Our Proposed Approach to Designating 14-16 Qualifications


At Qualifications Wales, we’re seeking your views in our consultation on our intended approach to designating 14-16 qualifications.

What is Designation?

As the independent regulator of qualifications in Wales, we decide which qualifications are eligible for use on publicly-funded courses of education or training for learners under the age of 19.

We do this in two ways: firstly, by approving qualifications which have been developed specifically to meet the needs of learners in Wales, and secondly by allowing qualifications typically developed for learners elsewhere to be designated for use in Wales.

We list all approved and designated qualifications on our Qualifications in Wales (QiW) database.

Our Proposed Approach

With a new curriculum being taught in schools, we have published requirements for new approved National 14-16 Qualifications. These qualifications will meet our guiding principles for all publicly funded 14-16 qualifications and will provide an inclusive, bilingual suite of qualifications from which centres can choose to offer their learners.

As new approved National Qualifications are taught from 2025, they will replace the majority of other publicly funded pre-16 qualifications currently available. We will therefore only designate qualifications for 14-16-year-olds in limited exceptional circumstances.

Our policy intent is that we will only designate qualifications that meet all of our guiding principles and do not undermine approved National 14-16 Qualifications.

Where a qualification does not meet our guiding principles and to reduce the risk of removing any qualifications that cater to the needs of a small minority of learners, we will allow awarding bodies to apply for an exemption to our guiding principles on the basis that it is able to meet a limited set of criteria.

Have your Say

We want to hear your views on our proposed exemption criteria for designation of 14-16 qualifications, as well as the factors and evidence that we should consider when deciding to make exemptions to our guiding principles. We also want to hear your views on any yet unidentified impacts of our broader approach to designation.

Our consultation will run for 12 weeks, closing on Tuesday 14 May 2024. Have your say and help inform our decisions by completing the short survey below.

CLOSED: This survey has concluded.


At Qualifications Wales, we’re seeking your views in our consultation on our intended approach to designating 14-16 qualifications.

What is Designation?

As the independent regulator of qualifications in Wales, we decide which qualifications are eligible for use on publicly-funded courses of education or training for learners under the age of 19.

We do this in two ways: firstly, by approving qualifications which have been developed specifically to meet the needs of learners in Wales, and secondly by allowing qualifications typically developed for learners elsewhere to be designated for use in Wales.

We list all approved and designated qualifications on our Qualifications in Wales (QiW) database.

Our Proposed Approach

With a new curriculum being taught in schools, we have published requirements for new approved National 14-16 Qualifications. These qualifications will meet our guiding principles for all publicly funded 14-16 qualifications and will provide an inclusive, bilingual suite of qualifications from which centres can choose to offer their learners.

As new approved National Qualifications are taught from 2025, they will replace the majority of other publicly funded pre-16 qualifications currently available. We will therefore only designate qualifications for 14-16-year-olds in limited exceptional circumstances.

Our policy intent is that we will only designate qualifications that meet all of our guiding principles and do not undermine approved National 14-16 Qualifications.

Where a qualification does not meet our guiding principles and to reduce the risk of removing any qualifications that cater to the needs of a small minority of learners, we will allow awarding bodies to apply for an exemption to our guiding principles on the basis that it is able to meet a limited set of criteria.

Have your Say

We want to hear your views on our proposed exemption criteria for designation of 14-16 qualifications, as well as the factors and evidence that we should consider when deciding to make exemptions to our guiding principles. We also want to hear your views on any yet unidentified impacts of our broader approach to designation.

Our consultation will run for 12 weeks, closing on Tuesday 14 May 2024. Have your say and help inform our decisions by completing the short survey below.

CLOSED: This survey has concluded.

  • CLOSED: This survey has concluded.

    The survey contains closed response questions- as well as the option of telling us more in your own words. 

    You may skip any of the questions if you feel they are not relevant to you. 

    You don't have to complete the whole survey in one go- you can return to finish it later by clicking “save and continue" at the bottom of the page. However, in order for us to receive your feedback, please press "submit" at the end of the survey.

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Page last updated: 15 May 2024, 08:11 AM