Designation of qualifications

Qualifications Wales may also designate a qualification as eligible for use on publicly-funded programmes of learning for learners under the age of 19.

Designation means that we regulate the awarding body offering the qualification and that we are content that it is appropriate for the qualification to be offered on publicly-funded courses for young people.

Applying for the approval or designation of a qualification

A recognised awarding body can apply to have qualifications approved or designated in Wales. To do so, it must create and submit a qualification on QiW (Qualifications in Wales). We will consider a qualification for approval if it is on the Priority Qualifications List or it meets the policy on the approval of non-priority qualifications; otherwise, we will consider it for designation. For more information on how to create and submit qualifications to QiW, please click here.

Designation rules and policy

To read the Rules about applications for designation of qualifications, please click here.  Our designation policy can also be found here.

Designation guidance

Designation Guide – Awarding Bodies

QiW Guide – Awarding Bodies

QiW Guide – Awarding Body request to amend Designated qualifications

QiW Guide – Centres

Approved or designated qualifications

The list of qualifications that have been approved or designated can be found on QiW.

Designated GCSEs and A levels

In subjects where we have reformed a GCSE or A level specifically for Wales, only that qualification will be eligible for public funding in Wales. In subjects where there is no Wales-specific GCSE or A level available, state-funded learners will be able to choose from the GCSEs and A levels that have been reformed for England – as long as we have designated them as eligible for use on publicly funded learning programmes in Wales.

GCSEs and A levels that have been reformed for England are designed to meet requirements set by Ofqual. They differ in several important ways to the GCSEs and A levels that have been developed specifically for Wales. For example, new GCSEs reformed for England are graded on a scale of 9 to 1, not A* to G; and the new AS and A levels reformed for England are decoupled, so the AS results do not contribute to the overall grade awarded at A level. You can find more information about the key similarities and differences between reformed GCSEs and A levels in Wales, England and Northern Ireland here.

We will only designate a GCSE or A level in a subject that has been reformed for England once it has been accredited by Ofqual.

You will also find a full list of the designated GCSE and A level subjects that will be available in Wales here.

It is a decision for the awarding bodies offering these qualifications in England whether to apply to have them designated in Wales. To encourage awarding bodies to make the widest possible range of subjects available to learners in Wales, we are not insisting that they make these qualifications available through the medium of Welsh. However, we do require that they publish a statement for each qualification confirming whether it will be available in Welsh and, if so, explaining how to request Welsh-medium assessment.

The awarding bodies offering these qualifications in England have confirmed their intended approach to offering them on publicly funded courses in Wales as follows.

  • AQA will be offering its reformed GCSEs and A levels on publicly funded courses in Wales. It does not intend to offer any of its reformed GCSEs or A levels through the medium of Welsh.
  • OCR will be offering its reformed GCSEs and A levels on publicly funded courses in Wales. It does not intend to offer any of its reformed GCSEs or A levels through the medium of Welsh.
  • Pearson will be offering its reformed GCSEs and A levels on publicly funded courses in Wales. It will offer Welsh-medium assessment for subjects in which there has been a proven demand for it in the past and it is judged operationally viable to offer this provision in future.
  • Under its Eduqas brand, WJEC offers many of the listed GCSEs and A levels in England. It will also make all of those listed qualifications that it offers in this way available on publicly funded courses in Wales. It will offer Welsh-medium assessment in all of them upon request.