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EAL offers a wide range of vocational qualifications designed to help learners get started and get ahead on their route to a sucessful career in industry. Our complete portfolio of industry qualifications has been developed to support both new entrants as well as those wanting to continue their professional development.

There is a wide range of qualification types and routes available to learners within the UK.  At EAL we specialise in awarding work-based or vocational qualifications within our core sectors.

Many of the qualifications we offer are recognised within Apprenticeship frameworks, and each one meets the exact standards or requirements set out by the regulators and Sector Skills Councils for the industries we serve.



Apprenticeships offer learners a way of gaining nationally recognised qualifications whlist working and earning a wage.  Off the job training is normally provided through day release to a college or training provider, with the job specific skills being gained through working and training alongside experienced staff on a day-to-day basis.

Each Apprenticeship framework combines a range of qualifications, including:

  • knowledge and understanding through VRQs or Technical Certificates (England, Wales and Northern Ireland only)
  • work-based competence through an NVQ or SVQ
  • essential skills such as maths, communication, information technology, and personal learning and thinking skills
  • employment rights and responsibilities.


National Vocational Qualifications (NVQs)

NVQs are competence qualifications and are delivered through on-the-job training.  NVQs are assessed through a learner's portfolio of evidence which proves their knowledge and ability to perform specific tasks, plus one-to-ones where an assessor watches the learner perform work-related tasks.  NVQs are based directly on the National Occupational Standards defined by Sector Skills Councils and industry employers.

Available in England, Wales and Northern Ireland as standalone qualifications, NVQs are also key components of Apprenticeship frameworks.


Scottish Vocational Qualifications (SVQs)

SVQs are competence qualifications which are recognised in Scotland. Like NVQs, they are also based directly on National Occupational Standards set by Sector Skills Councils and employers.  SVQs are assessed through a learner’s portfolio of work-based evidence.  EAL's SVQs are currently being updated for the new Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework (SCQF).


Vocationally Related Qualifications (VRQs)

VRQs are predominantly taught programmes delivered in a classroom or workshop setting.  These qualifications are based on National Occupational Standards and provide the underpinning knowledge to help learners achieve a related NVQ.  VRQs prepare learners for further learning and the workplace by offering the practical and academic knowledge and skills required in a particular job.  Assessment often combines internal written or practical assignments with external written or onscreen tests.


Technical Certificates

Technical Certificates are VRQs or knowledge qualifications that are recognised within Apprenticeship frameworks in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. They are closely linked to National Occupational Standards and give learners the underpinning knowledge and understanding that are required to complete an NVQ.

Technical Certificates are not currently recognised in Scotland.


Functional Skills

Functional Skills qualifications cover the fundamental practical skills in English, mathematics and information and communication technology (ICT) for learners and apprentices in England.  The qualifications focus on applying these skills in real life situations, and feature assessments with task based questions.


Essential Skills Wales

These qualifications show the ability to master the skills needed in education, training, work and life in general.  The suite covers application of number, communication, and information and communication technology (ICT) for learners and apprentices in Wales.  As these qualifications are a method of demonstrating competence, it is recommended that they are embedded in everyday workplace activities or other programmes of learning.