A new set of qualifications for the retail sector is introduced this month, replacing the established National Vocational Qualifications (NVQs).

Described as the biggest overhaul of retail qualifications in more than two decades, the new Qualifications and Credit Framework (QCF) is a credit-based programme designed in response to retailers' demands for a simpler and more transparent system.

In England, Wales and Northern Ireland, NVQs are superseded by Awards, Certificates and Diplomas in Retail Skills.

Beverley Paddey, head of standards and qualifications at Skillsmart Retail, said QCF would benefit the whole retail sector.

"The way it is designed as a credit-based system means learners in the sector will have greater freedom to choose what direction they want to move in, by building their own bespoke learning package," she said.

"This will also benefit employers as it will become easier to measure the level of qualifications achieved by potential employees."

Find out more at www.skillsmartretail.com

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