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Qualifications Wales Act 2015

Section 8: General recognition of an awarding body

23.Awarding bodies may apply to Qualifications Wales to become generally recognised as a body awarding qualifications in Wales. This section requires Qualifications Wales to recognise all awarding bodies that have applied to it and which meet the published general recognition criteria. Awarding bodies may however specify, in applying to be recognised, that they do not wish to be generally recognised in respect of a specified qualification or description of qualification – that is, that they wish to exclude one or more specified qualifications from regulation by Qualifications Wales. An awarding body may wish to do this, for example, in the case of a qualification that it has developed to meet the needs of a particular employer and which does not enable the awarding body to meet Qualifications Wales’s conditions of recognition (perhaps in relation to the structure or title of the qualification). In such a case, the criteria against which the application is considered are not to include criteria to the extent that they apply in respect of any excluded qualifications. So where an awarding body does not meet all the criteria but its failure to do so is only to the extent that the criteria apply to a qualification which it has excluded from its application for recognition, the effect of subsection (6) is that Qualifications Wales must recognise the awarding body. If an awarding body has previously excluded qualifications from its recognition, surrendered part of its general recognition, or had part of its general recognition withdrawn, it may apply to Qualifications Wales to bring those qualifications into its general recognition in the future (see subsections (7) and (8)).

24.The Act also enables Qualifications Wales to recognise an awarding body that has applied for general recognition but does not fully meet all of the criteria (for reasons other than the criteria in question not being met only in respect of qualifications that have been excluded from the awarding body’s application for recognition). Subsection (5) sets out the matters that Qualifications Wales must consider when deciding whether to recognise an awarding body that does not meet all the criteria. This provision could address situations where, for example, it emerges that a particular criterion is not relevant to the body being considered. General recognition is required before any qualification offered by that awarding body can be approved (under Part 4) or designated (under Part 5) by Qualifications Wales. In order to have some types of qualifications regulated (and also submitted for approval or designated) by Qualifications Wales, an awarding body may in addition, have to obtain ‘qualification specific recognition’ under section 9.

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Explanatory Notes

Text created by the Welsh Government department responsible for the subject matter of the Act to explain what the Act sets out to achieve and to make the Act accessible to readers who are not legally qualified. Explanatory Notes accompany all Acts of the Welsh Parliament.


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