Assessment and Qualifications Alliance
|Purpose||Examination Board, Educational Awarding Syndicate and Charity Organisation|
|Headquarters||London, Manchester and Guildford, United Kingdom|
|England, Wales and Northern Ireland|
AQA (formerly known as Assessment and Qualifications Alliance) is an Awarding Body in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. It compiles specifications and holds examinations in various subjects at GCSE, AS and A Level and offers vocational qualifications. AQA is a registered charity and independent of the Government. However, its qualifications and exam syllabi are regulated by the Government of the United Kingdom, which is the regulator for the public examinations system in England and Wales.
AQA is one of five Awarding Bodies which are recognised by the regulators of the public exams systems for England, Wales and Northern Ireland to offer GCSE, AS and A Levels in the United Kingdom. AQA also offers the AQA Baccalaureate, a qualification also intended for students in Year 12 and 13. AQA is the largest examination board for GCSEs and GCE A Levels in England.
The organisation announced that it will begin offering courses for which all assessment is carried out through examinations at the end of the course. This is commonly referred to as a Linear Course. Beforehand, they offered modular courses in England with several exams.
The Conservative Party under Prime Minister David Cameron initiated reforms for A Levels to change from the current modular to a linear structure. British Examination Boards (Edexcel, AQA and OCR) regulated and accredited by the Government of the United Kingdom responded to the Government's reform announcements by modifying syllabi of several A Level subjects. However, the Labour Party and in particular the Member of Parliament Tristram Hunt announced that it will halt and reverse the reforms and maintain the modular A-Level system. In addition, the Labour Party, Tristram Hunt and the modular AS- and A-Level system are supported and promoted by the University of Cambridge and by the University of Oxford.
Like its competitors AQA offers a substantial range of GCSE courses ranging from Maths and English to Sciences and Foreign Languages. Many of these courses offer both modular and linear assessment options. More recently due to Government changes a Linear approach is more common.
- "AQA – Overview of the AQA Baccalaureate". Aqa.org.uk. Retrieved 2011-12-08.
- "BBC News - AQA exam board to bring in exam-only GCSEs in England". Bbc.co.uk. 2010-09-27. Retrieved 2011-12-08.