The Diploma – a view from the regulator
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The Diploma – a view from the regulator

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The Diploma – a view from the regulator

The Diploma – a view from the regulator

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  • So, to introduce Ofqual to you. We are the statutory regulator of qualifications, examinations and assessments and were established by legislation last year. The important point to note is that we are independent of ministers. We don’t report to Government, we instead report direct to Parliament. This is a safeguard to ensure that we do not fall under the whim or mechanism of any one minister or department. You can regard this as an additional assurance for the currency of the qualifications that we regulate. We regulate all qualifications in England except university degrees. This means we regulate qualifications at all levels including vocational and professional qualifications as well as academic ones and we also regulate statutory national curriculum assessments. As well as this, we regulate vocational qualifications in Northern Ireland.
  • Our objectives are very relevant to the work we’ve been doing with the Diploma. We are responsible for setting the regulatory requirements of the Diploma and for implementing the processes that are designed to ensure that that assessments and examinations are fair and accessible for candidates and that outcomes are appropriate and consistent. We accredit all of the qualifications that are part of the Diploma and also recognise the awarding bodies that offer the Diploma or any of its components. Diploma awarding bodies and component awarding bodies have had to go through a supplementary recognition process with ourselves, on top of the original processes that some went through to be recognised as an awarding organisation . These awarding bodies, or CABs and DABs, must then comply with regulations developed by Ofqual including; - The criteria for accreditation of foundation, higher and advanced qualifications version 3 - The Line of Learning criteria for the specific qualification - The regulatory arrangements for Component and Diploma Awarding Bodies, and in the case of principal learning and project Component Awarding Bodies, - The GCSE, GCE, principal learning and project code of practice. As you can see, it’s a complex task for the regulator and for the awarding organisations ! However such an approach does allow for us to secure the standards of all aspects of the qualification, as well as ensuring that delivery is effective and value for money. Having such standards also promotes confidence in the qualification.
  • With a focus on the debate to be had, Ofqual stated some underlying principles for the Diploma in its Chief Regulator’s report last year. These principles said that: The design and requirements for the Diploma should be understandable to all involved; learners, teachers, employers and awarding organisations. The detailed regulatory rules and requirements around should be as simple as possible. Particularly, teachers and tutors should be able to use their professional judgement to shape learners’ curricular choices, guided by broad principles rather than detailed rules. Each qualification within the Diploma should be valued as important in its own right with a title that reflects its content, but without detracting from the additional value of the Diploma as a whole programme of learning. Ofqual must be able to assure the public that grades are comparable in graded elements and that standards are comparable across awarding organisations and lines of learning for achievement for the qualifications that comprise the Diploma. The responsibilities of the recognised organisations delivering Diplomas and component qualifications should be clear and Ofqual should check that they deliver these responsibilities. The qualification should be value for money to the nation. With these principles in mind and having looked through the challenges we are still facing with the Diploma, it begs the question – what next?
  • With a focus on the debate to be had, Ofqual stated some underlying principles for the Diploma in its Chief Regulator’s report last year. These principles said that: The design and requirements for the Diploma should be understandable to all involved; learners, teachers, employers and awarding organisations. The detailed regulatory rules and requirements around should be as simple as possible. Particularly, teachers and tutors should be able to use their professional judgement to shape learners’ curricular choices, guided by broad principles rather than detailed rules. Each qualification within the Diploma should be valued as important in its own right with a title that reflects its content, but without detracting from the additional value of the Diploma as a whole programme of learning. Ofqual must be able to assure the public that grades are comparable in graded elements and that standards are comparable across awarding organisations and lines of learning for achievement for the qualifications that comprise the Diploma. The responsibilities of the recognised organisations delivering Diplomas and component qualifications should be clear and Ofqual should check that they deliver these responsibilities. The qualification should be value for money to the nation. With these principles in mind and having looked through the challenges we are still facing with the Diploma, it begs the question – what next?
  • With a focus on the debate to be had, Ofqual stated some underlying principles for the Diploma in its Chief Regulator’s report last year. These principles said that: The design and requirements for the Diploma should be understandable to all involved; learners, teachers, employers and awarding organisations. The detailed regulatory rules and requirements around should be as simple as possible. Particularly, teachers and tutors should be able to use their professional judgement to shape learners’ curricular choices, guided by broad principles rather than detailed rules. Each qualification within the Diploma should be valued as important in its own right with a title that reflects its content, but without detracting from the additional value of the Diploma as a whole programme of learning. Ofqual must be able to assure the public that grades are comparable in graded elements and that standards are comparable across awarding organisations and lines of learning for achievement for the qualifications that comprise the Diploma. The responsibilities of the recognised organisations delivering Diplomas and component qualifications should be clear and Ofqual should check that they deliver these responsibilities. The qualification should be value for money to the nation. With these principles in mind and having looked through the challenges we are still facing with the Diploma, it begs the question – what next?

The Diploma – a view from the regulator The Diploma – a view from the regulator Presentation Transcript

  • The Diploma – a view from the regulator Isabel Nisbet, Chief Executive, Ofqual 22 September 2010
  • Where the regulator comes in
        • Established by the Apprenticeships, Skills, Children and Learning Act 2009
        • Independent of Ministers (past and present)
        • Statutory objectives around:
          • Standards
          • Confidence
          • Value for money
            • … in regulated qualifications (including the Diploma)
  • The Diploma: what Ofqual has done
        • Produced operating rules for the Diploma
        • Recognised DABs and CABs
        • Issued criteria for Diplomas in all the lines of learning
        • Accredited qualifications against the criteria
        • Overseen safe delivery in 2009 and 2010:
          • Joint chairing (with DfE) of “checkpoint” arrangements
          • Incident management
        • Made sure that Principal Learning and project qualifications were marked and graded properly and consistently
          • Monitoring of marking, moderation, standardisation, awarding
          • Detailed analysis of assessment material and student work in 7 PL and project qualifications
          • Scrutiny of three Level 2 PL qualifications (published march 2010)
            • Some issues around question papers and mark schemes
    View slide
  • 2 nd Chief Regulator’s report: principles for the longer-term development of the Diploma
        • Diploma design and requirements must be understandable
        • Detailed regulatory rules and requirements should be as simple as possible, and should allow for use of professional judgement
        • Each Diploma component qualification should be valued in its own right
        • Ofqual must be able to assure comparability
        • Responsibilities for agencies involved in the Diploma should be clear
        • The qualification should be value for money
    View slide
  • Changed policy context
        • Ministerial preference for greater choice in qualifications
          • But expect new policies on curriculum and qualifications in forthcoming White Paper
          • The ‘English Baccalaureate’
        • Diploma no longer one of a limited number of approved ‘routes’ for state schools, or a future ‘entitlement’
        • Diploma not seen as a/the long-term qualification of choice
        • Ofqual vision of a varied range of regulated qualifications
          • Some credit-based, some modular, some linear, some portfolios
          • All required to show that standards are maintained
          • All required to show value for money
        • SO the Diploma does not need to carry the weight of an entire curriculum in one qualification
        • Opportunity to retain the best in the Diploma for the future
        • BUT need to safeguard delivery of the current qualification in 2011
  • Regulatory messages: the Diploma in 2010-11
        • Responsibility to safeguard awards to current learners
        • Build an evidence-based view of what has worked well
        • Con tinue regulatory work to ensure that grading standards are consistent and fair
        • Need clear messages to schools, colleges and new students considering starting Diploma courses
        • Revised design must be manageable without intensive/expensive central support
        • Diploma components can combine with other qualifications to meet curricular needs
        • Operating rules can be simplified
  • But don’t ……