Statistics on vocational and other qualifications (excluding GCSEs, GCEs and Diploma and its components).
Main trends for quarter 1 2017
Nearly 1.2 million certificates were awarded in 2017 Q1, a decrease of 9% on the same quarter of 2016.
The decline is mostly due to a decrease in the number of certificates in key skills, QCF, functional skills and other general qualifications.
The general decline in overall certification numbers may be caused by a tightening in the availability of funding. This is notable at entry level, level 1 and level 1/2 qualifications.
Functional skills qualifications continue to replace key skills qualifications leading to a reduction in the number of certificates in the latter.
The reduction in the ‘other general qualifications’ may be an effect of the introduction of the English Baccalaureate and other school performance indicators. For example, the calculation of Progress 8 and Attainment 8 measures can only include a maximum of three non-EBacc qualifications.
The largest increase in number of certificates (176%) was seen in vocationally-related qualifications.
The sector subject areas with notable increase in number of certificates were agriculture, horticulture and animal care, Health, public services and care and construction, planning and the built environment.
The sector subject areas with notable decrease in number of certificates were languages, literature and culture, preparation for life and work, arts, media and publishing and business, administration and law.
The qualification with the highest number of certificates this quarter was BCS Level 2 ECDL Certificate in IT Application Skills, followed by QA Level 2 Award in Emergency First Aid at Work (QCF) and CIEH Level 2 Award in Food Safety in Catering (QCF).
The drop in certificates in Wales this quarter compared to the same quarter previous year was largely due to reduction in number of certificates in essential and key skills.
The datasets used to produce this release are available for England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
Changes to this statistical release
The presentation of these statistics have been changed starting with this release based on the user consultation held by Ofqual in February and March 2017. After the changes these statistics have retained their National Statistics status (subject to ongoing conversations with the Office for Statistics Regulation).
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