September 2015 - Sector Review

Between September 2015 and March 2016, Qualifications Wales conducted an extensive programme of communication and consultation, including interviews and discussions with sector bodies, learning providers, employers and learners, seeking their views on the effectiveness of the present qualifications and the qualification system in Wales, and asking about gaps in these.

This involved more than 125 separate meetings. We also received more than 200 responses to our online consultation and listened to the views of over 800 learners.

We conducted a detailed analysis of ten of the most popular qualifications taken by learners in Wales in this sector. The purpose of this analysis was to look at the format of the assessments, the mechanisms for quality assurance, the evidence that learners provided and the way in which assessment decisions were made.

July 2016 - Review Report

In July 2016, we published a report on our findings and judgements about the effectiveness of the present qualifications, and the qualification system, for the sector in Wales. 

The report included a number of proposals, including to:

  • Develop a new suite of qualifications for learners in Wales to reduce complexity and raise quality, and in doing so:
    • Develop holistic, creative approaches to assess competence of learners as they undertake qualifications;
    • Provide an introduction to a wide range of roles in the sector by broadening the scope of qualifications available for pupils aged 14-16;
    • Reduce duplication and repetition between qualifications at different levels;
    • Apply quality-assurance arrangements consistently and robustly across Wales;
    • Make sure that every aspect of the new qualifications is available bilingually;
    • Increase the inclusion of key topics, such as dementia care for those working with older people, or play for those providing childcare. 
  • Work with key partners to ensure that clear information is available about the different roles and responsibilities of each body in relation to Health & Social Care and Childcare qualifications.

 You can read the report in full here.

September 2016 - Consultation

Following on from the review report, we launched a consultation exercise to seek views on proposals for the development of a new suite of qualifications, including the potential restriction of each new qualification to just one version for use on publicly-funded programmes of learning in Wales.

The responses to the consultation were published in November 2016, and can be found here.

November 2016 - Publication of proposal to restrict qualifications

Having considered the consultation responses, we published our intention to restrict a number of descriptions of qualifications relating to Health and Social Care and Childcare.

These can be found in our Priority Qualifications List..

For further information for the development of the new qualifications, please go to the vocational qualification development page.

Health and Social Care and Children’s Care, Play, Learning and Development Level 3 Rapid Review: Report

Between March and April 2022, we carried out a rapid review of new level 3 qualifications in this sector. This document summarises the findings of the review, including the good practice which has developed and challenges which centres have experienced in implementing them. This report also provides an update on the action we are taking to address the challenges.

Approval Criteria

Our Health, Social Care & Childcare reforms have led to the introduction of 23 new qualifications. This suite includes qualifications for learners in school, further education and work-based learning settings. 

We worked with stakeholders to design approval criteria for these qualifications, which set subject content and assessment requirements for them. The criteria we developed are: 

GCSE Health and Social Care, and Childcare

A and AS level Health and Social Care, and Childcare

Level 2 Children’s Care, Play, Learning and Development: Core

Level 2 Children’s Care, Play, Learning and Development: Practice

Level 2 Children’s Care, Play, Learning and Development: Practice and Theory

Level 2 Health and Social Care: Core

Level 2 Health and Social Care: Practice(Adults)

Level 2 Health and Social Care: Principles and Contexts

Level 3 Children’s Care, Play, Learning and Development: Practice

Level 3 Children’s Care, Play, Learning and Development: Practice and Theory

Level 3 Health and Social Care: Practice (Adults)

Level 3 Health and Social Care: Practice (Children and Young People)

Level 3 Health and Social Care: Principles and Context

Level 4 Adult Placement / Shared Lives

Level 4 Preparing for Leadership and Management in Children’s Care, Play, Learning and Development

Level 4 Professional Practice in Children’s Care, Play, Learning and Development

Level 4 Preparing for Leadership and Management in Health and Social Care

Level 4 Professional Practice in Health and Social Care

Level 4 Independent Advocacy

Level 4 Social Services Practitioner

Level 5 Leadership and Management of Children’s Care, Play, Learning and Development: Practice

Level 5 Leadership and Management of Health and Social Care: Practice