Implementing our approach to regulating Technical Qualifications

Ofqual launches a technical consultation on its rules for Technical Qualifications that will sit within T Levels, given decisions based on an earlier consultation

Welder in action

Ofqual has today (3 September 2018) published the outcomes of a policy consultation on our approach to regulating the new Technical Qualifications which will sit within T Levels, including our analysis of the responses we received and our decisions on how to take the proposed rules forward.

We have discussed and agreed these decisions with the Department for Education and Institute for Apprenticeships. The government’s Invitation to Tender for the development, delivery and award of the first three T Levels from September 2020, published earlier today, reflects the feedback we received.

We are now launching a further, technical consultation, to give interested parties an opportunity to feed back on the detail of Ofqual’s rules, including drafts of the Conditions and Guidance we intend to apply.  

Key areas of comment on the policy consultation, and our decisions relating to these, include:

• assessment availability and retakes. Following feedback, we will amend our approach as set out in the consultation to require an awarding organisation to provide a minimum of one assessment series for the Core and the Occupational Specialisms; with the option for an additional assessment series, if appropriate

• results and certification. Taking account of responses received, we will dis-apply our Conditions, meaning awarding organisations will not be required to issue certificates for the Technical Qualifications. Instead, certification will be for the overall T Level. However, a statement of achievement will be implemented for students who do not successfully pass all elements of the T Level, to ensure students are not disadvantaged and that their achievements are recognised

• setting and marking assessments.  Based on feedback received, we will require that the core knowledge and understanding elements are assessed by an examination and marked by the awarding organisation. However, in exceptional circumstances, our rules will allow for centre marking of core skills assessments and Occupational Specialism assessments. We have published further guidance on this today

• ‘working towards’ grade. We consulted on setting a requirement for Occupational Specialisms to have a ‘Working Towards’ grade below Pass. We have taken on board the points raised by respondents. As there is felt to be limited value in this grade, we will not proceed with this proposal

• Other proposals, including our approach on grading, reviews of marking and accreditation, will be adopted largely as outlined in the consultation. These are described more fully in the decisions document.  

Sally Collier, Chief Regulator, said:

"Our decisions, along with the government’s Invitation to Tender, mark a significant milestone in the delivery of T Levels. We look forward to continuing our collaboration with the Institute for Apprenticeships and Department for Education on this important initiative.

"The documents we have published today set out the next stage in how Ofqual will play its part in the development and delivery of high quality, reliable and comparable Technical Qualifications which both learners and employers can trust. The responses we received to our policy consultation will help ensure these qualifications, and the T Levels of which they are part, are valid and robust, and meet the demands of the work place. We have used the consultation feedback to support our draft Conditions and Guidance, which we have set out for further consultation, and we look forward to hearing stakeholders’ views."

We are holding three events to support our technical consultation, aimed at awarding organisations interested in developing Technical Qualifications, or other bodies which may have an interest in becoming recognised awarding organisations to develop Technical Qualifications in the future. You can book your place by clicking on the links below. Please note, places are limited.

• 11 September 2018, 10.30am to 4.00pm, Holiday Inn, Regent’s Park, London 

• 13 September 2018, 10.30am to 4.00pm, The Midland Hotel, Manchester

• 19 September 2018, 1.00pm to 2.00pm, Webinar  

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