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A guide to the skills, knowledge and types of assessment suitable for each level.

Level 1
Competence that involves the application of knowledge in the performance of a range of varied work activities, most of which are routine & predictable and under guidance or supervision.  Learning at this level is about activities which relate to everyday situations.

Level 2 Competence that involves the application of knowledge that is factual and procedural in a significant range of varied work activities, performed in a variety of contexts. Some of these are complex or non-routine and there is some individual responsibility or autonomy. Collaboration with others, perhaps through membership of a work group or team, is often a requirement.  Learning at this level involves building knowledge & skills in relation to work or subject area.

Level 3 Competence that involves the application of knowledge & understanding that is factual, procedural and theorectical in a broad range of varied work activities performed in a wide variety of contexts, most of which are complex and also non-routine. It includes taking responsibility for initiating and completing tasks & procedures and use of evaluation. There is considerable responsibility and autonomy and control or guidance of others such as a work team or group that is often regularly required.  Learning at this level involves obtaining & applying detailed knowledege & skills.

Level 4 Competence that involves the application of knowledge in a broad range of complex, technical or professional work activities performed in a variety of contexts and with a substantial degree of personal responsibility and autonomy. It includes taking responsibility for overall courses of action as well as exercising judgement.  Addressing problems that are complex and non-routine while normally well defined by use of investigation.  Substantial responsibility for the work of others including their development, decision making and the allocation of resources is often present.  Learning at this level is appropriate for those in technical or professional jobs &/or managing others.

Level 5 Competence that involves the application of a range of fundamental principles across a wide and often unpredictable variety of contexts. It also reflects understanding of different approaches/perspectives, or schools of thought and the reasoning behing them. Very substantial personal autonomy and often significant responsibility for the work of others and for the allocation of substantial resources features strongly, as do personal accountabilities for analysis, diagnosis, design, planning, execution and evaluation in a variety of contexts.  Learning at this level involves demonstration of high levels of knowledege & expertise in job roles and competence in managing & training others.  Qualifications are appropriate for those working at professionals or managers.

Level 6 Competence that includes taking resonsibility for planning & developing courses of action that are able to underpin substantial change or development, as well as exercising broad autonomy, leadership, judgement & evaluation.  Be able to critically analyse, interpret & evaluate complex information, concepts and ideas and demonstrate awareness of current developments in the area of study or work and to use, where appropriate, to initiate change and create substantial change or development.  Initiate & lead tasks and processes and take responsibility, where relevant, for the work and roles of others.  Take responsibility to evaluate actions, methods and results and their implications.  Learning at this level involves achievement of a high level of professional knowledege and is appropriate for those working as knowledge-based professionals or in professional management positions.

Level 7 Competence that demonstrates highly developed and complex levels of knowledge that enable the development of in-depth & original responses to complicated and unpredictable problems.  Identification through analysis and then research and development, to create approaches that may extend & provide solutions.  Learning at this level involves the demonstration of specialist professional knowledege and is appropriate for senior professionals and managers.

Level 8 Qualifications that recognise leading experts or practitioners in a particular field.  Learning at this level involves the development of new and creative approaches that extend and define existing knowledge and professional practice.

The follow documents are availlable to view in PDF format.                     

QUALIFICATION FRAMEWORK LEVELS  (Click to view)                                              

THE QUALIFICATIONS AND CREDIT FRAMEWORK EXPLAINED (Click to view)

PERSONAL LEARNING & THINKING SKILLS - PLTS (Click to view)