The National Framework

The National framework places dance examinations within the context of other qualifications. It recognises equivalence in the levels of knowledge, skills and understanding required for their attainment, however dance examinations are not interchangeable with the corresponding national school examinations.

Level of QualificationGeneral QualificationsGraded Examinations in DanceVocational Graded Examinations in DanceOccupational Qualifications
 Higher Degree  Level 5 NVQ
 Degree  Level 4 NVQ
AdvancedGCE A/AS LevelGrade 8 Award Grade 7 Grade 6Advanced 2 Advanced 1 Advanced FoundationLevel 3 NVQ
IntermediateGCSE Grades A*-CGrade 5 Grade 4Intermediate Intermediate FoundationLevel 2 NVQ
FoundationGCSE Grades D-GGrade 3 Grade 2 Grade 1 Level 1 NVQ


For dance a high level of general fitness is required. At Grade level this can be achieved by being physically active eg: running, walking, swimming, playing games etc. If working towards the vocational, professional level syllabi it is necessary to participate in some form of body conditioning incorporating core strengthening and flexibility. This can be done at home using a fitness video – great fun with family and friends joining in! – or at a gym or pilates class.

Diploma for 14 to 19 Year Old Students

The Government has introduced a new composite qualification for 14 to 19 year old students which combines practical skill development with theoretical and technical understanding and knowledge. It is offered at Levels 1, 2 and 3 in fourteen lines of learning and was rolled out over three years commencing September 2008. One of the first five lines of learning was Creative and Media, which could include Dance.

The Diploma consists of three components:

    - Principal Learning
    - Generic Learning
    - Additional/Specialist Learning

The Academy's Graded and Vocational Graded qualifications have been included in the Diploma catalogue of qualifications for Specialist Learning for the Creative and Media Diploma. This enables students to use their RAD qualifications to contribute to their overall Diploma and it being approved by their school/college.

Schools and Colleges Achievement and Attainment Tables

Every state and private school in England is required to complete returns for the Department of Children, Schools and Families giving details of examination results and performance. Schools and Colleges may claim credit for Graded and Vocational Graded Examinations in which their pupils have been successful, provided they have made a significant contribution to the dance training of those pupils.

This contribution could take a variety of forms, such as allowing pupils time off from school to attend dance classes or providing school resources for the pupils to have dance classes.

Each School and College in England has a National Centre Number (NCN - the number for this school, the Gillian Quinn School of Theatre Dance is 39347). If teachers consider that a candidate's school or college has made a significant contribution, they should let them know that they may claim credit for RAD examinations taken by their pupils which can contribute to their Achievement and Attainment Tables (League Tables). In cases where schools/colleges wish to claim points, teachers should enter the NCN on the candidate's entry form, so that the Academy's data sent to the DfES can be linked to the data submitted by the school/college.