NVQ Diploma vs. Certificate: An NVQ Diploma is the next level up from an NVQ Certificate. It may cover the same area of expertise but in much more detail.
NVQs are awarded at six different levels, equivalent to other academic qualifications. A level 6 NVQ is equivalent to a Bachelors degree, while levels 4 and 5 equate to the first and second years of a Bachelors degree respectively. NVQs are focused on practical skills in the context of your full- or part-time work. You must be employed prior to enrolling on an NVQ.
Instead of taking exams, you are assessed by demonstrating your ability to do your job over a period of time, by submitting a portfolio and undergoing observations by an assessor. Candidates are observed on each unit when they’re ready, meaning there’s no stringent time limit on completing NVQ modules.
NVQ fees vary between courses and institutions. For instance, a level 4 NVQ Diploma in Business and Administration from the Open University costs £2,200, while a level 5 NVQ in Management from Kirklees College will only set you back £1,500. Information from Prospects.ac.uk, the Government careers and qualifications information site.