Vocational and Technical Qualifications Landscape



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1. What does this data visualisation show?

This 'node tree' shows vocational and technical qualifications available in England and regulated by Ofqual.

You can click on a 'node' (represented as a coloured circle) to see the qualifications in that category and their associated number of certifications (number of people completing the qualification).

The 'nodes' are organised across the page:

  • Sector Subject Area (SSA) - each SSA represents a broad subject domain - there are fifteen altogether.
  • Sub Sector Subject Area - a slightly more fine-grained subject classification, such that each SSA is divided into 2 or more sub-categories.
  • Awarding Organisation (AO).


2. How are the nodes organised?

The order of the nodes (and the colouring) is according to the number of certifications (deeper colours representing the greater number of certifications), and presented towards the top.


3. How can I get more detailed information?

Each time you click on a node, any further node pathways will open out; and a table is presented beneath supplying a list of the data that sits beneath.


4. What do the filters at the top of the page do?

You can also filter out some categories of qualifications, using the filter buttons at the top of the page, according to:

  • Level of qualification. The default setting is all qualifications - but it is possible to focus just on one particular level.
  • DfE performance table inclusion - it is possible the focus just on those qualifications that the Department for Education has said the results of which can be included in performance tables for schools and colleges for 16-19 year old provision.


5. Which qualifications are shown here / not shown here?

This data visualisation shows:

  • Vocational and/or technical qualifications available in England and regulated by Ofqual.
  • Qualifications that are 'current' in the sense that they have certifications in the past year and/or they went on our register after July 2016. If there have been no certifications, it is not shown in the node tree but it is shown in the accompanying table.


It does not show:

  • Qualifications not regulated by Ofqual. It therefore does not show those qualifications only available in other parts of the UK: Wales, Northern Ireland or Scotland.
  • Qualifications that are classed as 'general' or 'other general' e.g. GCSE, A Level, and qualifications which are designed to fit with similar academic courses of study such as international GCSE.


6. What time period does certification data refer to?

The certification data is for the most up-to-date twelve-month period between July 2016 and June 2017.

We will update this on a quarterly basis, as and when we receive certification data and once we have published the Official Statistics in the form of 'VQ quarterly statistics' (link) .


7. What does the table show?

This shows the detail of the most recent node that you have clicked on. It can show how many certifications there have been in the 12 month period for each particular named qualification.


8. Can I download the data?

Yes - you can download the data from the table by clicking on the `Download this table` button which is located underneath the table.


9. Is there any rounding used?

Certification numbers are rounded to the nearest 5.


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