175 years of shaping smarter learning

NCFE was born in 1848 from the belief that no learner should be left behind – and today, 175 years later, we’re proud to be continuing to take up this same cause with new energy.



Digital Functional Skills

Complying with the Department for Education’s (DfE) National Standards, Digital Functional Skills Qualifications (DFSQ) will provide your learners with the skills they need to succeed in work, education and life.

Learn more about DFSQ, our free preparing to teach events and training, and our DFSQ registration and skills assessment package option.


FAB 2022 Award Winner

NCFE has been awarded the EPAO of the Year and Learner of the Year at the FAB 2022 Awards.


Who is NCFE? 

Few decisions are more life-changing than the ones we make about learning. In learning we have the power to shape our future. To achieve more than we previously felt possible. To feel more valuable, and in turn, more valued.  

At NCFE, every one of us is in learning to improve people’s lives. We were born in 1848 from the belief that no learner should be left behind, and with the core purpose to promote and advance learning - and this same cause continues to drive us today.  

We’re the educational charity and leader in vocational and technical learning dedicated to powering a smarter education eco-system. Bringing together over 175 years of education experience and real insight into how people learn, we understand society’s most pressing learning needs and galvanise the education sector around the opportunities.  

From world-class qualifications and content to new assessment methodologies, from innovative technology platforms to truly strategic partnerships – or a unique combination – we shape the smartest solution for individual learning needs.  

In doing this, we equip learners to live meaningful and fulfilling lives whatever the start-point, whatever the destination, striving for greater reach and impact.  

We are shaping smarter learning.  

Our reach

As one of the largest technical and vocational awarding organisations in the UK, we certificate hundreds of thousands of learners each year. But our reach and impact go beyond that – in the last year alone, we’ve:   

  • worked with around 4,500 providers to extend the delivery of our products and services   
  • registered nearly 10,000 apprentices with over 13,000 assessments taken, with an 85% first-time pass rate  
  • engaged with nearly 500 stakeholders in our T Level technical qualification development work to ensure learners will excel in their chosen career path  
  • reached a £1 million milestone of donations through our Assessment Innovation Fund 
  • undertaken over 1.3m assessments in the post-16 employability and skills sector to understand starting points and set learners up for success. 

Our purpose, strategic objectives and outcomes

To achieve our core purpose of promoting and advancing learning to create a fairer society, we have developed 5 strategic objectives that provide guidance and a framework for all activities across our organisation.

The following outcome statements reflect the activities that are aligned to each of our strategic objectives and will ensure that we’re all working towards the same goal.


1. Developing deep and credible insight into need

We use our deep understanding of the needs of learners, communities and the economy to focus resources on making the biggest difference.

2. Creating brilliant qualifications and content

We develop and deliver brilliant learning content that equips educators with the skillsets and resources to deliver the highest quality, transformational learning experiences.

3. Assessing learner need, progress and attainment

We are market leaders in the forms of assessment we specialise in, using advanced analytics to create richer, more personalised, lifelong learner journeys.

4. Cultivating a purposeful and high-performance culture

We cultivate a purpose-led, collaborative, vibrant and high-performance culture where our people are connected with and aligned to achieving our ambitious goals.

5. Leading digital disruption in education

We are a lean, digitally-enabled organisation that delivers innovative products and personalised experiences to every type of customer.