QCF Level descriptors

This page contains information on the QCF level descriptors for all 8 levels. Please click on the level number below to be taken to the relevant information.                           

1 . 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
Level Summary Knowledge and understanding Application and action Autonomy and accountability
1

Achievement at level 1 reflects the ability to use relevant knowledge, skills and procedures to complete routine tasks.

It includes responsibility for completing tasks and procedures subject to direction or guidance.

 

Use knowledge of facts, procedures and ideas to complete well-defined, routine tasks.

Be aware of information relevant to the area of study or work.

 

 

Complete well-defined routine tasks.

Use relevant skills and procedures.

Select and use relevant information.

Take responsibility for completing tasks and procedures subject to direction or guidance as needed.

 


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2

Achievement at level 2 reflects the ability to select and use relevant knowledge, ideas, skills and procedures to complete well-defined tasks and address straightforward problems.

It includes taking responsibility for completing tasks and procedures and exercising autonomy and judgement subject to overall direction or guidance.

 

 

Use understanding of facts, procedures and ideas to complete well-defined tasks and address straightforward problems.

Interpret relevant information and ideas.

Be aware of the types of information that are relevant to the area of study at work.

 

 

Complete well-defined, generally routine tasks and address straightforward problems.

Select and use relevant kills and procedures.

Identify, gather and use relevant information to inform actions.

Identify how effective actions have been.

Take responsibility for completing tasks and procedures.

Exercise autonomy and judgement subject to overall direction or guidance.

 

 

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3

Achievement at level 3 reflects the ability to identify and use relevant understanding, methods and skills to complete tasks and address problems that, while well defined, have a measure of complexity.

It includes taking responsibility for initiating and completing tasks and procedures as well as exercising autonomy and judgement within limited parameters.

It also reflects awareness of different perspectives or approaches within an area of study or work.

Use factual, procedural and theoretical understanding to complete tasks and address problems that, while well defined, may be complex and non-routine.

Interpret and evaluate relevant information and ideas.

Be aware of the nature of the area of study or work.

Have awareness of different perspectives or approaches within the area of study or work.

Address problems that, while well defined, may be complex and non-routine.

Indentify, select and use appropriate skills, methods and procedures.

Use appropriate investigation to inform actions.

Review how effective methods and actions have been.

Take responsibility for initiating and completing tasks and procedures, including, where relevant, responsibility for supervising or guiding others.

 

Exercise autonomy and judgement within limited parameters.

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4

Achievement at level 4 reflects the ability to identify and use relevant understanding, methods and skills to address problems that are well defined but complex and non-routine.

It includes taking responsibility for overall courses of action as well as exercising autonomy and judgement within fairly broad parameters.

It also reflects understanding of different perspectives or approaches within an area of study or work.

Use practical, theoretical or technical understanding to address problems that are well defined but complex and non-routine.

Analyse, interpret and evaluate relevant information and ideas.

Be aware of the nature and approximate scope of the area of study or work.

Have an informed awareness of different perspectives or approaches within the area of study or work.

Address problems that are complex and non-routine while normally fairly well defined.

Identify, adapt and use appropriate methods and skills.

Initiate and use appropriate investigation to inform actions.

Review the effectiveness and appropriateness of methods, actions and results.

 

Take responsibility for courses of action, including, where relevant, responsibility for the work of others.

Exercise autonomy and judgement within broad but generally well-defined parameters.

 


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5

Achievement at level 5 reflects the ability to identify and use relevant understanding, methods and skills to address broadly-defined, complex problems.

It includes taking responsibility for planning and developing courses of action as well as exercising autonomy and judgement within broad parameters.

It also reflects understanding of different perspectives, approaches or schools of thought and the reasoning behind them.

Use practical, theoretical or technological understanding to find ways forward in broadly-defined, complex contexts.

Analyse, interpret and evaluate relevant information, concepts and ideas.

Be aware of the nature and scope of the area of study or work.

Understand different perspectives, approaches or schools of thought and the reasoning behind them.

Address broadly-defined, complex problems.

Determine, adapt and use appropriate methods and skills.

Use relevant research or development to inform actions.

Evaluate actions, methods and results.

