Gordon Associates in partnership with the Federation of Awarding Bodies played host to a large number of UK-based Awarding Organisations this week at the annual AO-Forum in Holborn, London.
This one day event drew a large crowd who were keen to hear updates from Ofqual and The Skills Funding Agency, along with discussions on open source technologies, sales in the awarding sector, validity and eAssessment. It was a jam-packed day with plenty of interesting presentations, and opportunities to network and discuss the sector with peers.
The policy and funding updates were the main reason for attendance, with AOs keen to learn what will change, post-election. The general message was, ‘it’s too early to tell’. Ofqual will continue with consultation with the sector, RITS will be replaced and updates will follow.
One point that did seem to stand out was that AOs will have their own Unit Bank which will not be shared with other Awarding Organisations. This did pose a few questions about intellectual property of the units within the banks, a topic that could develop as the year goes on. Ofqual didn’t seem too keen to get involved in these legal points. Ofqual did make it clear that the ambition was to have one qualification framework that covers all areas, what this will be called is unclear, and by when, is also unclear.
One clear and positive point to mention is that the majority of audience members representing Awarding Organisations felt that the change in the accreditation process was more of a help than a hindrance. Time will tell as more go through the same process.
In summary, keep calm and carry on awarding.