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HMRC internal manual

VAT Education Manual

Group 6 Item 3 Examination services services including school inspections: what are examination services?

This item covers a wide range of activities and includes those carried out at the instigation of an educational institution itself. The term examination services includes the following supplies in the education and training sector:

  • GCSE examinations etc;
  • National Vocational Qualification (NVQ) assessments;
  • accreditation;
  • validation;
  • certification;
  • assessment and
  • registration services.

Although item 3 of Group 6 of Schedule 9 of the VAT Act 1994 refers to examination services, it is clear from the legal definition contained in Note (4) to the Group that the exemption is intended to apply to a far broader area of services than examinations alone.

This deliberately reflects the trend away from examinations towards continual assessment and monitoring of workplace performance, personal portfolios, accreditation and so on as the means of recording attainments and achievements and also of awarding qualifications.