Qualifications and Curriculum Authority (QCA)
QCA was established in October 1997 as a statutory public regulatory authority with a core remit to advance education and training in England and, in particular, to advise the Secretary of State for Education and Skills, promote quality and coherence in the education and training system, and regulate standards. Its functions are laid down in the Education Act 1997. QCA's geographical remit is restricted to England for some of its functions, although it has specific responsibilities for vocational qualifications in Wales and Northern Ireland. QCA has a staff of over 600.
In addition to work implemented within the United Kingdom, the QCA maintains a high international profile in the field of research and R&D activity. As well as work with single countries on aspects of the school curriculum and qualifications systems, especially occupational qualifications systems, QCA advises the European Commission and its specialised agencies and works as a consultant on aspects of strategy, VET and lifelong learning. QCA also works with bilateral agencies, both within the EU and further afield. In 2004, QCA completed the leadership of the consortium preparing the study for the Maastricht Conference on the Progress of VET towards meeting the Lisbon Goals. In 2005, QCA made a major contribution under contract to DGE&C to the 2006 Joint Progress Report on the Implementation of the Education and Training 2010 Work Programme. QCA is providing technical expertise to the current OECD project concerning the usefulness of national qualifications frameworks in the development of lifelong learning and is technical expert to the European Commission on EQF.
Up-to-the-minute international projects illustrate the range of skills, experience and expertise of QCA’s research and statistics group:
These are examples. QCA staff is involved in a wide range of national and international networks across the enlarged EU and internationally (including PISA and TIMSS), as well as leading the UK unit for ReferNet, a member Eurydice steering group, etc. QCA hosts the international database of curriculum and assessment (INCA).
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