Ofqual plans to scrap criteria for Key Skills qualifications

Exam watchdog Ofqual has announced that it intends to withdraw its criteria for Key Skills qualifications following a detailed review.

The criteria were originally developed by the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority in 2000, and set out rules and regulations for Key Skills qualifications.

From 2012, Functional Skills qualifications were introduced by the government, which Ofqual says “largely” replaced Key Skills.

At the moment there are nine Key Skills qualifications available to new learners in England, which are offered by a single awarding organisation.

The watchdog state that the current criteria, which enforce that qualifications that use terms such as Key Skills, working with others, communication, and problem-solving, among others, must be based on specifications developed by the regulators, is not needed.

Ofqual instead believes that it is not “appropriate to require awarding organisations to continue using a specification developed by a predecessor organisation many years ago”.

Other areas of the current criteria are also being questioned, such as qualifications in Key skills having to use the assessment models specified by regulators.

Ofqual state that “none of these rules are needed” and as a result, believe “retaining the criteria would impose an unnecessary regulatory burden”.

The watchdog aims to formally withdraw the criteria on 31 August this year.

Read more