From education to employment

FAB launches VQ manifesto at annual conference

The Federation of Awarding Bodies (FAB) has launched its manifesto to emphasise the importance of flexibility and choice for learners in the qualifications system.

Speaking at FAB’s annual conference in Coventry today, chief executive Paul Ellis said: "Our proposals set out what the Federation’s priorities are to ensure that the qualifications system continues to meet the needs of different learners, employers, education and training providers and awarding bodies as well as offering good value to funding bodies and taxpayers."

Formed in 2000, the trade association for vocational awarding bodies works to open up a dialogue between awarding bodies and regulatory and stakeholder organisations.

Pointing to the importance of robust regulation of quality and standards, FAB’s manifesto welcomes the arrival of Ofqual as a new independent qualifications regulator. However, the Federation is concerned that the watchdog may "stray into economic regulation ahead of any clear evidence of market failure". This would work against FAB’s aim to create an open market that champions choice and competition.

Other priorities the manifesto outlines include the need to address excessive bureaucracy, and improve working relationships between awarding bodies and Sector Skills Councils. FAB also calls for greater efforts to ensure coherency between learning pre and post 19.

Watch Iain Wright MP’s keynote speech at FAB’s annual conference here

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