Accredited qualifications, also known as regulated qualifications are those that are reviewed, recognised and monitored by the regulatory bodies in order to make sure that they meet specific criteria and quality standards.
Regulated qualifications in England, Wales and Northern Ireland are in either the:
The most obvious advantage of accredited qualifications is that they provide the learners and stakeholders with a guarantee of quality of both the qualification programme and the awarding body that offers accredited qualifications. These qualifications are fit for their purpose, they include relevant content and appropriate methodology for assessment is used.
Once proposed qualifications meet the requirements set out in the required document, they are listed in the Register of Regulated Qualifications where can also be found a list of recognised awarding organisations who have the power to award qualifications within the Qualifications and Credit Framework (QCF), the national credit transfer system in England, Wales and Ireland. Scotland has its own framework – the Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework which is jointly regulated by several awarding and regulatory bodies.
The regulators use several methods to ensure high quality of accredited qualifications before and after they are listed in the Register of Regulated Qualifications. In order to be recognised and have their qualifications accredited by the regulators, the awarding organisations have to submit their proposition to the regulator which then carefully reviews both the awarding organisation and the proposed qualification. If the qualification programme meets the regulator’s criteria, it is recognised and listed in the Register. If they do not meet the set criteria, they are rejected. In order to make sure that the accredited qualifications maintain appropriate standards and quality, they are kept under review by the regulators.