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IQ Welcomes Ofqual Enquiry

IQ welcomes the review announced by Ofqual on the 28th of November into the health of the qualifications market.

The publication by the Daily Telegraph (8th December 2011) of allegations concerning the conduct of a number of awarding organisations gives added urgency to the planned review by Ofqual, the qualifications regulator in England, into the health of the qualifications market. The review, which was announced in a letter to Ministers on the 28th November, has been tasked to consider conflicts of interest in the qualifications sector, the role of market forces and market distortions created as a result of public and sector policy.

“We are delighted that Ofqual has announced this review”, said Raymond Clarke, Chief Executive of IQ, “and had been preparing our own letter for Ministers raising many of the concerns that are featured in the planned study. We believe that the essence of a valued and globally respected qualifications system is that it is standards based, possess integrity and vigour and is not one which is purely driven by the need for the highest pass rates. Clearly there are significant doubts about the current arrangements.

At IQ we have set out to create a premium, standards based awarding body. Our own philosophy is that in the vocational education sector, qualifications should give confidence to employers’ that those holding a qualification possess the knowledge and or skills to work effectively to relevant sector standard. This means testing knowledge and or skills thoroughly and placing significant emphasis on the rigour and intelligence of quality assurance activity.

In our short time in the qualifications market, we have become increasingly concerned that these aspirations are not always shared by awarding organisations.  We see exams that demand very little by way of candidate understanding of the subject, and quality assurance activities that can only be described as less than vigorous in some instances. A failure to provide rigour in assessment and ineffective control of assessment centres reduces an awarding organisation to being little more than an expensive printer.

IQ looks forward to making a strong and positive input to the Ofqual review and we believe that the review will endorse many of the ground breaking measures that have been initiated by IQ to improve the quality and credibility of the qualifications sector”.

Full details of the review, and comments on the issues surrounding the review will be available on the IQ web-site from the New Year.

Notes to Editors:

The letter from Ofqual to Ministers can be found on the Ofqual website using the following link

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