What exactly do they do?
While the basis of Ofqual’s work is regulation of qualifications, this is no easy feat, neither is it all they do. There are numerous components and actions involved in making sure that every student in the country is getting the best possible certification. Those are:
- Making sure that assessments and exams clearly reflect students’ achievement;
- Monitoring individual awarding bodies and taking prompt action as soon as a problem, particularly one that presents a risk to the quality of general qualifications, arises;
- Ensuring that both students and teachers are provided with thorough information on what Ofqual does and the qualifications they regulate;
- Making sure that every awarded qualification is of similar quality to other qualifications in the UK as well as overseas;
- Striving towards every candidate having equal opportunity to obtain qualifications and sit assessments.
Why is Ofqual important?
Regulatory bodies such as Ofqual are instrumental in establishing and protecting high certification standards. Through no ill will of their own, left to their own devices, awarding bodies would struggle to establish universal standards, and award qualifications that offer a comparable level of quality to those of other awarding bodies. The consequence of this could be an overall decrease in quality and value of certification, and, by that extension, students’ hard work. Ofqual makes sure that we, as individuals sitting exams and producing coursework, don’t have to worry about whether the qualifications we obtain are valuable or whether they can be trusted to accurately measure the extent of our knowledge and understanding of any given subject.