The Skills Sector Council for Retail has been developing the qualification in partnership with Skills for Logistics and the Council for Administration and Automotive Skills.
The Retail Diploma is one of 17 linked to different industry subject areas and will run alongside GCSEs, A-Levels and apprenticeships. It is expected to be delivered through schools and colleges from 2010.
It will be available in three levels: foundation, higher and advanced. Each will include functional skills in English, maths and IT. It will also include skills such as team-working and retail and supply chain-related learning.
Spar UK corporate development director Philip Marchant, who is heading the Retail Diploma's steering group, said it would "excite young people with the many challenging activities that comprise retail".