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Apprenticeships, Skills, Children and Learning Act 2009

Recognised bodies: monitoring and enforcement
Section 149: Review of activities of recognised bodies

446.This section allows Ofqual to keep under review any “connected” activities of a recognised awarding body as defined in subsection (2) of the section. This will allow it to keep under review any activities which may, for example, impact on the credibility of the qualifications offered or the effective or fair operation of the qualifications system. This may include, for example, any awarding activities overseas in relation to qualifications that are similar to those that Ofqual is regulating, or any arrangements made for the publication of textbooks relating to an Ofqual-regulated qualification. Ofqual must exercise this function in a way that is compatible with, and most appropriate for achieving, its objectives. It would also need to have regard to its general duties in performing this function. This will necessarily affect the scope of what Ofqual can do in reviewing the activities of recognised bodies.

Section 150: Investigation of complaints

447.Ofqual may investigate complaints in respect of the award or authentication of a regulated qualification, or arrange for an independent party to do so.

448.Ofqual’s complaint mechanisms will replace those that are currently in place through the Examinations Appeals Board (in relation to GCSEs and A-levels for example) and the QCA (in relation to vocational qualifications).

449.Ofqual will be free to work jointly with its counterparts in other parts of the UK in relation to the investigation of complaints should it and they so wish.

450.Ofqual’s powers of redress in the event of its upholding a complaint are those that it has generally. Where the complaint led to a finding that the recognised body had acted in breach of a condition of recognition it would be for Ofqual to consider what action to take to ensure compliance with the condition. As under the existing arrangements of the Examinations Appeals Board, the Government would expect any complaints that are upheld about, for example, the marking of an exam, to be referred in the first instance back to the awarding body concerned for review.

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