Consultation on approach to designated vocational qualifications: Have your say

Ofqual and the UK Department for Education have today launched a consultation on the arrangements for assessing and awarding vocational qualifications in 2021.

The consultation follows on the from the policy position outlined by the Secretary of State for Education in the UK government.

Most vocational qualifications taken by learners in Wales are within the scope of this consultation. They are qualifications that are available to learners in Wales, England and Northern Ireland and are co-regulated by Qualifications Wales, Ofqual and CCEA Regulation. These qualifications are assessed and awarded in the same way to learners in each nation.

We work closely with our fellow regulators to ensure a common approach to regulating three-country qualifications. We do so to ensure consistency and parity for learners in Wales compared to those in other nations and to minimise the burden on the awarding bodies that award the qualifications.

We will not be consulting separately on these arrangements, so we encourage you to respond to the consultation.

Current adaptations and ongoing assessment

The Extended Extraordinary Regulatory Framework for Vocational Qualifications provides flexibility for awarding bodies to adapt the assessment approach for their qualifications. The adaptations that have been communicated to centres remain in place and learners should continue to complete assessments where it is safe to do so.  If you have any questions about the adaptations in place for specific qualifications you should contact your awarding body to discuss.

Approach to Approved (Wales-only) vocational qualifications in 2021

Some vocational qualifications are designed specifically for Wales and solely regulated by Qualifications Wales. These include Essential Skills qualifications and the new suite of Health and Social Care and Childcare qualifications. We will consider the approaches to these qualifications alongside the consultation on the approach to other vocational qualifications. For Approved vocational qualifications that are similar to GCSE, AS and A level qualifications we will consider the approach taken to general qualifications in Wales when deciding on the fairest approach.  We will also consider the approach taken to similar vocational qualifications to ensure fairness for learners in Wales.

GCSE, AS and A levels qualifications

Ofqual and the UK Department for Education are also consulting on the approach to GCSE, AS and A level qualifications in England. Some of these qualifications are available in Wales where no Approved Wales version of the qualification exists. The way forward for Approved GCSE, AS and A levels in Wales is being considered separately by the Design and Delivery Advisory Group set up by the Minister for Education in Wales.