News story

Key changes to qualifications regulation come into effect

Ofqual has today (1 October 2015) launched the Regulated Qualifications Framework (RQF) as the single framework for describing all regulated qualifications in England and vocational qualifications in Northern Ireland.

A girl and teacher in a textiles class.

The RQF is designed to help people understand qualifications, providing detail on the challenge and size of each qualification we regulate. The framework will also show where a qualification sits in relation to others of differing level or size, like a range of books in a bookcase.

At the same time as introducing the RQF, we are withdrawing the rules of the Qualifications and Credit Framework (QCF). We took this decision because we found that the rules did not always enable the most appropriate qualification and assessment design.

The RQF is not another set of detailed design rules. This means that awarding organisations can focus on designing sufficiently valid qualifications, rather than having to fit them to a prescribed structure. It also means that we can better focus our regulatory approach across the full life cycle of a qualification, including delivery, assessment and evaluation of feedback as well as up front design.

Talking about withdrawing the rules, Jeremy Benson, Executive Director for Vocational Qualifications, said:

We have seen widespread agreement with our proposals to withdraw the QCF rules. They blurred accountability for quality. Without them awarding organisations can focus on what matters, which is the validity of their qualifications.

Jeremy has also written a blog post that explains more about the RQF.

As a result of the changes we have made, our ‘General Conditions of Recognition’ and related guidance have been updated. They came into force as of today.

Published 1 October 2015