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IQ Responds to Ofqual Intention to Levy a Monetary Penalty

IQ Responds to Ofqual Intention to Levy a Monetary Penalty

27th February 2017

Industry Qualification (IQ) has expressed disappointment at the announcement by Ofqual of its intention to impose a financial penalty on the company following the exposure of qualification fraud at Ashley Commerce College in 2015. The company has asserted its confidence that the penalty will be over turned on appeal.

In a detailed response to the reasons published for the decision, IQ has highlighted significant failures by the regulator to follow its own policies, and questioned the interpretation by the Regulator of its Conditions of Recognition in relation to its own guidelines. IQ contends that the new interpretation placed on one of the conditions in particular does not conform to regulatory guidance, and would preclude small and micro sized training centres from the delivery of public qualifications with any awarding organisation.

IQ also contends that Ofqual has failed to fulfil its statutory duty to promote public confidence in regulated qualifications as a result of its lack of leadership and management of qualifications fraud. The company has reported strong circumstantial evidence that some of those involved in the Ashley Commerce College fraud had previously been involved in incidents of malpractice/fraud, and allowed to continue their activities in the absence of effective regulatory control. “As much as anything, the Ashley situation arose as a result of regulatory failings which continues in other centres today as a result of the environment of denial which pervades the regulator” said Raymond Clarke, Chief Executive of IQ.

IQ is also critical of the enforcement process adopted by Ofqual. “It is a matter of significant concern that it has taken 22 months for Ofqual to reach this determination, a period during which Ofqual has steadfastly refused to meet with IQ, or allow any direct oral representation to those casting judgement on our actions and motives”, said Clarke. “The appeal will provide the first opportunity for IQ to present its case to an independent and impartial panel”.

IQ has stated its commitment to write to the Department for Business Energy and Industrial Strategy detailing its own experiences of the regulatory system, and in support of proposals to improve regulatory accountability. In advance of any changes at national level, IQ has called on Ofqual to review its policies and procedures in accordance with the Regulators Code, and become a signatory to the code. “It is a matter of concern that a regulator of the importance and reach of Ofqual, has not signed up to a national government standard designed to promote regulatory good practice” said Clarke.

Full details of the Ofqual justification for its decision to impose a financial penalty, along with the response from IQ can be found on the IQ website.


For more information please contact Raymond Clarke on 01952 457458 or

Feb 27, 2017 11:17 PM
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