Non Regulated Provision

The Qualifications and Credit Framework and Non Regulated Provision

As a unit and credit based framework, the Qualifications and Credit Framework (QCF) is intended to embrace a wide range of achievement and therefore a broader range of learners. The QCF itself is now fully populated and forms the core offer across the single Adult Skills Budget.

Alongside the transition of funding from qualifications in the National Qualifications Framework (NQF) to qualifications in the QCF, the Agency has been taking forward a programme of managing down, where appropriate, non regulated provision in receipt of public funding. Non regulated provision is classed as;

  • Formal - defined as vocational or non vocational learning that occurs in an organised and structured context, is explicitly designated as learning and is intentional from the learner’s point of view.
  • Non formal - defined as vocational or non vocational learning which is embedded in planned activities not explicitly designated as learning, and contains an important learning element. Non-formal learning is intentional from the learner’s point of view.

Impact Assessment

During 2010/11, the Agency commissioned an independent impact assessment focussing on whether, and under what circumstances, funding for non regulated provision could cease on the basis that either an appropriate equivalent offer already exists in the QCF, or that non regulated provision could be redeveloped to meet the specifications of the QCF.

The main findings from the impact assessment found:

  • The majority of appropriate formal non-regulated provision can be developed and accommodated within the QCF,
  • There are aspects of non-formal non-regulated provision that may need to remain  outside the QCF,
  • In some cases it would not be appropriate for provision offered to learners with more severe Learning Difficulties and Disabilities (LDD) to move inside a regulated framework as it is important to ensure there is an appropriate and available offer which caters for all learners’ needs, and
  • Adult Safeguarded Learning (ASL) provision should remain outside of the QCF; however the Agency should be aware of the review to reform and reinvigorate Informal Adult and Community Learning (IACL) and subsequent outcomes.

The impact assessment is available:

Impact Assessment – Non Regulated Provision and the Qualifications and Credit Framework (QCF)

Next Steps

Following the impact assessment, we are taking forward a programme of work around managing down, where appropriate, the amount of non regulated provision publicly funded. Although we recognise it will be inappropriate for all non regulated provision to be part of the QCF, and that we will need to continue to support some non regulated provision in certain circumstances and for certain cohorts of learners.

The timescales for the programme of work to manage down non regulated provision are as follows:

  • Appropriate formal non regulated vocational provision – proposed cessation of funding for new starts from 31 December 2011.
  • Appropriate formal non regulated non-vocational provision – proposed cessation of funding for new starts from 31 July 2012.
  • Appropriate non formal non regulated vocational and non-vocational provision – proposed cessation of funding from 31 July 2012.

First Phase

The first phase of work focussed on non regulated formal vocational provision and we identified 428 learning aims in scope for cessation of funding for new starts. We undertook a consultation with the sector and awarding organisations. After a review of the aims identified, and sector feedback, 411 learning aims were confirmed as in scope for ceasing of funding for new starts from 31 December 2011 for learners aged 19 and over in England.

The list of identified aims is now available:

Non Regulated Provision in Scope for Cessation of Funding for New Starts from 31 December 2011

Second Phase

The second phase includes formal vocational learning aims that were out of scope for cessation of funding in the first phase as challenges were reviewed, plus remaining formal non-vocational, non-formal vocational and non-formal non-vocational learning aims.

This second phase is now complete, and funding for new starts for these learning aims will cease from 31 July 2012 for learners aged 19 and over in England, on the basis that:

• Appropriate regulated provision exists in the QCF and has been confirmed for funding
• There is no longer significant demand for the provision.

Where there are non-regulated learning aims with no enrolments or single figure enrolments for the past two academic years, funding will be automatically withdrawn on 31 July 2012.

Where there are non-regulated learning aims that have attracted enrolments, a list is published below so that colleges, training organisations, awarding organisations and other stakeholders can be informed about the aims covered by the cessation of funding.

The final, confirmed list of non-regulated aims for which funding will cease on 31 July 2012 is now available.

Learning aims classified as Long Term Residential and non-regulated learning aims where a high percentage of enrolled learners have a learning disability and/or difficulty are outside the scope of this work.

Qualifications Information Guide

The Qualifications Information Guide has been produced to inform the sector about the publicly funded qualifications offer for learners aged 19 and over in England in 2012/13.
It is set out in two parts. The first explains why qualifications are funded or not funded, and the processes by which funding decisions are made. The second outlines associated qualifications areas such as Recognition of Prior Learning, Unit Delivery and the Innovation Code.

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