Introduction

Our strategies and policies set out how we intend to conduct our activities. 

Our business plans and financial reports show how we are using our resources to meet our aims and objectives, in an efficient and effective way.

Our annual reports reflect on how we are progressing against those commitments.

Strategic priorities

Our inaugural Strategic Priorities Plan outlines the key themes that underpin our work. They are intended to create a stronger, more robust and more resilient qualifications system in Wales that meets the needs of our future generations.

The plan covering the period 2022 to 2027, is inspired by a desire to ensure that learners in Wales benefit from an assessment system that is amongst the most innovative and modern in the world, making the most of a wide range of assessment techniques and building flexibility into how, and when, learners are assessed.

The plan outlines how, over the next five years, we will:

  • complete our programme of sector reviews and begin to evaluate the benefits and impact of its reforms work with Welsh Government, the new Commission for Tertiary Education and Research, awarding bodies and others to secure and strengthen a sustainable range of robust qualifications for post-16 learners and apprentices
  • continue our review of qualifications in Wales to ensure that there is a clear relationship between qualifications at 14-16 and progression to higher education
  • complete our review and reform of Essential Skills Wales qualifications, ensuring that there is a joined-up and robust approach to the assessment of literacy, numeracy and other relevant skills to meet the needs of learners
  • work with awarding bodies to increase the range of qualifications available in both Cymraeg and English, so that the number of learners able to access qualifications in either language increases significantly
  • promote modern, robust and innovative approaches to assessment

Business planning

Our Business Plan sets out our operational priorities for the financial year 2023-24 which starts and ends in April.  We’ve now published our business plan and you can read it here. The plan has been shaped around our five-year Strategic Priorities and gives us focus for the financial year ahead. 

It also includes the actions we intend to take to progress our Strategic Equality Objectives and explains how we support the Wellbeing of Future Generations. 

Annual report

This report provides an outline of delivery and developments over the past academic year. During this period, we have worked on priority regulatory work and reforms, whilst looking further ahead to ensure that we continue to fulfil our principal aims for the learners of the future 

Some highlights of the year within the annual report include: 

  • how we’ve overseen the next steps in the return to pre-pandemic assessment arrangements 
  • a successful summer 2023 examinations series 
  • the development of new qualifications aligned to the introduction of the Curriculum for Wales 
  • consulting on and publishing design requirements for a suite of 26 new GCSEs 
  • the publication of our strategic priorities for the next five years 
  • our first anti-racism action plan 
  • a voluntary adoption of the wellbeing of future generations provisions 
  • our amended proposals for new qualifications in Cymraeg for 14–16-year-olds, actively supporting the Welsh Government’s Cymraeg 2050 strategy 
  • how we’ve undertaken a wide range of activities in the post-16 sector, including sector reviews 

Our annual report 22-23 

You can also take a look at our previous annual reports for the 2021-22 and 2020-21 academic years. 

Financial reporting

We receive a Remit Letter and Grant in Aid Letter at the start of each financial year setting out our annual funding and what the Welsh Government wants us to achieve during that year.

Our latest set of annual accounts covers the period between 1 April 2022 to 31 March 2023. The Accounting Officer is pleased to confirm that it is an ‘unqualified’ report from the Auditor General.

You can also review our accounts for the periods covering 1 April 2021 to 31 March 2022, 1 April 2020 to 31 March 2021 and 1 April 2019 to 31 March 2020.

The maintenance and integrity of Qualifications Wales’ website is the responsibility of Qualifications Wales; the work carried out by auditors does not involve consideration of these matters and accordingly auditors accept no responsibility for any changes that may have occurred to the financial statements since they were initially presented on the website.

Cymraeg

Our Choice for All strategy clearly sets out our commitment to Cymraeg (the Welsh language) and our aim to increase the availability of Welsh-medium qualifications.

It also emphasises our intention to work with awarding bodies and other partners in order to contribute towards Welsh Government’s Cymraeg 2050 priorities. 

Choice for All sets out four strategic areas of focus:

  • prioritising qualifications to be made available in Welsh in full-time education, post-16 settings and apprenticeships
  • strengthening support for awarding bodies and their capacity to deliver Welsh-medium qualifications
  • revising our Welsh Language Support grant to focus on priority areas, new qualifications and innovative applications
  • improving information and data for learners, schools and colleges, and for our regulatory purposes

We have also produced and regularly review a Welsh Language Scheme, which sets out how we deliver our functions and responsibilities through the medium of Cymraeg as well as in English. Our latest Welsh Language Scheme Compliance Report outlines how we met our commitment under the Scheme during 2022/23.

Wellbeing of future generations

Although we are not currently subject to the Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015, we consider that our role supports its purpose, and that its requirements are compatible with how we work. Therefore, we have voluntarily chosen to adopt the provisions of the Act to underpin how we deliver our functions. Our latest progress report shows what we have achieved.

Our work is underpinned by our values:

  • collaborative in the way that we work
  • thoughtful in the approaches we take
  • positive in our outlook
  • learning from experience and others

These values place both collaboration, and decisions based on considered evidence, at the heart of our behaviours. We care about qualifications because we understand the difference that good education makes to long-term life chances, and the importance of being able to demonstrate achievement through robust and meaningful qualifications.

Carbon reduction action plan

Qualifications Wales is committed to reducing its carbon footprint. We have made significant improvements to our leased office environment over the last 6 years. We support Welsh Government’s ‘Working Together to Reach Net Zero’ 2021-25 plan and the further actions that we will take are described in our 2022-24 Carbon Reduction Action Plan.