Approval of Qualifications

Qualifications Wales approves qualifications. As part of our remit, we will consider some qualifications for approval. Approved qualifications may only be awarded in Wales and will have met approval criteria that ensure they meet the needs of learners in Wales. We may also designate qualifications. Both approved and designated qualifications are provided by recognised awarding bodies and are eligible for use on publicly-funded programmes of learning for learners under the age of 19. More information about the designation of qualifications can be found below.

The approval process

Qualifications Wales will only consider a qualification for approval if it is on the Priority Qualifications List, or if it meets the policy on the approval of non-priority qualifications.

The Priority Qualifications List, which we determine jointly with the Welsh Government, is a tool to manage how we approve qualifications. It is a list of the qualifications that we will be considering for approval at any given time.

Qualifications can only be included on the Priority Qualifications List if we have published approval criteria for them. If an awarding body submits an application for the approval of a qualification that is on the Priority Qualifications List then we must consider that application. We will only approve qualifications if they meet the published approval criteria.

We will consider qualifications that are not on the Priority Qualifications List for approval if there are published approval criteria, however the approval of qualifications that are on the Priority Qualifications List will be of higher priority.

The Priority Qualifications List was published on 21 July 2017 and is available here. We have also published our Priority Qualifications List policy, which provides details of how we will work with the Welsh Government to develop and maintain the Priority Qualifications List. The Priority Qualifications List policy is available here.

Forward Look

The Forward Look describes the qualifications that Qualifications Wales is considering for inclusion on the Priority Qualifications List in the future. The Forward Look enables us to give awarding bodies notice of our future priorities and to enable us to develop appropriate approval criteria.

The inclusion of qualifications or subjects in the Forward Look is not a guarantee that they will be included on the Priority Qualifications List in the future.

The Priority Qualifications List and Forward Look are available here.

Designating 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. In the first instance, most qualifications that were previously eligible for funding and listed on QiW will be considered, legally, to be ‘designated’ qualifications. We will also be able to designate new or revised qualifications as eligible for funding.

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.

Approved or designated qualifications

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


Friday 30 October, 2015
Author: Qualifications Wales

Approval criteria; Criteria for Designating a Qualification; Conditions of Approval; and Further Provisions about Designation (340.5 KB)

This policy outlines the criteria that qualification must meet before it can be approved, the criteria that a qualification must meet before it can be designated, the conditions of approval placed on an approved qualification and further provisions placed on a designated qualification.
Friday 21 July, 2017
Author: Qualifications Wales

210717 PQL and Forward Look (433.6 KB)

This document contains the Priority Qualifications List, which is jointly prepared by Qualifications Wales and the Welsh Government. It also contains Qualifications Wales’ Forward Look.