Frequently Asked Questions
What can qualifications be benchmarked to?
Qualifications can be benchmarked to any accepted point of reference within an education or
training system such as: a national qualifications framework, to another national
or international qualification level, or to one or more national and / or international
qualifications. It is possible to benchmark qualifications inwardly, meaning your
qualification forms the benchmark against which others are compared, or more
commonly, outwardly, whereby your qualification is compared to a national or international standard.
Who makes the final recognition /benchmarking decisions?
In advance of making any decisions on overall comparability of a qualification, the
project team first review and analyse all qualification components, including
design, assessment, delivery and quality assurance in accordance with the established
UK NARIC methodologies. Once all the evidence has been considered and a consensus has
been reached on the comparability of a given qualification(s), the results are reviewed
by the Project Manager and a Senior Manager. If approval is given at this stage, the
decision can be relayed to you along with the supporting evidence presented in the draft project report.
What is the difference between benchmarking and mapping?
Based on equally thorough and robust methodologies for credential evaluation, the main
difference between mapping and benchmarking projects relates to the level of analytical detail.
Both mapping and benchmarking involve consideration of a qualification or set of qualifications
as a constant against which other qualifications are compared.
Benchmarking seeks to establish the comparable level of a qualification
in the context of a national /international framework.
Mapping involves the detailed analysis of qualification content in order
to identify whether the specific knowledge, skills and competencies contained within
one qualification may be attained through another.
To demonstrate, the outcome statement of a benchmarking project might be:
“X institution’s Certificate in Engineering is comparable to NVQ level 3 standard”.
Whereas the outcome statement for a project mapping X institution’s Certificate in Engineering on
the same qualification might be:
“X institution’s Certificate in Engineering is comparable to NVQ level 3 in electrical engineering”.
It therefore follows that the main difference between benchmarking and mapping is the increased complexity of analysis.
To discuss further whether a benchmarking or mapping project is right for you, please contact us.
What type of qualifications can be benchmarked?
We can benchmark a broad range of qualification types, including academic, vocational, occupational
and professional awards from across the world. The UK NARIC benchmarking methodology
is flexible and can be suitably adapted and applied to evaluate all types and levels of
qualifications ranging from entry level to Bachelor level through to Doctoral awards.
Please contact us for more information about benchmarking your specific qualification(s).
How much do bespoke research projects cost?
This very much depends on the type of project and the scope of work involved: each project is
carefully considered on an individual basis.
Our project team will work with you to establish your exact requirements and provide you
with a proposal incorporating a detailed breakdown of costs to reflect these.
What does UK NARIC do with the work once completed?
This largely depends upon the client’s wishes and the type of work that has been undertaken.
Typically, a draft copy of the project report is sent to the Client, providing the opportunity
to discuss any questions, prior to submission of the final report.
Project reports are usually Commercial-in-Confidence documents and are not published. For
certain projects, benchmarking projects in particular, the findings may be shared with the NARIC
Services Group, responsible for answering queries from UK NARIC members on institutions and qualification
comparability. The UK NARIC membership base comprises over 800 institutions, employers and professional
bodies in the UK and internationally. As such, provision of comparability information through the member
enquiry service benefits the Client and students in possession of the Client’s qualification alike.
There are also various dissemination options available to clients, where UK NARIC can
publish details of the project and project findings for various audiences. Options
for dissemination may include publication of an article for public access on our website, an
article in the UK NARIC monthly newsletter to a target audience or updates on the project and
its findings via the UK NARIC blog or other social media tools.