The initial qualification to be piloted by Network Rail will be track engineering, focusing on technical competences in track engineering but also covering other areas such as health and safety.
All the Network Rail workforce of 33,000 will eventually be involved plus agreed contractors and other stakeholders within the rail sector.
Professor Andrew McNaughton, chief engineer of Network Rail said: “The ability to award nationally recognised, transferable qualifications will enable us to keep on setting industry standards for technical rail skills training in the UK and attract and develop highly trained and motivated people.”
The move is part of the QCA’s new Qualifications and Credit Framework pilot scheme which sets out to deliver a system of credit recognition that is easier for employers and learners to understand.
A QCA spokesman said: "It is componentised so if a learner drops out of a course or can't manage to complete they can take those units with them."
The other firms taking part in the project are McDonald's and budget airline FlyBe.