Criteria are regulatory requirements that we check as part of a defined gateway process, and are subject to ongoing compliance.
Some regulatory criteria are applied generally (General Criteria) while other criteria are applicable to specific qualifications (Qualification-Specific Criteria). In addition, certain subjects may also have subject specific criteria requirements that need to be adhered to (Subject-Specific Criteria).
Criteria for Recognition
The Criteria for Recognition set out the requirements which need to be met by an awarding body before it can gain recognition status by Qualifications Wales, under The Qualifications Wales Act 2015. Organisations wishing to become a recognised awarding body must meet the criteria.
This policy outlines the criteria that qualification must meet before it can be approved and the conditions of approval placed on an approved qualification.
Priority Qualifications List (PQL)
This is a list of qualifications for which we have published approval criteria, or are under consideration for approval. Qualifications on this list will only be approved if they meet the published approval criteria. Approved status is not an indicator of the relative importance of a qualification. Qualifications Wales will consider qualifications that are not on the Priority Qualifications List if there are published approval criteria, however the approval of qualifications that are on the Priority Qualifications List will be of higher priority.
In addition to the General Criteria above, there are Qualification-Specific Criteria that can be found in our Regulatory Document List.
- For GCSEs and GCEs, these are supplementary criteria for designation.
- There are Design Principles for Essential Skills Wales qualifications and for the Welsh Baccalaureate.
Criteria for GCSEs and GCEs
There are specific criteria that apply to reformed GCSE and GCE qualifications first taught during or after the academic year 2015/16.
Certain subjects also have Subject Principles and/or Approval Criteria (in addition to the General Criteria).
There are also Criteria for pre-reformed GCSEs and GCEs where first teaching of the qualification was prior to the academic year 2015/16.