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14 March 2024

What are AAQs including courses from TQUK-partnered with AQA - Vocational Qualifications TC Meeting

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Becci Peters

In a recent webinar by TQUK, Chris Tubbrit, the Head of Product Development, provided insights into the digital AAQs (Alternative Academic Qualifications) and the reforms in the qualification landscape. 

Overview of TQUK

Established in 2013 as an awarding organisation and later approved as an endpoint assessor in 2017, TQUK boasts over 1000 approved centres in the UK and internationally. With a reputation for quality service and industry partnerships, TQUK offers a wide range of qualifications across various sectors.

Reforms and Defunding

The webinar shed light on the need for a streamlined qualification system post-16 due to complexity and lack of alignment with job market demands. The Department for Education (DfE) aims to simplify the system by introducing new academic and technical qualifications from September 2025 onwards. This reform includes defunding existing qualifications that do not align with the new framework.

AAQ Structure

AAQs are designed to offer alternative academic options to A-levels, catering to diverse learner needs. These qualifications come in two sizes: small (equivalent to AS or A level) and large (equivalent to 2 or 3 A levels). The structure involves a blend of external assessments (40%) and internal assessments or NEAs (60%), providing flexibility in grading and assessment methods.

Funding and Subject Availability

TQUK is actively developing AAQs in various subject areas. The phased approach to defunding existing qualifications aligns with the introduction of new cycles of AAQs. TQUK will have an IT & Computing course for first teaching from Sept 25 and a Creative Digital Media course for first teaching from Sept 26.

TQUK AAQ website 

IT & Computing qualification factsheet 

AAQ Quick reference guide 

Qualification reform guide 

Webinar recording 

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