New Qualifications Strategy

Vocational  Qualifications Reform Programme

 To support the recommendations of the Leitch Report upon future skills needs, a government coordinated programme of qualifications reform is currently under way. This programme aims to establish a simplified structure of qualifications that reflect the skills and knowledge that employers value. Emerging qualifications will be based upon the expressed needs of employers within each sector of the UK economy. These needs have been collated through a consultative process led by the various sector bodies concerned, including ECITB.

To provide a foundation for more flexible qualifications, a national credit based framework will progressively be introduced by 2010. This framework will be populated with units with defined levels and credit values, which can be combined into the qualifications that meet employer needs. The units will only be accepted into the framework if the related qualifications are derived from published Qualifications Strategies. Furthermore, central funding will only be available for qualifications that consist of units included within the framework, and that therefore clearly stem from employer needs.

Requirements of a Qualifications Strategy

The key requirements of a Qualifications Strategy are that it must:

  • Provide a strategic vision of the future qualifications landscape required by employers within a sector of the UK economy
  • Define priorities for the development of new qualifications and National Occupational Standards
  • Be developed through substantial employer consultations
  • Meet defined quality standards, including having a separate focus upon each of the four nations.

The Qualifications Strategy may well address such strategic aims as for example to:

  • Enhance the image of the industry and its ability to recruit suitable new entrants
  • Increase the volume of training within the industry
  • Develop the skills and competence of key employee groups
  • Increase the level of take up and/or completion rate of qualifications
  • Increase the relevance and flexibility of available qualifications
  • Support coherent career pathways
  • Align UK, EU and overseas qualifications.


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