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January 31, 2013

NCFE: what is it, what does it stand for, and why should I care?

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NCFE. Man and woman reading tablets.

If you are currently studying one of our distance learning courses, or you’ve been searching online for home study courses, then you’ve probably seen the NCFE acronym. So what is it and what does it mean for you?

What is NCFE?

NCFE is a national, educational awarding organisation that designs, develops, and certificates diverse, recognised qualifications and awards, including for distance learning courses. It’s a registered educational charity that has been dedicated to learning for over 150 years.

NCFE is recognised as an awarding organisation by the qualification regulators for England, Wales and Northern Ireland, including Ofqual, the Welsh government, and the CCEA in Northern Ireland.

What does NCFE stand for?

NCFE originally stood for Northern Council for Further Education, but it dropped the full name in the 1990s, as it no longer accurately reflected the company’s growing national focus. Now the company is known simply as NCFE. It’s the UK’s longest established awarding body, as well as one of the UK’s fastest growing, which means it’s highly respected for its professionalism and quality.

Why should you care?

NCFE’s role as an awarding body means that it spends time independently accrediting courses that are designed and delivered by third parties, including distance education providers. A home learning course with the NCFE stamp of approval means it is accredited, or checked off, by NCFE as a quality distance learning course.

Stonebridge Associated Colleges is an NCFE registered learning centre. Our accreditation by NCFE means that we have been inspected and approved by an independent and experienced educational organisation. It also means that we are audited for quality on a biannual basis by the awarding body and that we have been licensed by NCFE on the basis of our own quality systems. NCFE’s stamp of approval is our guarantee of quality.

What does this mean for you?

Our NCFE-accredited courses are accredited to various levels, from Level 1 to Level 5, according to their degree of difficulty. You can be sure that the NCFE-accredited paper-based or online course you are studying, is of the highest quality.

Once you’ve successfully completed your accredited distance learning course, you’ll receive an NCFE certificate of achievement as an acknowledgement from this nationally recognised awarding body of your accomplishment.

Last year over a quarter of a million learners, from over 2000 education and training organisations, chose NCFE as the awarding body to help them advance their learning and career goals. Now it’s your turn.

Our many NCFE-accredited courses include:



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15 Responses

  1. rebecca bath says:

    NCFE courses are a great achievement and its great to see stonebridge doing these courses and a range of them for everyone. It means that alot more people will get higher qualifications which will help their career.

  2. AstralW says:

    Great information. I have a question. I’m in [the Republic of] Ireland. What is NCFE equivalent to in here? Because in Ireland there are other qualifications like the FETAC”

  3. Melissa says:

    I think NCFE awards are good to havem but don’t forget, these courses are NCFE ACCREDITED awards, not actual NCFE awards, They still look good on your CV though and show a committment to learning 🙂

  4. Kym Watson says:

    I am doing a level 3 in sports Massage NCFE I’m just worried now because I live in Scotland that will not be able to practice once I finish my course!! Can you help?

  5. Socrates says:

    In greece this diploma is valid?

    • Admin says:

      Hi Socrates, you would need to contact authorities and employers in Greece to find out if they would accept these qualifications. Stonebridge

  6. Prince says:

    Le diplôme de nutrition est il valable en Belgique ? A quoi correspond t’il ? Merci pour votre réponse ? Bien à vous

    • Admin says:

      Hi Prince, you would need to contact authorities and employers in Belgium to find out if they would accept this qualification. Stonebridge

  7. diane atherton says:

    how long does the certificate last

  8. dona says:

    I think NCFE is Waste of money i did course course here ncfe level 4 learning disabilty that was 5 years 5 ago but when i rang city of guild in wales said this is not recognised and contact stonebridge college asked to help me reference in university but didnt even bothered to help me. Still my career the same i thought ncfe level could help my career goal.

    • Admin says:

      Please contact us directly on 0121 794 8301 regarding this – we can discuss with you how you are trying to use this and provide advice.

  9. Edward says:

    I have just been awarded NCFE cache level 5 Diploma in Leadership for Health and Social Care, where does this leave if I were to apply to university to read Social Care.

    • Kate Byrne says:

      If you could provide us with a telephone number and an appropriate time, we can give you a call to discuss your options.

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