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Qualifications Wales Act 2015

The Qualifications Wales Act 2015 (‘the Act’) establishes a new body known as Qualifications Wales as the independent regulatory body responsible for the recognition of awarding bodies for certain qualifications in Wales, and the review and approval of non-degree qualifications in Wales.

The Act addresses the four main limitations of the system, which are:

•    there is no single organisation dedicated to ensuring the effectiveness of qualifications and the qualification system;
•    there are no powers to prioritise qualifications in order to focus regulatory activity where it is most needed;
•    there are no powers to select a single provider of a given qualification to ensure that learners across Wales take the same qualification; and
•    the capacity to drive forward the strategic development of qualifications within the current arrangements is too limited.

The Explanatory Notes to the Act provide detailed commentary on the various provisions.

Coming into force:

Sections 1, 2(3), 55 to 57, 59 to 61 and Schedule 2 of the Act came into force on 5 August 2015, which is the day the Act received Royal Assent, in accordance with section 60(1).

The other provisions of this Act come into force on a day appointed by the Welsh Ministers by order made by statutory instrument, in accordance with section 60(2).

The following orders have been made:

Subordinate legislation made under the Act:

TitleCitation numberMade date Coming into force dateSupporting documents
The Qualifications Wales (Monetary Penalties) (Determination of Turnover) Regulations 20192019 No. 796 (W. 149)3 April 201912 April 2019Explanatory Memorandum
The Qualifications Wales Act 2015 (Consequential Amendments) Regulations 2016 2016 No. 236 (W. 88)24 February 20161 May 2016Explanatory Memorandum

In addition, the UK Government has made the following Order:

The Qualifications Wales Act 2015 (Consequential Provision) Order 2017

Consideration of the legislation by the Senedd:

The Bill was introduced on 1 December 2014 by Huw Lewis AM, who was the Minister for Education and Skills at the time. The Senedd (known then as the National Assembly for Wales) passed the Bill on 16 June 2015.

More information about the Bill is available on the Senedd website including a record of the passage of the Bill through the Senedd and the Explanatory Memorandum that was prepared by the Welsh Government (as revised at Stage 2).

The Act received Royal Assent on 5 August 2015.

Related articles and information

•    Regulating | Qualifications Wales
•    Senedd Research article when the Bill was first introduced


Published on
Last updated
26 April 2024