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Evaluation Criteria Methodology

When using developed and verified information for the purpose of recognition, it is important to have a coherent set of criteria and a methodology in order to relate the information to specific qualifications and ultimately, to interpret and to arrive at a justified comparability statement accorded to a given qualification.

Evaluation criteria also need to reflect the concerns of the receiving national system. These concerns centre on whether internationally trained applicants are:

  • sufficiently well-trained to perform a certain occupational or professional role, or
  • adequately qualified to enter the further or higher education system in the country in question.

Evaluation Process and Criteria

  1. The identification of an overseas qualification will be made in the context of its native education system. The criteria UK NARIC uses in assessing a qualification include:
    • an examination of the status of the awarding institution, i.e. whether it is accredited/recognised in the country of origin*
    • an examination of the standing of the qualification within the country's education system, i.e. whether it constitutes a national standard and/or forms part of the national qualifications framework / national education system
    • an evaluation of the level to which the qualification has been benchmarked in the country of origin
    • an evaluation of entrance requirements in the country of origin and in the UK
    • an examination of the duration of a course of study
    • a review of the course structure
    • an analysis of course content
    • an analysis of method of study
    • an analysis of the method of examination.

    • * In the case of higher education institutions (HEIs) these must be listed as officially recognised HEIs in the country / territory of origin. Where accreditation and quality assurance procedures are not fully articulated, UK NARIC reserve the right to evaluate HEIs on an individual basis, based on information available.
  1. Once these criteria have been applied, the next step will be the identification, where possible, of a comparable qualification within the UK, bearing in mind the purpose of the assessment.
  1. Finally, UK NARIC will determine whether any identified similarities are sufficient for comparability. An overseas qualification that meets these criteria will be recognised, where appropriate, by the issuing of a NARIC Statement of Comparability and a NARIC Certificate.


Where UK NARIC provides a Statement of Comparability and a Certificate, these are for guidance purposes only and are non-binding. UK higher and further education institutions, and professional bodies, are independent organisations, which make their own decisions on admission, having regard to a variety of factors, of which qualifications are only one.

The current UK NARIC Evaluation Criteria and Methodology are based on a NARIC Band Framework, which is designed to ensure accuracy and consistency of comparability statements accorded to international qualifications. They are also designed with the capacity to accommodate and reflect value comparisons of a wide range of international awards and transferable skills.

The term band is used to reflect the broad grouping of international qualifications that may be categorised.

The detailed level of comparisons is a hierarchical structure encompassing academic and vocationally oriented qualifications based on UK NARIC's experience of expressing the value of international qualifications, the outcomes of which are achieved under different education models. The intention is to eradicate inexact or excessively broad comparison statements, demonstrating as closely as possible the relevance between different qualifications.

The UK NARIC Band Framework

Naric Bands

UK NARIC focuses predominantly on an outcomes-based approach in its assessment of qualifications. Consideration is also given to criteria relating to qualification duration, entry requirements, method and rigour of assessment, professional or occupational outcomes and quality assurance mechanisms. Furthermore, references to the position of qualifications within national education systems or frameworks and elaborated progression pathways are also factors in the decision-making process.

The resulting evaluation is a comparison to the UK NARIC Band Framework, a hierarchical structure of educational outcomes. The bands have been specifically designed to enable stakeholders to distinguish various types of international awards to a reasonably fine level of differentiation and therefore facilitate more informed decisions.

The UK NARIC Band Framework operates in a subtly different manner to qualifications frameworks which seek to harmonise the content and outcomes of national qualifications into a number of hierarchical levels. The bands seek to provide a mechanism within which it is possible to categorise the wide variety of international qualifications and to further differentiate between them in a coherent and accurate fashion.

Correspondingly, there are 16 bands in the UK NARIC Band Framework from 'entry level' through to 'band 15'; the details are provided in Appendix 1.The use of this framework may facilitate connections and references to domestic and other qualifications frameworks.