The aim of the review is to gather evidence from key stakeholders on the overall fitness for purpose of the Essential Skills Wales suite of qualifications, to identify any issues and/or suggestions arising from that evidence, and to consider what changes or reforms may be required to ensure Essential Skills qualifications continue to meet our principal aims.  

Essential Skills qualifications are an integral part of post-16 learning and apprenticeship programmes in Wales and we are keen to ensure they remain valued and worthwhile qualifications.


The project is divided into three main phases:

Phase 1
A technical review of the Essential Skills Qualification Design Principles conducted by the Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER) which will be completed by December 2022. The focus of the technical review is on the validity and reliability of the qualification content and the assessment model.

Phase 2
A programme of stakeholder engagement starting in December 2022 with a series of interviews with learning providers to gain feedback from those with direct experience of delivering the qualifications.

Establishment of an Essential Skills Stakeholder Reference Group in Spring 2023 to provide a steer and input into the review and future direction of the qualifications.

Launch of an online survey in Summer 2023 offering stakeholders the opportunity to have their say about Essential Skills qualifications.  

Phase 3
Further interviews, round-table events and workshops in 2023 and 2024 with learners, learning providers, employers, Welsh Government, awarding bodies and sector bodies to establish and agree the future direction of Essential Skills qualifications.


The full findings of the review and our proposals for the future design of Essential Skills qualifications are due to be published in 2024.  

For further information or to register your interest in taking part in this review, please contact