Building the Future

How our review worked


Building the Future, our review of qualifications in construction and the building environment was published in 2018 and highlighted the need to reform qualifications in the sector.  

The report summarised the views of learning providers and a range of professional and representative bodies, together with more than 100 employers and over 900 learners. It included findings from our own technical review of a sample of qualifications and an international comparison study

Our review identified: 

  • a complex qualifications offer for this sector, with repetition and unclear progression routes; 
  • that the content and design of qualifications meant that learners could miss out on skills and techniques that they need to meet the needs of employers across Wales; 
  • qualifications that did not always meet the needs of employers or the economy, with some considered to be outdated, irrelevant or inadequate; 
  • that assessment was often not well managed, with quality assurance that could be inconsistent and of poor quality. 

This sector is vital to the economy of Wales and has continually evolving priorities. It needs people with the skills to work with existing and new technologies and with new and traditional buildings. It’s crucial that the sector is supported by valid, reliable, manageable and engaging qualifications. 

We commissioned the development of a new Foundation qualification in Construction and Building Services Engineering, and Progression and Apprenticeship qualifications in Building Services Engineering and Construction.  The first of these qualifications from City & Guilds and EAL are now available to learners. Further qualifications for use on apprenticeship frameworks will be available in September 2022.

Published approval criteria can be found below.



We also developed approval criteria for a new: 

  • GCSE Built Environment qualification, which is now available to learners; and 
  • GCE AS/A level Built Environment, for teaching from September 2022. 

These qualifications have been developed by WJEC. Together, the suite of new qualifications will address many of the issues identified in Building the Future. 

Throughout the review, we engaged with a wide range of stakeholders. These included learners, employers, learning providers including further education colleges, schools and training organisations, and representatives from universities to identify how the new qualifications could best address the needs of learners and employers. 

Click on the videos below to hear the views of some of the people who took part in the review, and their thoughts on the completed report.  

Cassy Taylor, Associate Director (Vocational Qualifications), Qualifications Wales

Ed Evans, Director, CECA

Tom Anwyl, Director, Anwyl Group

Anthony Rees, Regional Manager, Cyfle Building Skills

Andrew Brett, Head of Construction, Coleg Menai

Ken Pearson, Director, Bluestone Builders

Richard James, HEFE Sector Manager, Willmott Dixon