Awarding Qualifications in Kenya 2021-10-25T07:50:16+00:00

Awarding Qualifications in Kenya

All universities are established under the universities Act No. 42 of 2012.  All universities are allowed to train, examine and award qualifications (except for constituent colleges, which award qualifications through mentoring universities.  Professional Bodies are involved in the accreditation of institutions to train professionals (see,   see also, though a few also award qualifications.

S/NCategory No. Remarks
a)Public Chartered Universities 31Allowed to train and award qualifications in areas for which they have been accredited by CUE and/or professional bodies (KNQF levels 5 to 10).
b)Public Constitution Colleges 6Allowed to train only Degrees and Diplomas awarded by mentoring universities (KNQF levels 5 to 10).
c)Private Chartered Universities 18Allowed to train and award qualifications in areas for which they have been accredited by CUE and/or professional bodies (KNQF levels 5 to 10).
d)Private Constituent Colleges 5Allowed to train only Degrees and Diplomas awarded by mentoring universities.
e) Institutions with letters of Interim Authority 14Allowed to train and award qualifications for an interim period of 4 years only (KNQF level 5 to 10)

TVET institutions are established under various acts of parliament.  Most TVET institutions in the country are only accredited to train (see  Examination and award of qualifications is done mostly through national exam bodies such as KNEC, TVET, CDACC and KASNEB.  A number of TVET institutions have their own acts of parliament that allows them to train, examine and award TVET qualifications (see section B-1, B-2 and B-3).  The KNEC which carries out the majority of examinations and awarding of qualifications in the TVET sector also collaborates with foreign exam bodies to conduct foreign exams and award foreign qualifications.  The National Industrial Training Authority (NITA), trains, examines several level 3 and 4 qualifications.


1. National Examination Bodies

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S/NName Legal mandate Remarks
1Council for Legal Education (CLE) CLE is established under the legal education act Cap 16A of 2009. Its mandate is to promote legal education and training; accrediting legal education trainers, training and conducting examinations and awarding academic certificates.Conducts exams in the legal profession and awards academic certificates. Accredits and caries out quality assurance of institutions carrying out training in the legal profession.
2Nursing Council of Kenya (NCK) NCK is established under the Nurses Act Cap. 257 of the laws of Kenya. Its mandate is (with approval of the Ministry) to make provision for training of persons seeking registration under the act, prescribe and regulate curricular, recommend institutions for accreditation, carry out quality assurance, conduct exams and award qualifications.Conducts exams in the nursing profession and awards professional certificates. Accredits and carries out quality assurance of institutions carrying out training in the nursing profession (in consultation with the Minister for Health).
3Kenya Nutritionists and Dieticians Institute (KNDI) KNDI is established under the nutritionists and dieticians act No. 18 the 2007 to provide for training, registration and licensing of nutritionists and dieticians; accredit institutions that are training nutritionists and dieticians.Accredits institutions to carry out training in nutrition and dietetics. Has no mandate to award academic qualifications.



S/NName Legal mandate Remarks
1Kenya Technical Trainers College (KTTC)Conducts training, examines and awards TVET qualifications (KNQF levels 3 to 6).
2The Kisumu National Polytechnic
3The Eldoret National Polytechnic These institutions are established under the TVET Act of 2013; and under respective orders are mandated to train, and award TVET qualifications.
4The Meru National Polytechnic
5The Kenya Coast National Polytechnic
6The North Eastern National Polytechnic
7The Sigalagala National Polytechnic
8The Kitale National Polytechnic
9The Kisii National Polytechnic
10The Nyeri National Polytechnic
11The Kabete National Polytechnic


S/No.Name Legal mandate Remarks
1Bukura Agricultural College (BAC)Bukura Agricultural College act Revised Edition 2012, (section 4) To train and award qualification in Agriculture (KNQF levels 3 to 6)
2Kenya Water Institute (KEWI) Kenya Water Institute Act of 2012 (section 4d) To train and award qualifications in water technology (KNQF levels 3 to 6)
3Kenya Forestry College (KFS) Forest conservation and management Act of 2016 (section 17) To train and award qualifications in forestry science and technology (KNQF levels 3 to 6)
4Wildlife Research and Training Institute Wildlife conservation and management act no. 47 of 2013; Act No. 19 of 2015; legal notice 105/2017.To train and award qualifications in wildlife conservation and management (KNQF levels 3 to 6).
5Kenya Institute of Mass Communication (KIMC)Kenya Institute of Mass Communication order, 2011 section 4(d) and (e) legal order no. 197 of 2011. To train and award qualification in mass communication, media and journalism (KNQF levels 3 to 6).
6Kenya Utalii College (KUC) Established under the Tourism Act, 2011.To train and award qualifications in food production, hotel and restaurant management/hospitality (KNQF levels 3 to 6).
7Kenya Medical Training College (KMTC)Established under the KMTC Act of 1990.To train and award qualifications in the medical field (KNQF levels 3 to 6).

Training for levels 1 & 2 qualifications is carried out through private and public primary and secondary schools accredited by the Education Standards and Quality Assurance Council (ESQAC) (see Most of the students sit for and are examined by the KNEC at KNQF level 1 (KCPE) and level 2 (KCSE). The KNEC also collaborates with various foreign exam bodies to administer exams at level 2 (see  Several schools also conduct KNQF level 2 exams directly with foreign exam bodies from various countries.  KNQA equates most university entrance exams to KCSE.  For a student who has taken foreign level 2 exams to qualify for direct university entry; they must be qualified for (must pass with same grades) university in the home country of qualification that they have taken.

S/NoName Legal mandate Remarks
1Kenya National Examination Council (KNEC)a)     KNEC is established under the KNEC Act No. 29 of 2012 to oversee and conduct National Exams in Primary (KNQF level 1) and secondary schools (KNQF level 2).-       Conducts exams in the basic education sector (KNQF levels 1) Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE); and Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE, KNQF level 2)
b)    KNEC is also mandated by law to collaborate with foreign exam bodies to conduct foreign exams. At KNQF level 2 these include;-       Also conducts foreign exams.
i)              Edul International (EI) – offering GCE/IGCE exams;
ii)             International examinations (CIE) – GCE/IGCE Exams; and
iii)           International Baccalaurate organization (IB Diploma).

The Kenya Civil Aviation Authority, established under the Civil Aviation Act No. 21 of 2013 approves and regulates aviation training institutions in Kenya; and carries out certification of aircraft operators (section 7(1), (3) and (6)