Quality improvement, fitness for purpose: the regulator's role


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Kathleen Tattersall's presentation to the Assiciation of Colleges conference, 18th November 2008

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Quality improvement, fitness for purpose: the regulator's role

  1. 1. Quality improvement, fitness for purpose: the Regulator’s role Kathleen Tattersall November 2008
  2. 2. Ofqual’s Values and Objectives  transparency of policies, principles, procedures  accountability to learners, the public, Parliament  clarity for the learner and the general public  equitable access to qualifications for all  collaborative working with stakeholders  value for money
  3. 3. Ofqual’s Strategic Regulation  Ofqual will be a risk-based regulator, legally required to focus its efforts where risk is greatest  Ofqual will be able to strike the right balance between regulating at the level of the awarding bodies – checking that they have the capacity, capability and systems to deliver qualifications effectively – and at the level of individual qualifications. If a qualification is relatively low-risk, then provided that Ofqual is confident in an awarding body’s ability to deliver that qualification, it will not need to subject the qualification to scrutiny before an awarding body enters it onto the national qualifications framework  Ofqual needs to operate from a position of strength, with the right powers to intervene particularly where there is a real risk of standards being compromised. (Additional monitoring and enforcement powers for Ofqual – draft proposals, DCSF October 2008)
  4. 4. Collaborative Regulation Interim Ofqual has made it clear that it wishes to work collaboratively with the awarding bodies and other key stakeholders to ensure that learners, centres, further and higher education, employers and the general public can have confidence in qualifications, exams and tests. Interim Ofqual believes that its task of maintaining standards will be achieved most effectively by developing sound working relationships with stakeholders and an atmosphere of mutual understanding and respect. However, in those few instances where collaborative work proves ineffective, it is important that the regulator has clear and effective powers that allow it to gather the information and evidence it requires to maintain standards and enforce the decisions it has reached. (Additional monitoring and enforcement powers for Ofqual – draft proposals, DCSF October 2008)
  5. 5. Nature of regulation Managerial Professional Source of Hierarchical Expertise legitimacy authority Goals/objectives Efficiency/profit Effectiveness/technical competence Mode of control Rules/compliance Trust/confidence Clients Corporate Individuals Reference group Bureaucratic Professional peers superiors Regulation Hierarchical Collegiate/self- regulation
  6. 6. Proposed Regulatory Powers  the recognition of organisations which provide qualifications and the power to withdraw that recognition  the setting of criteria for recognition and the accreditation of qualifications  the determination of conditions of recognition and the powers to direct when the conditions have been breached  the regulation of the qualifications market, including the powers to cap fees and other charges. (Additional monitoring and enforcement powers for Ofqual – draft proposals, DCSF October 2008)
  7. 7. Imminent Changes to the English Qualifications System  new GCSEs and A-levels  new Diploma qualifications  functional skills 2010  Qualifications and Credit Framework built on a unit-credit approach  raising the age of participation in to 18.
  8. 8. A New Dawn, A New Approach To Regulation  accountable to and focussed on the learner  oriented to the learner and the public  transparent and open  has public trust and confidence  strategic, not specific-qualification focussed  collaborating with and valuing the professionalism of the awarding bodies and research community  providing the framework in which all professionals involved in quality arrangements and standard setting processes can work together to a common end  ensuring an efficient, effective system with value for money  tough when necessary.