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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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Whether you are a current student of distance learning courses, or you’ve been trolling the internet looking for home study courses you might like to complete, then you’ve probably seen the NCFE acronym. But what is it and what does it mean?

What is NCFE?

NCFE is a national, educational awarding organisation that designs, develops, and certificates diverse, nationally recognised qualifications and awards, including those for distance learning courses. It is a registered educational charity that has been passionately 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?

While NCFE originally stood for Northern Council for Further Education, 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 purely as NCFE, but stands for so much more. NCFE is the UK’s longest established awarding body, as well as one of the UK’s fastest growing, which means it is highly respected for its professionalism and quality.

Why should you care?

NCFE’s role as an awarding body means that they spend some of their time independently accrediting courses 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 the college has been inspected and approved by an independent and experienced education professional. 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 learning course you are studying, no matter the level, is of the highest quality and value.
And once you’ve successfully completed your accredited distance learning course, you will receive an NCFE Award 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.
Below is a sample selection from our many NCFE-accredited courses:
For information on all of our courses, visit our A-Z course list.



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5 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?

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