Find out about Ofqual's rules for the qualifications and assessments we regulate.
Applies to England
Ofqual is England’s statutory regulator for:
- early years foundation stage profile and national curriculum assessments (which together we refer to as ‘national assessments’).
We have set a range of rules for regulated qualifications, as well as guidance which supports those rules. We have also set out separate rules for national assessments.
This page will help you understand which of our rules and guidance apply to you, and to the qualifications and assessments you offer.
The Ofqual Handbook - rules and guidance for qualifications
For the qualifications we regulate, we have set a range of both general and qualification-specific rules and guidance, which collectively we refer to as the Ofqual Handbook.
General rules and guidance
These apply to all the qualifications and organisations we regulate. All regulated awarding organisations have to follow them.
- General Conditions of Recognition (and associated requirements and guidance)
- Criteria for determining whether a qualification is relevant for the purposes of the Education and Skills Act 2008
We’ve also published information that explains how our General Conditions of Recognition differ from the equivalent rules in Northern Ireland and Wales.
Additional rules and guidance for specific qualifications
These apply to specific kinds of qualifications. Only the awarding organisations that offer (or want to offer) these qualifications have to follow them.
- General Qualifications Alternative Awarding Framework
- VTQ Contingency Regulatory Framework
- Extraordinary regulatory framework: General Qualifications, COVID-19 Conditions and Requirements
- Extraordinary regulatory framework: VTQ COVID-19 Conditions and Requirements
- AS and A level subject-level conditions for qualifications being awarded in 2022
- GCSE subject-level conditions for qualifications being awarded in 2022
- AS and A levels (new qualifications introduced for first teaching in or after September 2015)
- Legacy AS and A levels (qualifications with final assessments in 2019 or 2020)
- GCSEs graded 9 to 1
- GCSEs graded A* to G
- Technical Qualifications
- advanced extension awards (AEA)
- certain qualifications included in school performance tables
- level 1 and level 2 certificates (international GCSEs)
- functional skills qualifications
- Essential Digital Skills
- English for speakers of other languages (ESOL) qualifications
- project qualifications
- Ofqual-regulated apprenticeship end-point assessments
- rules about adjustments to assessments for disabled people (apply to a range of qualifications commonly taken in schools and colleges)
Ofqual Explains is a series of videos about our regulatory framework which we launched in December 2018.
The videos, hosted on our Youtube channel, are designed to aid understanding and awareness of our rules and guidance, but do not form part of our statutory regulatory framework.