Our new Transfer Conditions Policy explained

By Kate Crabtree, Policy and Research Director  

As the regulator of qualifications in Wales, we have the power to take action to protect the interests of learners if things go wrong. 

One of these powers is unique to Wales and it’s worth understanding. Under the Qualifications Wales Act 2015, we have the power – in rare and very specific circumstances – to transfer one or more qualifications from one awarding body to another. 

Where an awarding body’s recognition has been made subject to a Transfer Condition, it allows us in  specified circumstances to direct that awarding body to transfer the qualification[s] in question. This direction means that property and rights associated with the qualification may also be given to the second awarding body 

It’s a special condition of recognition, meaning that any awarding body subject to a Transfer Condition must comply with it if they wish to remain recognised by us. It only applies to awarding bodies where it is considered there is a significant adverse effect on learners. 

We recognise that this regulatory power could impact any awarding body that is subject to it, so we’ve taken time to develop a balanced approach to its use. 

For example, if an awarding body found it was not able to award qualifications to registered learners, for any reason, then a Transfer Condition could be considered.   

Directing an awarding body to transfer a qualification would be the culmination of a process with several stages, and throughout we’d make the awarding body aware of the potential for future action. 

We will also always  consider other ways for risks to be managed to avoid the need to impose a transfer condition, such as requiring the awarding body to provide and implement action plans.   

In the spirit of working collaboratively with awarding bodies, we’ve discussed our proposed approach with a sample of awarding bodies through focus groups in summer 2018. 

We’ve launched a public consultation on a proposed policy that outlines this approach, and it will run on our website until 26 November 2018. We’ll also look at other ways of engaging with awarding bodies between now and December. 

We’re keen for awarding bodies to engage with the draft policy to fully understand it and how it could be used in future as well as providing us with feedback on the policy. Any feedback received will inform the final policy which we aim to publish in early 2019. 

To read the draft policy and consultation document please click here.