The Regulated Qualifications Framework (RQF) explained

There are some changes to accredited training courses during 2017, from the regulator (Ofqual).

What is RQF for accredited food safety and HACCP training courses and qualifications?

The Regulated Qualifications Framework (RQF) is the framework for all of the qualifications that are regulated by Ofqual. It was launched in October 2015 to coincide with the withdrawal of the Qualifications and Credit Framework (QCF); many of our accredited food safety training courses were previously QCF, regulated by Ofqual. The RQF has one basic aim that Ofqual believes will give it an advantage over the QCF – simplicity for employers and learners. Therefore, for each qualification we will provide information on the:

  • knowledge and skills that the holder of the qualification will have
  • primary objective of the qualification and the benefit it provides to learners
  • progression routes between qualifications
  • level and size of the qualification, using a common language and terminology

This applies to, and encompasses, every qualification that Ofqual regulates.

When is the change to RQF being implemented?

All awarding organisations must move their qualifications that are regulated by Ofqual to the RQF by 31 December 2017. Some qualifications have already moved, but this work is still in progress and will continue gradually over the next year. As qualifications move over, and Island Food Safety will be updating our qualification specifications over the coming months, as the awarding bodies change their qualifications over to RQF.

What is TQT?

TQT stands for ‘total qualification time’ and is an estimate of the total number of hours it would take an average learner to achieve and demonstrate the necessary level of attainment to be awarded with a qualification; Island Food Safety provide this information in the course specification for each food safety and HACCP training course we deliver. TQT is assigned to a qualification as guidance and is not a mandatory requirement unless otherwise specified. It is calculated by listening to feedback from our centres and may be updated from time to time to better reflect how our centres are delivering training that leads to a qualification. Both the TQT figure and the guided learning figure are included in the new specifications, including our accredited food safety training courses and HACCP training courses.

It is made up of two parts

  1. Guided learning (sometimes referred to as guided learning hours or GLH) refers to the amount of time it would take an average learner to complete all the aspects of learning, study or assessment of a qualification while being taught, instructed by, or otherwise being under the immediate guidance or supervision of a tutor/assessor. This includes the activity of being assessed if the assessment takes place under immediate guidance, supervision or invigilation. We provides details of these with each course specification.
  2. The number of hours it would take an average learner to complete any other required learning, self-study, preparation and assessment of a qualification without being under the immediate supervision, guidance or invigilation of a tutor/assessor. For example, undertaking e-learning without the supervision of a tutor, completing homework or independent research. This figure is added to the guided learning figure to get the TQT figure.

The course specifications provided to candidates will reflect the above changes.

What about credit for the accredited food safety training courses and HACCP training courses?

Credit still exists under the RQF for the accredited food safety and HACCP training courses, however it is completely optional and so some qualifications will have a credit value attached, while others won’t. Where credit is attached, this is determined by dividing the TQT value by 10.

How can I find out more about the RQF and other changes to accredited food safety and HACCP qualifications?

You can find our more by visiting the Ofqual website