Clause 9 - Technical education qualifications: co-operation between the Institute and Ofqual

Skills and Post-16 Education Bill [Lords] – in a Public Bill Committee am 4:00 pm ar 2 Rhagfyr 2021.

Danfonwch hysbysiad imi am ddadleuon fel hyn

Question proposed, That the clause stand part of the Bill.

Photo of Alex Burghart Alex Burghart The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Education

The clause recognises and supports effective joint working between Ofqual and the institute. Under existing legislation, the two bodies share statutory responsibility for oversight of technical education qualifications. Their respective functions and professional expertise are vital in safeguarding the credibility and integrity of technical qualifications. In particular, the institute ensures that qualifications are relevant to employers and deliver the skills they need, while Ofqual’s regulatory role is vital to maintain educational standards and the consistency of technical qualifications.

Despite the close relationship between the two roles, the two strands of existing legislation governing them are currently separate. The clause fills the gap by reinforcing the co-operation that is necessary between the two bodies to ensure that they can each perform their respective functions effectively. The two bodies already work together. They have developed an administrative framework for co-operation. The clause, together with clause 10, will align the legislation with key elements of the framework that they have agreed. Clause 9 writes mutual co-operation clearly into their respective statutory remits, as well as their working relationship. The clause also empowers each of the two bodies to provide advice and assistance to the other and ensures that each will have regard to such advice. These provisions will reinforce the long-term stability of their relationship. In particular, they will reduce the potential for the two organisations’ priorities, systems and processes to drift apart over time.

By working together effectively, the two bodies will minimise the scope for confusing, duplicated and overlapping processes. That will support the setting of clear, demanding quality standards for the qualifications. It will minimise the potential for confusion and unnecessary bureaucracy that could burden awarding bodies if Ofqual and the institute do not co-ordinate their requirements, systems and processes.

Photo of Toby Perkins Toby Perkins Shadow Minister (Education)

Throughout the Bill we have been calling for greater clarity and understanding of the roles of various operators within the sector, so we are pleased to see that that is the case with clause 9.

Question put and agreed to.

Clause 9 accordingly ordered to stand part of the Bill.