Ofqual is set to increase its focus on vocational qualifications, it was revealed today.
Jeremy Benson, director of policy at the regulator, told a summit in London that it would shift its focus away from academic qualifications. “We know Ofqual has a role to play in improving the quality of vocational education,” he said.
“We need our regulatory arrangements to drive qualifications to have a purpose and to be fit for that purpose. Ofqual has focused on GCSEs and A-levels in recent years and rightly so, but we are now ramping up our focus on vocational qualifications.”
Mr Benson, speaking at the Pearson Sutton Trust summit on apprenticeships and vocational education, said there would be some significant changes to how vocational qualifications are regulated, with more details to be set out over the next few weeks.
However, he said these will include a focus on the skills that students develop and giving a central role to employers, who will be encouraged to give greater feedback to ensure that qualifications are useful and valuable.
Finally, he said different employers and sectors had different needs, which means a “one size fits all” approach would not work. “We have to accept it is a diverse, even messy system,” he said.