GNVQs are available to people of all ages. Many schools and colleges offer these courses and they can be studied alongside GCSEs or A levels. There are different levels of GNVQ, namely the Intermediate level ("equivalent" to four qualifications at GCSE - some controversy surrounds GNVQs and the use of them in school league tables because of this). The GNVQ generally involves a lot of coursework (6-8 large assignments), which means that citizens can show their skills when applying for jobs.
GNVQs were used in a lot of schools in Wales in three dominant subjects: Engineering, Health and Social Care and Leisure and Tourism. They were usually used from the early 2000 to 2005 as one year courses for post-GCSE students who wish to further their education within sixthform, but not at an A-Level standard. The course was generally undertook in Wales at Intermediate level with day-release at an appropriate Work Placement during school hours for the duration of the year. Since 2005 a lot of schools have stopped using GNVQ Courses as Sixthform levels of study and since 2004 have incorporated Intermediate or Foundation level GNVQs into the syllabus in years 10 and 11 along with GCSEs. This is to encourage the more students to undertake vocational areas of study in compulsory education. The majority of one-year courses for Sixthform students in schools have now been replaced with BTEC First Diplomas and Certificates. It is thought that since the withdrawal of GNVQs from schools is taking place in late 2007, at GCSE level students can undertake BTEC and OCR certificates in England and Wales.
GNVQ qualifications can be taken in a wide range of subjects, however they are being phased out and will be completely withdrawn by October 2007. Alternative GNVQ qualifications include vocational GCSEs, BTEC diplomas and certificates, OCR Nationals and City and Guild progression awards. For further details please see