Change seems inevitable in our sector, however, we need to keep on top of it or we could easily be left behind, or worse, without a job. Our sector is becoming increasingly commercialised, therefore we need to make sure we are aware of what’s happening, and that we are skilled and knowledgeable to deal with the changes.
This article will explore some of the recent changes and developments in the FE and skills sector (in no particular order). Whilst it will give you an overview, there are lots of weblinks included to enable you to research further.
The QCF to the RQF
More acronyms for us to remember! The Qualifications and Credit Framework (QCF) came to an end last September. It was replaced with the Regulated Qualifications Framework (RQF). Until individual QCF qualifications reach the end of their lifetime (usually five years) they are still being offered, and the credit values still apply. Under the RQF, awarding organisations have the freedom to design their own qualifications and call them what they like. So, the Award, Certificate and Diploma titles might change.
Credit values have gone, however, all qualifications on the RQF have a size which is expressed in terms of total qualification time (TQT). TQT can still be thought of as credits i.e. one credit equals 10 hours of learning (just like the QCF). This learning time can be contact time with a tutor or assessor and non-contact time for assignments and studies. You can find out more about TQT by clicking here.
All qualifications on the RQF must be underpinned by a validity strategy that will show how they provide value for learners and employers. The 2014 Ofqual General Conditions of Recognition were updated in September 2015. These conditions are used by awarding organisations for designing qualifications, and quality assuring the centres who deliver and assess them. If you work in a centre, you might wish to take a look.
Guidance regarding the General Conditions can be accessed by clicking here.