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Background Info | National Core Competence Benchmark (NCCB)

Background Info

The National Core Competency Benchmark (NCCB) provides a data-base of recognised training courses (e.g. independently accredited, or those founded by trade associations, safety bodies etc.) in the subject areas of health, safety and environmental protection and is open to any training provider that meets minimum quality standards.

The aim of the NCCB is to assist employers when they are deciding what training they need to provide to their employees. Under UK health and safety legislation employers are wholly responsible for judging who is, or is not, competent. This is an onerous duty that is hampered by the lack of any clear standards and a wide range of training courses that vary enormously in quality and level. The NCCB performs the following functions:

  • Lists a wide range of recognized training qualifications and ranks them against the National Qualifications Framework (NQF), and the National Credits Framework (NCF).  This helps to judge the quality and level or extent of the qualification.
  • Supports the sharing and verification of training records

How does NCCB rank training courses against the NQF / NCF?

NCCB collects information about each training course listed, including its curriculum and length, and uses this to benchmark it against the National Qualifications Framework (NQF) and the National Credits Framework (NCF). These NQF and NCF equivalent values are the considered opinion of the NCCB steering committee and are intended to provide a practical guide; users of this website remain responsible for assessing the suitability of a given training course in meeting their needs.

National Qualification Framework & National Credits Framework
NCCB utilises the National Qualifications Framework (NQF), and the National Credits Framework (NCF). The NQF is the system by which recognised training qualifications in the UK are ranked and has nine levels. These are:

  • Level 8 e.g. Doctorate / City & Guilds Fellowship
  • Level 7 e.g. Masters Degree / Advanced Professional Diploma
  • Level 6 e.g. Bachelors Degree / Graduate Diploma
  • Level 5 e.g. Foundation Degree / HND
  • Level 4 e.g. Certificate of Higher Education
  • Level 3 e.g. National Vocational Qualification (NVQ) – Level 3
  • Level 2 e.g. GCSE (Grades A-C)
  • Level 1 e.g. GCSE (Grades D-G)
  • Entry level e.g. BTEC Level 1 Certificate

The NQF will over coming years be replaced by the National Credits Framework or the NCF. Via the NCF qualifications will be built up from units, with each unit (and qualification) having a credit value. So for example, a Level 3 qualification will have a minimum threshold of 25 credits. Via the QCF there are two types of credits – ‘Knowledge Credits’ (i.e. theory / classroom learning) and ‘Competency Credits’ (i.e. practical assessment of skills). For the time-being the NCCB will rank recognised qualifications against both the NQF (i.e. a level) and the NCF (i.e. a number of credits). You can access this database via the Benchmark tool – you do not need to register to do this.