|Non-ministerial government department overview|
|Preceding Non-ministerial government department||QCA|
|Type||Non-ministerial government department|
|Jurisdiction||England and Northern Ireland|
|Headquarters||Spring Place, Coventry Business Park, Herald Avenue, Canley, Coventry, CV5 6UB
|Annual budget||£18.4 million (2013/14)|
|Non-ministerial government department executives||Glenys Stacey, Chief Executive
Amanda Spielman, Chair
The Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation (Ofqual) is a non-ministerial government department that regulates qualifications, exams and tests in England and vocational qualifications in Northern Ireland.
Ofqual's role is to maintain standards and confidence in qualifications.
Area of governance
It regulates exams, qualifications and tests in England and NVQs in Northern Ireland. Wales and Scotland are regulated by each respective national government. It works closely with the Department for Education on general qualifications, such as GCSEs and A levels, and with the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills on vocational qualifications such as NVQs and BTECs. In Northern Ireland it regulates NVQs on behalf of the Department for Employment and Learning.
Ofqual's remit and responsibilities are established in law by the Apprenticeships, Skills, Children and Learning Act 2009 and the Education Act 2011. As a Non-ministerial department Ofqual is accountable to Parliament, through the Education Select Committee. It is not accountable to Government ministers and as such is independent from Ministerial Government.
In September 2007 Ed Balls, the then Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families announced that responsibility for regulating exams and qualifications would move from the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority (QCA) to a new independent regulator. The new agency was named, and details of its structure and functioning were proposed, in December 2007. It began its interim work on 8 April 2008, and was officially established on 1 April 2010.
Amanda Spielman has been Ofqual's Chair since 2011 and in 2014 was reappointed for a further 5 year period.
It has four directorates:
- Strategy, risk and research
- Vocational qualifications
- General qualifications
- Gov.uk, Gov.UK Government, Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation, Retrieved 6 February 2014
- "About us". Ofqual.
- "Apprenticeship, Skills, Children and Learning Act 2009". Office of Public Sector Information. 12 November 2009. Retrieved 1 December 2009.
- "Education Act 2011". Parliament of the United Kingdom.
- "New independent regulator for the exam and qualifications system". Department for Children, Schools and Families. 27 September 2007. Retrieved 17 September 2008.
- "Ed Balls' letter to Kathleen Tattersall regarding the establishment of Ofqual".
- "Glenys Stacey is new head of Ofqual". TES. Retrieved 8 March 2011.
- "Gove welcomes reappointment of Amanda Spielman as Chair of Ofqual".
- Official website
- Ofqual consultations
- The Register of Regulated Qualifications
- Ofqual's channel on YouTube
- Ofqual on Twitter