Building Services and Construction qualifications

We are taking forward our proposals for reforming qualifications for Building Services and Construction.

We are excited to be working with stakeholders from the sector, including key sector bodies, work-based learning providers, further education colleges and employers, to make sure that the new qualifications meet the needs of learners and employers.  

We will be commissioning an awarding body or consortium of awarding bodies to develop and award a new suite of Foundation, Progression and Apprenticeship qualifications in Building Services and in Construction.  These will provide clear pathways between further education, apprenticeships and employment.  

The qualifications will be future-proofed to be responsive to the changing needs of the built environment sector.  It is vital that Wales has the skillsets needed to work in future years for both new developments and for working with older buildings.    

We will also oversee the introduction of a new GCSE and A level in the Built Environment to widen the appeal of careers in the built environment to young people. These qualifications will not be restricted to a single awarding body.  The A level will appeal to learners seeking to progress on to construction and design related degree courses in higher education.  

Timetable of key activities in the development of the new qualifications: 

Foundation, Progression and Apprenticeship qualifications 

GCSE and A level qualifications 

We commission an awarding body/consortium of awarding bodies to develop and award the new Foundation, Progression and Apprenticeship qualifications. 

October 2018- 

June 2019 

We consult on draft requirements for a new GCSE and AS and A level in the Built Environment. 

May-  

June 2019 

We announce which awarding body/consortium of awarding bodies will offer the new Foundation, Progression and Apprenticeship qualifications. 

July 2019 

We publish final requirements (approval criteria) for a GCSE and AS and A level in the Built Environment. 

August 2019 

The successful awarding body develops the new qualifications. 

July 2019- March 2020 

Awarding bodies invited to submit new GCSEs and A levels in the Built Environment to Qualifications Wales for approval. 

October-December 2019 

We consult on minimum requirements for the new Foundation, Progression and Apprenticeship qualifications. 

September-October 2019 

 

 

We publish final requirements (approval criteria) for the Foundation, Progression and Apprenticeship qualifications.   

March 2020 

 

 

First Foundation, Progression and Apprenticeship qualifications submitted to Qualifications Wales for approval. 

May 2020 

 

 

All new qualifications are approved- December 2020 

First teaching of new Foundation, Progression, Apprenticeship and GCSE qualifications - September 2021 

First teaching of new A level qualification- September 2022 

 

October 2018

New Building Services and Construction qualifications  

We previously announced our intention to restrict qualifications within Construction and Building Services. Having considered stakeholder feedback, we will be applying the proposed restriction and commissioning a new suite of qualifications to meet the needs of learners and employers in Wales. As part of this work, we have updated our List of Priority Qualifications.

Based on our previous findings, we will be commissioning Foundation, Progression and Apprenticeship qualifications in Building Services and Construction. We are also developing approval criteria for a new GCSE, as well as a new AS and A level in the Built Environment*. We aim to published the criteria next winter and will then invite awarding bodies to submit qualifications for approval.  

The suite of new qualifications will address many of the issues identified in our review, Building the Future. This sector is an important one, with evolving priorities. It needs people with the skills to work both with new technologies and with traditional buildings, so it is vital that it is supported by qualifications that reduce the burden of assessment and improve its validity.  

Over the coming months and years, stakeholders will have opportunities to be involved in the development of these new qualifications through focus and discussion groups, review panels and a programme of change management to help prepare for the future.

* Working titles