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New System to Cut Qualification Times to Maximum Three Weeks

A new web ““ based accreditation system has been launched and welcomed by awarding bodies across England Wales and Northern Ireland.

The authorities responsible for guaranteeing the quality of qualifications have joined forces to tackle the issue of accelerating the awarding and judging process without sacrificing quality. The new system will be entirely web ““ based and will increase the efficiency of the accreditation process. In 2004 / 2005, the process of accreditation took an average of eight weeks; the new system’s use will cut this to a maximum of three weeks.

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The area of streamlining the regulation of qualifications processes has seen a number of developments in recent months. In June, a new fast-track five day accreditation procedure was launched. This was made available to all awarding bodies that met certain set criteria. The awarding bodies are also working in cooperation with the regulatory bodies to establish common practice for recognising centres, attempting to avoid running the risk of doing the work twice.

Rita Hoyle, the policy projects manager at City and Guilds, the largest UK awarding body, said: “We support any improvement to the accreditation process and welcome the introduction of the Web-based system, reducing accreditation times.” She also spoke of the high level of cooperation between the regulatory and awarding bodies, saying: “There remains constant dialogue with the regulatory authorities during development, which means at point of submission all parties are confident that the qualification is ready.”

Initially, web ““ based accreditation will be reserved for those awarding bodies that submit a high volume of qualifications for assessment. Isabel Nisbet, the director of regulation and standards at the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority (QCA), said: “The web-based accreditation system will transform the way qualifications are developed and accredited. This is a significant step forward in helping to make the accreditation process more manageable and responsive to awarding bodies.”


Jethro Marsh

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