Skills & Qualification Standards

The data reveals the percentage of adult residents aged 16-64 with different levels of skills and qualifications in Buckinghamshire, the South East, and England.

In England, qualification standards are measured by National Vocational Qualifications (NVQs) for adults aged 16-64. This measure includes educational attainment, but is wider than education and also indicates the ability, knowledge and skills of a person to do a job.


  • NVQ level 1 is equivalent to entry-level certification and skills
  • NVQ level 2 roughly equates to GCSE level
  • NVQ level 3 equates to A Levels
  • NVQ level 4 correlates to education similar to a university Bachelor’s degree
It is important to note that each NVQ has multiple criteria, for example, NVQ level 4 could be obtained through a Bachelor’s degree, foundational degree or BTEC professional award.


Buckinghamshire has a higher than average qualification level for all NVQ levels when compared to South East and England.


The percentage of people in Buckinghamshire with NVQ level 4 and above stands at 48%, compared to 45% for the South East and 43% for England. The percentage of Buckinghamshire adults with NVQ level 3 and above is 68%, which again is higher than South East at 64% and England at 61%. Similarly the percentages of adults with NVQ level 1 and higher, and NVQ level 2 and higher, are also greater in Buckinghamshire compared to the South East and England.

Skills and qualification standards

Percentage of adults (aged 16-64) achieving NVQ levels in Buckinghamshire, the South East and England

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