News story

Changes to qualifications regulation in Northern Ireland

Move to single regulator means CCEA take over responsibility for regulating vocational qualifications in Northern Ireland


Since 2010, Northern Ireland has had two qualifications regulators: Ofqual, which regulates vocational qualifications and the Council for the Curriculum, Examinations and Assessment (CCEA) which regulates general qualifications. The Department for Employment and Learning (DEL) in Northern Ireland recently decided that it wished to move to a single Northern Ireland-based qualifications regulator.

To facilitate this change the appropriate legislative amendments came into effect yesterday (4 May) to the Apprenticeships, Skills, Children and Learning Act. In practical terms, Ofqual will no longer regulate vocational qualifications that are only provided in Northern Ireland.

Where vocational qualifications are offered in both Northern Ireland and England, they will be regulated by both Ofqual and CCEA. We will shortly be entering into a Memorandum of Understanding with CCEA which commits to working together and to minimising burden on awarding organisations.

CCEA will also continue to use our Register of Regulated Qualifications.

Published 5 May 2016