Post 16 qualifications that sit alongside A and T levels
Ofqual seeks views on its detailed proposals for regulating a range of academic and technical level 3 qualifications.
Ofqual has today confirmed how it will make sure there is quality and fairness for students who take level 3 qualifications that sit alongside A levels and T Levels. These decisions are informed by the views of students, employers, awarding organisations, and others who recognise the importance of these qualifications which enable progression into higher education and employment.
Alongside these decisions, in a second consultation Ofqual is seeking views on:
- titles of qualifications
- grading of alternative academic qualifications
- details of the proposed draft regulations
Ofqual’s proposals focus on providing students with good quality, fair assessments, supported by meaningful grading scales and titles which make it clear, to all, what these level 3 qualifications represent.
For alternative academic qualifications, Ofqual is requiring that awarding organisations should set and mark at least 40% of the assessment to be undertaken by all students, at the same time. For these alternative academic qualifications, Ofqual is also proposing putting in place guidance regarding grading scales and is considering a move to a smaller number of common grading scales in the future.
Dr Jo Saxton, Ofqual Chief Regulator, said:
"It is important that students have access to high-quality qualifications that will help them to build a meaningful career. Qualifications lead to better opportunities in life.
"It is also important that students and employers can easily identify which qualifications are relevant to them and understand what the grades awarded represent.
"Ofqual has drawn up its proposals for regulating alternative level 3 qualifications to make sure students best interests are met."
These proposals all contribute to making sure that qualifications approved for use alongside A levels and T Levels are of high quality and relevant, an ambition the Department for Education (DfE) confirmed in July 2021 in its plans to reform post-16 qualifications.
The Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education (IfATE) is currently consulting on proposals for its approval of level 3 alternative technical qualifications.
Ofqual, IfATE and DfE are working together to provide awarding organisations with a streamlined approval process for all level 3 qualifications, with no duplication of, or tension between, requirements. Awarding bodies will only be required to submit one set of documents for approval.
The aim is to have one single source of information once Ofqual’s and IfATE’s consultations are complete.
Ofqual’s consultation opens today Thursday, 30 June 2022 and runs for six weeks, closing on Wednesday 10 August 2022.