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DfE approved qualifications

City & Guilds now has 100 Technical Qualifications approved by the DfE to appear on the 2019 Performance tables.

Find out the new qualifications available to deliver from September 2017 >

Updated 9 November 2017


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 all Technical Qualifications approved for 2019 Performance tables >
(9 November 2017) (XLSX, 84KB)

Download a list of all Technical Qualifications approved for 2018 Performance tables > 

Please note that we are expecting results of further submissions of Technical Qualifications to be approved for the 2019 Performance Tables in March and June 2017


  • 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:

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.

14-19 reforms

Find out about the changes to vocational qualifications which affect 14-19 education providers in England.

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