Qualifications explained

Our wide variety of qualifications span across eight levels and more than 25 industries meaning there’s something for everyone, from those starting out in their careers to senior managers and master craftsmen and women.

City & Guilds qualifications are designed to be undertaken both in the workplace or in the classroom or as a combination of the two. Here's a brief introduction to the wide range of qualifications we offer.

National Vocational Qualifications (NVQs) and Scottish Vocational Qualifications (SVQs)

These are by far our most popular awards. Learners like them because they can do them without having to give up work. Employers like them because they demonstrate an individual's true skill. 

Read more about NVQs and SVQs >

Functional Skills, Core Skills and Essential Skills

These are qualifications in English, maths and ICT that support you to develop the practical skills you need for life, education and the workplace.

Functional Skills are English qualifications, Core Skills are for students in Scotland and Essential Skills are qualifications for those in Wales and Northern Ireland. 

Browse our Functional, Core and Essential Skills qualifications >

International Vocational Qualifications (IVQs)

Our range of International Vocational Qualifications (IVQs) are designed to measure the knowledge and practical skills of learners and are designed specifically for the international marketplace. There are two types - Craft and Technician - and they are available at three levels, which are Certificate, Diploma and Advanced Diploma. They’re recognised by employers all over the world, so you can take them with you when you travel.

Read more about our international offering >

Single Subject Qualifications

These are short, single subject qualifications that cover all the key skills that both employers and employees need in the modern office. A Diploma can be awarded when a combination of subjects have been achieved in Business Skills and Finance and Accounting. They’re recognised by employers all over the world, so you can take them with you when you travel.

International English Qualifications (IEQs)

Our IEQs are a comprehensive range of quality English language awards designed for those who need a passport to work, study and travel around the globe. They are recognised by employers, educational institutions and professional bodies worldwide.

Browse our IEQs >

Institute of Leadership & Management (ILM) qualifications

ILM is the professional membership arm of the City & Guilds Group, dedicated to equipping you with all the leadership and management techniques to help you get ahead. ILM qualifications are recognised all over the world as the sign of a motivated and skilled leader or manager. 

Visit the ILM website >

Professional Recognition Awards

If you've scaled the heights in your career and want something to prove it, then City & Guilds' Professional Recognition Awards are just the thing. These unique qualifications recognise your professional experience and skills, and show employers that you really are among the best in the business.

View our Professional Recognition Awards >

Tech Levels

Tech Levels have been developed for students wishing to specialise in a technical occupation or occupational group.

Read more about Tech Levels >


We have developed a new vocational programme of study for those aged 14 - 19 called the TechBac®. The City & Guilds TechBac® will provide young people with relevant technical knowledge alongside the skills and competencies demanded by employers.

Read more about TechBac® >


Apprenticeships are a great way to earn while you learn and prepare yourself for a brilliant career. Each apprenticeship is a mix of qualifications and on the job experience. They are available across a wide range of industries, just like our qualifications.

Read more about our apprenticeships >


Our traineeship programme consists of high-quality work placement, employability skills, English and Maths.

Read more about our traineeships >

Spring Release Cloud 2016 - Now live

Three times a year, we showcase all of our products and services that are new and coming soon, in what we call ‘Release Clouds’.  

Find out more >

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