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Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation
Ofqual logo.svg
Non-ministerial government department overview
Formed April 2008 (April 2008)
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
52°24′12.4884″N 1°32′59.3088″W / 52.403469000°N 1.549808000°W / 52.403469000; -1.549808000
Employees 232 (2013/14)
Annual budget £18.4 million (2013/14)
Non-ministerial government department executives Glenys Stacey, Chief Executive
Amanda Spielman, Chair
Website ofqual.gov.uk

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.[1]


Ofqual's role is to maintain standards and confidence in qualifications.[2]

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[3] and the Education Act 2011.[4] 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.[5] 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,[2] and was officially established on 1 April 2010.[6]


Ofqual's Chief Executive is Glenys Stacey, who was previously the Chief Executive of Standards for England. She replaced Isabel Nisbet on 1 March 2011.[7]

Amanda Spielman has been Ofqual's Chair since 2011 and in 2014 was reappointed for a further 5 year period.[8]

It has four directorates:

  • Strategy, risk and research
  • Vocational qualifications
  • General qualifications
  • Operations


External links