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DfE approved qualifications

The Department for Education (DfE) has approved all 147 of our Technical Qualifications to be used for the 2018 performance tables. 

The performance tables measure the nation’s school and college achievements, by providing comparison data on learners’ pass rates and grades of certain qualifications. Qualifications can only be used for the performance tables once they are approved by the DfE.

New City & Guilds Technical Qualifications make up a substantial part of our DfE approved qualifications. Having these approved means that learners now have even more choice and an alternative to GCSEs and A Levels.

The performance tables

The performance tables

The performance tables are statistical comparison tables, produced annually by the DfE. These tables provide details about the achievements of schools and colleges in England, by looking at the pass rates and grades of their learners.

To do this, the tables use data from certain qualifications, such as GCSEs and A Levels. Not all qualifications are used for the tables, only those which the DfE has approved. Each year, the DfE publishes a list of qualifications which meet the quality needed for approval.

Download our guide to performance tables

Our approved Technical Qualifications

The approved Technical Qualifications, which are part of City & Guilds TechBac, are available in 13  subject areas, and at three different levels:

Download a list of our approved qualifications


  • Key Stage 4, Level 2 Technical Awards (14-16)
  • Key Stage 5, Level 2 Technical Certificates (16-19)
  • Key Stage 5, Level 3 Tech Levels (16-19)

Subject areas:

Our Technical Qualifications in these subject areas are approved to be included in the 2018 performance tables. This means the first teaching of them which will count for the tables will be from September 2016.

How does a qualification gain DfE approval?

For a qualification to gain DfE approval for inclusion on the performance tables, it must meet the high-quality, rigorous design principles set out by the DfE.

In addition, the qualifications must enable progression to a range of study and employment opportunities, and be the comparable in size, or larger, to a GCSE or A Level.

DfE design principles for Technical Qualifications

Overall grading – learners will be awarded Distinction*, Distinction, Merit, Pass, or Fail as part of the new grading system.

Synoptic assessment  – an externally set, internally marked assignment will replace unit-based assessment. It will take place towards the end of the programme.

External exam – a significant proportion of the content must be externally assessed. The exam is externally set and marked.

One resit opportunity – if the candidate fails the external exam and requires a resit, one opportunity will be available later in the academic year.

Employer involvement – KS5 Technical Qualifications require employer interaction in delivery and/or assessment.

To see how City & Guilds Technical Qualifications meet these criteria, please see Deliver TechBac

All approved qualifications

Full lists of qualifications from all awarding bodies which have been approved by the DfE (for teaching from September 2016 and appearing on the 2018 performance tables) can be found using the links below.

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Contact us


Education providers
Deliver City & Guilds TechBac

T: 01924 206709
E: Digitalsales@cityandguilds.com
F: Expression of interest form


Speak to your local centre or contact us

T: 0844 543 0033
F: Enquiry form
W:Find an approved centre



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