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We have confirmed that the Qualifications and Credit Framework (QCF) rules will be removed, following a 12 week consultation.
The QCF rules are being removed so that high quality vocational qualifications can be designed around the needs of employers, rather than the prescriptive set of QCF rules. The change is part of our wider plans to strengthen vocational qualifications in England and Northern Ireland.
When we lift the QCF rules, good qualifications that meet the rules can stay. The organisations that we regulate will have greater freedom to design assessments based on the skills and knowledge that industries need. Qualifications that aren’t valid will need to be developed or withdrawn.
Ending unit-sharing will also mean that the organisations we regulate have clear and sole responsibility for the quality of their qualifications.
The removal of the QCF rules, along with its bank of shared units, will begin from summer 2015 at the earliest following further consultation.
For some time we have been concerned that the ‘Regulatory Arrangements for the Qualifications and Credit Framework’ have not delivered on their intended outcomes and that they sometimes stand in the way of the development of consistently good, valid and reliable qualifications.
We have considered reports recently commissioned by government into vocational education, apprenticeships and adult vocational qualifications and noted their comments about the QCF. At the end of 2013 we commissioned our own review of the QCF and this consultation is based on the recommendations of that report.