Qualification equivalents | Entry level to level 5

If you’re confused about qualification levels take a look at this quick guide.

Entry level

An entry level qualification might be right for you if you’ve been away from learning for a long time and need help to build your skills.

This is similar to having:

  • 1 GCSE below grade G or 1
  • Functional Skills – entry level
  • Foundation learning – entry level

Level 1

A level 1 qualification is similar to having a GCSE at grades D–G or 1-3.

And also:

  • NVQ level 1
  • GNVQ Foundation
  • Key skills level 1
  • Functional Skills level 1
  • QCF level 1
  • RQF level 1

Level 2

A level 2 qualification is similar to having a GCSE at grade A*–C or 4-9.

And also:

  • NVQ level 2
  • GNVQ Intermediate
  • Key skills level 2
  • Functional Skills level 2
  • QCF level 2
  • RQF level 2

Level 3

A level 3 qualification is similar to an A level.

And also:

  • NVQ level 3
  • GNVQ Advanced
  • Key skills level 3
  • QCF level 3
  • RQF level 3

Level 4

A level 4 qualification is similar to a Higher National Certificate (HNC).

And also:

  • Certificate of Higher Education

Level 5

A level 5 qualification similar to a Higher National Diploma (HND).

And also:

  • Diploma of Higher Education
  • Foundation degree

Qualification levels at a glance

qualification equivalents and comparisons