A consultation has been launched on proposed new rules aimed at strengthening the regulation of Technical Awards listed in Key Stage 4 performance tables.

Announcing the move, the Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation (Ofqual) explained that the proposals are intended to enhance the qualifications’ validity and to better align its regulation with the Department for Education’s (DfE) performance table requirements.

The proposed rules are intended to address a number of issues identified by Ofqual that could have an impact on standards. They therefore cover the following: qualification purpose, qualification design, assessment design and delivery, grading, and standard setting.

According to Ofqual Chief Regulator Sally Collier, the proposals “demonstrate our commitment to regulate vocational and technical qualifications with the same seriousness and focus as we do general qualifications”.

Ofqual has worked closely with the DfE, she added, to strengthen regulation in respect of these important performance table qualifications, while ensuring an appropriate degree of flexibility in their design.

As a result, users of these qualifications can continue to be assured that they are a reliable and valid assessment of the knowledge and skills acquired by students, Ms Collier concluded.

Next year, awarding organisations will be able to submit their qualifications for review, provided they are delivered in schools and colleges from September 2021 and awarded in summer 2023.

Subject to the outcome of this consultation, the DfE intends to lift the current moratorium on adding new qualifications to the Key Stage 4 performance tables from 2023, Ofqual has confirmed.

The consultation on Regulating Performance Table Qualifications can be found at https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/regulating-performance-table-qualifications.

The deadline for responses is 2 December 2019.

Last reviewed 15 November 2019