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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.


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.

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Technical Qualifications

These highly-practical qualifications were developed for learners wishing to specialise in a technical occupation or occupational group. They equip learners with specialist knowledge and skills, enabling direct progression routes to employment, apprenticeships, further study and higher education.

In some cases they can provide a ‘licence to practise’ or exemption from professional exams. Technical Qualifications feature as one of three components of the Government’s Technical Baccalaureate (TechBacc) performance table measure.

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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. 

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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. 

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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.

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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.

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ILM qualifications

ILM is the professional membership arm of City & Guilds, 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.

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Green Skills and Sustainability

Helping the transition to Net Zero with a range of environmental awareness and sustainability cross-sector units and qualifications to reduce negative environmental impacts and increase positive impacts. We are committed to developing the right skills to build a robust, highly skilled workforce that is equipped with the knowledge required to meet the demands of a more sustainable world.

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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.

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