Monitoring general qualifications

We carry out an extensive programme of monitoring the reformed GCSE, AS and A level qualifications to ensure they are effectively implemented, fairly assessed and awarded at the right standard. The programme is planned on an annual basis and updated regularly.

The majority of learners in Wales sit general qualifications provided by WJEC, so this is where our focus is.

As a routine part of our monitoring, we observe meetings organised by WJEC. These include:

  • Question Paper Evaluation Committee meetings (QPECs) – which consider draft versions of question papers and mark schemes.
  • Examiner and moderator standardisation conferences – which consider amendments that might be needed to a mark scheme and ensure examiners have a thorough understanding of how to implement each mark scheme.
  • Awarding – where senior examiners consider sample learner work alongside statistical indicators to propose grade boundaries for each paper.
  • CPD events – which provide teachers with up to date training and guidance.

We decide on which qualifications are monitored at what level through a risk based approach.

We also hold an annual Have Your Say questionnaire on the summer series, which gives learners and teachers a chance to share their views and experiences of the papers. The intelligence gathered helps to inform our oversight of the awards and to identify aspects of the new qualifications that we will look at in more detail as part of our ongoing monitoring.

We hold regular meetings with WJEC to ensure effective systems are in place in relation to examiner recruitment, assessment security, completion of marking and provision of the post-results service.

Processes related to the setting of challenges, assessment and awarding of the Skills Challenge Certificates (Welsh Baccalaureate) are monitored throughout the year.