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Apprenticeships, Skills, Children and Learning Act 2009

Section 132: Recognition

405.This section requires Ofqual to “recognise” awarding bodies in respect of specific qualifications or descriptions of qualification (or in respect of credits for components of qualifications). Ofqual could use a “description of qualification” in two ways. The first is to make more general provision (for example, to catch a class of qualifications, covering a number of different subject or sector areas. Examples would include ‘A-level’ or ‘National Vocational Qualification (NVQ)’). The second is to make more specific provision, for example, to limit what is caught to a particular form of a type of qualification. For example, ‘history GCSEs assessed 100% by course work’ is a description of a qualification.

406.By recognising a body Ofqual confirms that the body is fit to award or authenticate the qualifications or qualifications of a description for which it is recognised, in other words that it has the appropriate systems, expertise and organisational robustness to allow it to do so effectively. Ofqual must recognise a body to award or authenticate particular qualifications or categories of qualification (or credits in respect of components of qualifications) only where a body applies for recognition and meets Ofqual’s criteria for recognition. The terms “awarding body”, “recognised body” and “recognition” are defined at section 132(9).

407.Ofqual may not charge for recognition of an awarding body.

408.Recognition may be subject to three types of condition: general conditions, an accreditation condition, and other conditions imposed by Ofqual on individual recognitions. General conditions are dealt with in section 134 (see paragraphs 412 to 415 below). Accreditation conditions apply to recognition in respect of qualifications, or descriptions of qualifications, subject to the accreditation requirement – that is a requirement imposed by Ofqual that any form of the qualification or of qualifications of the relevant description is, or are, required to be accredited. An accreditation condition prohibits the recognised body from awarding a particular form of that qualification or of a qualification of that description, until accreditation for that form of qualification has been obtained. A recognition in respect of the award or authentication of a credit in respect of a component of a qualification cannot be subject to an accreditation condition.

409.Conditions may be imposed either when recognition is granted or at a later time. In the case of general conditions, these may be disapplied in individual cases, either at the time of recognition or later.

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