QAA
The Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education. Established in 1997 to provide an integrated quality assurance service for UK higher education.

QAN
Qualification Accreditation Number –the qualification approval number issued by the relevant regulatory authority (QCA, ACCAC, CCEA).

*QCA (split in 2008 into OfQual and QCDA)
The Qualifications and Curriculum Authority. A non-departmental public body, sponsored by DfES. Maintains and develops the national curriculum and associated assessments, tests and examinations, and accredits and maintains qualifications in colleges and at work.

*QCDA
Qualifications and Curriculum Development Agency was formed from the old NAA in 2008 and closed in 2010 to become the Exams Development Support Unit (EDSU)

Qualification
A certificate of achievement or competence specifying the awarding organisation, qualification type and title.

Qualifications and Credit Framework
Qualifications that use the QCF rules are made up of units. This provides flexible ways to get a qualification. Each unit has a credit value which tells how many credits are awarded when a unit is completed. The credit value also gives an indication of how long it will normally take a candidate to prepare for a unit or qualification. One credit will usually take 10 hours of learning. Units build up to qualifications. There are three different types of qualification in the QCF: Award, Certificate and Diploma. An Award require 1 to 12 credits; for a Certificate it will need 13 – 36 credits and for a Diploma it will need at least 37 credits. Units and qualifications are each given a level according to their difficulty, from entry level to level 8. The title of a qualification will tell its size and level.

Qualification category
A group of qualifications with broadly similar purposes, for example vocational qualifications, academic qualifications.

Qualification type
A group of qualifications with distinctive structural characteristics, for example GCE, GCSE.