keep reading to discover how we can help you upskill no matter where you live.

The Skills Network Scotland

Since 2016, The Skills Network has proudly partnered with North East Scotland College and West College Scotland to upskill over 41,000 individuals and businesses. As a trusted training provider for NHS Scotland, Highland Council and LumiraDx to name a few, our established partnership is known for its high-quality learning experiences, covering a diverse array of subjects that meet national skills and labour market demands.

Learn more about free online courses in Scotland

Our Scottish learners can be assured that their online course with The Skills Network, is recognised as an accredited qualification in Scotland.

Want to know more about free online qualifications?

Here are 3 key facts to help explain why and how The Skills Network’s online courses are suitable for our learners both north and south of the border.

1) England and Scotland have different Education Systems

Scotland has a separate education system from the rest of the United Kingdom (England, Wales, and Northern Ireland) because of over 200 years of historical and legal activity.

Without making this a history lesson, the education system in Scotland has deep roots and has evolved separately from the rest of the UK.

The main reason is that Scotland has its own legal and educational traditions that came well before the Act of Union of 1707, which united the Kingdom of England and the Kingdom of Scotland to form the Kingdom of Great Britain.

The Act of Union 1707

The Act of Union preserved Scotland's distinct legal and educational systems. As a result, education in Scotland continued to be governed by its own laws and institutions.

Since then, the Scottish education system has been further developed and adapted through many years of legislation.

While there are similarities between the Scottish and English education systems, there are also key differences when it comes to curriculum approach.

This difference in curriculum approach also affects qualification levels for Higher Education.

2) England and Scotland have different Qualification Levels

Now that you know why we have 2 different education systems in the UK, it’s important to understand what that means when you enrol on a level 2 or level 3 course with The Skills Network.

Qualification frameworks are designed to help you make informed decisions about the qualification level you've achieved and the qualification levels you may need for the future.

There are 2 distinct qualification frameworks in England and Scotland, with the level of qualification indicating how difficult the learning is.

Education qualification frameworks in England and Scotland

There are other qualification frameworks used in other parts of the UK and other parts of the world. The table below shows a rough comparison of the levels from England, Wales, Scotland and Europe.

what is my qualification equivalent to?

So, what does all of this mean?

It means when a Scottish learner enrols on a level 2 online course with The Skills Network, this course is aligned and recognised as a level 5 equivalent from the SCQF.

3) The Skills Network Level 2 Online Courses Align with SQCF frameworks

Now that you know all about the different education systems and qualification frameworks in England and Scotland, we want to show you how our learning content aligns with the SCQF frameworks.

All of our most popular level 2 and level 3 online courses available to our funded learners in Scotland also include a digital Scottish Addendum learning resource.

What are Scottish Addendums?

The purpose of our Scottish addendums is to work alongside the learning material that our learners will initially receive for their level 2 or level 3 online course.

Learners might find that the resources and content provided are a good guide for national law, but as they progress throughout the course they might read information given on legislation, guidelines and government initiatives that are sometimes not relevant to Scotland.

To ensure we deliver effective learning for individuals living and working within Scotland, we are committed to providing the correct details to enable them to have the relevant knowledge and understanding.

To illustrate this further, let’s share a Scottish Addendum example from our Level 2 Understanding Autism Certificate.

Level 2 Autism Scottish Addendum

This blog has shared 3 key facts about the differing qualification levels in England and Scotland.

In the last 5 minutes, we have explored why there are 2 different education systems, what way the qualification levels differ and lastly, how The Skills Network aligns with both qualification frameworks to make free upskilling accessible for all.

So, what are you waiting for? Start your learning journey today.

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