Take responsibility for planning and developing courses of action, including, where relevant, responsibility for the work of others.

Exercise autonomy and judgement within broad parameters.

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6

Achievement at level 6 reflects the ability to refine and use relevant understanding, methods and skills to address complex problems that have limited definition.

It includes taking responsibility for planning and developing courses of action that are able to underpin substantial change or development, as well as exercising broad autonomy and judgement.

It also reflects an understanding of different perspectives, approaches or schools of thought and the theories that underpin them.

Refine and use practical, conceptual or technological understanding to create ways forward in contexts where there are many interacting factors.

Critically analyse, interpret and evaluate complex information, concepts and ideas.

Understanding the context in which the area of study or work is located.

Be aware of current developments in the area of study or work.

Understand different perspectives, approaches or schools of thought and the theories that underpin them.

Address problems that have limited definition and involve man interacting factors.

Determine, refine, adapt and use appropriate methods and skills.

Use and, where appropriate, design relevant research and development to inform actions.

Evaluate actions, methods and results and their implications.

Take responsiblity for planning and developing courses of action that are capable of underpinning substantial changes or developments.

Exercise broad autonomy and judgement.

Initiate and lead tasks and processes, taking responsibility, where relevant, for the work and roles of others.

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7

Achievement at level 7 reflects the ability to reformulate and use relevant understanding, methodologies and approaches to address problematic situations that involve many interacting factors.

It includes taking responsibility for planning and developing courses of action that initiate or underpin substantial change or development, as well as exercising broad autonomy and judgement.

It also reflects and understanding of relevant theorectical and methodological perspectives, and how they affect their area of study or work.

 

Reformulate and use practical, conceptual or technological understanding to create ways forward in contexts where there are many interacting factors.

Critically analyse, interpret and evaluate complex information, concepts and theories to produce modified conceptions.

Understand the wider contexts in which the area of study or work is located.

Understand current developments in the area of study or work.

Understand different theoretical and methodological perspectives and how they affect the area of study or work.

 

Conceptualise and address problematic situations that involve many interacting actors.

Determine and use appropriate methodologies and approaches.

Design and undertake research, development or strategic activities to inform the area of work or study, or produce organisational or professional change.

Critically evaluate actions, methods and results and their short- and long-term implications.

 

Take responsibility for planning and developing courses of action that initiate or underpin substantial changes or developments.

Exercise broad autonomy and judgement across a significant area of work or study.

Initiate and lead complex tasks and processes, taking responsibility, where relevant, for the work and roles of others.

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8

Achievement at level 8 reflects the ability to develop original understanding and extend an area of knowledge or professional practice.

It reflects the ability to address problematic situations that involve many complex, interacting factors through initiating, designing and undertaking research, development or strategic activities. 

It involves the exercise of broad autonomy, judgement and leadership in sharing responsibility for the development of a field of work or knowledge or for creating substantial professional or organisational change.

It also reflects a critical understanding of relevant theoretical and methodological perspectives and how they affect the field of knowledge or work.

Develop original practical, conceptual or technological understanding to create ways forward in contexts that lack definition and where there are many complex, interacting factors.

Critically analyse, interpret and evaluate complex information, concepts and theories to produce new knowledge and theories.

Understand and reconceptualise the wider contexts in which the field of knowledge or work is located.

Extend a field of knowledge or work by contributing original knowledge and thinking.

Exercise critical understanding of different theoretical and methodological perspectives and how they affect the field of knowledge or work.

Conceptualise and address problematic situations that involve many complex, interacting factors.

Formulate and use appropriate methodologies and approaches.

Initiate, design and undertake research, development or strategic activities that extend the field of work or knowledge or result in significant organisational or professional change.

Critically evaluate actions, methods and results and their short- and long-term implications for the field of work or knowledge and its wider context.

Take responsibility for planning and developing courses of action that have a significant impact on a field of work or knowledge, or result in substantial organisational or professional change.

Exercise broad autonomy, judgement and leadership as a leading practitioner or scholar sharing responsibility for the development of a field of work or knowledge, or for substantial organisational or professional change.

Take responsibility for the advancement of professional practice.

 

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