Reflecting 5 years as Independent Regulator of Non-Degree Qualifications in Wales
It’s five years since Qualifications Wales started work as the independent regulator of non-degree qualifications in Wales which gives us an opportunity to reflect on what’s been achieved so far – and look forward to the future.
From the word go our priority has been to make sure all qualifications are fit for purpose and meet the needs of further education, employers and the wider society. And that explains why we have devoted so much time and effort into looking in detail at different employment sectors.
The first sector we examined was health and social care, including childcare. The events of this year, as the COVID-19 pandemic swept through the world, have clearly demonstrated just how much we value and depend on the skills and experience of our health workers, carers and childcare workers. That’s why the qualifications available to them must be the best possible.
We introduced our first phase of new health and social care and childcare qualifications in September 2019 and this year they were joined by the level 4 and 5 qualifications. This new suite of qualifications was created following extensive consultation with learners, colleges and employers in the sector to make sure they are exactly what’s needed.
The same approach has been taken with all our other sector reviews. Co-operation and consultation are the key to their success, and we are proud that our approach to reviewing these qualifications has been embraced by those people who work, teach and study in the sectors.
We’re now counting down to the first teaching of the new construction and built environment qualifications in September 2021.
In the biggest shake-up for a generation, a complex market with hundreds of existing qualifications is being simplified by a suite of new qualifications that will help reshape education and training for the industry in Wales.
The new qualifications will offer learners better progression routes into employment. Assessment will be streamlined and robust, making sure that young people have the skills and knowledge they need to get ahead in their careers.
Meanwhile we are developing approval criteria for a new GCE AS/A Level Digital Technology qualification, which will be available for first teaching in September 2022.
It follows our review of qualifications in the digital technology sector. We’ve launched a survey to gather views on the proposals, which can be accessed on our website until the closing date of 23 October.
We’ve also arranged a couple of webinars, during which we will summarise our proposals for this new qualification and allow you to ask questions. You can find more information regarding the survey and webinars on our website.
Also next month we will be publishing the results of our review into qualifications in the engineering, advanced manufacturing sectors where we will spell out the findings of work with this vital sector.
It’s a challenging time for everyone involved with vocational qualifications and we are pleased to be continuing and expanding our programme of sector reviews over the coming years. We’ll be sharing our plans with you very shortly and look forward to a continued close relationship with the National Training Federation for Wales and its members.