Priority Qualifications List (PQL)

Friday 08 Jan 2016

Qualifications Wales and the Welsh Government have jointly published the first Priority Qualifications List (PQL).

The PQL is a list which identifies qualifications for priority approval. All qualifications must be approved or designated by Qualifications Wales before the subjects can receive funding for teaching in schools and colleges.

Approved qualifications may only be awarded in Wales and will have satisfied robust approval criteria that ensure they are designed to meet the needs of learners in the country.

Designated qualifications are provided by recognised awarding bodies, but need not necessarily be unique to Wales and are usually available to learners in other countries of the UK.

The PQL provides a means by which a planned, structured and scheduled approach to the approval of qualifications can be taken. It is not intended to communicate the relative importance of one qualification or qualification type over another.

GCSEs and A levels are currently being reformed and are being phased in over three years from 2015, with new subjects added each year Already being taught in the current school year are reformed qualifications in a number of GCSE and A level subjects.

The PQL includes the next set of reformed GCSEs and A levels that will be taught from September 2016.

While this first list only includes general qualifications work is currently underway on vocational qualifications in health and social care, which is one of the largest employment sectors in Wales.

Qualifications Wales believe that the needs and expectations of employers and learners in this sector should be examined closely before adding them to the PQL.

Teaching professionals, employers, learners and the general public are currently being asked for their views about qualifications in the health and social care sector and these vocational qualifications will be included in a future priority list.

A review of other vocational qualifications, for example in the construction industry, will follow in due course.

Section 13 of the Qualifications Wales Act 2015 requires Qualifications Wales and Welsh Ministers to jointly prepare a list of priority qualifications which must be published.

Further details about the PQL can be found here.