The Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation (Ofqual) regulates qualifications, examinations and assessments in England. It is a non-ministerial government department that regulates qualifications, exams and tests in England and, and vocational qualifications in Northern Ireland. Colloquially and publicly, Ofqual is often referred to as the exam “watchdog”.

Ofqual was set up in April 2010 under the Apprenticeships, Skills, Children and Learning Act 2009 and is also covered by the Education Act 2011.


OfQual are responsible for making sure that:

  • Regulated qualifications reliably indicate the knowledge, skills and understanding students have demonstrated.
  • Assessments and exams show what a student has achieved.
  • People have confidence in the regulated qualifications.
  • Students and teachers have information on the full range of regulated qualifications.

Goals and objectives

Goal 1: Regulate for the validity and safe delivery of general qualifications.

Goal 2: Regulate for the validity and safe delivery of national technical and vocational qualifications and assessments.

Goal 3: Regulate for the validity and safe delivery of vocational and other regulated qualifications.

Goal 4: Monitor and evaluate the validity of National Assessments.

Goal 5: Promote innovation and an effective and efficient regulated qualifications market.

Goal 6: Develop and manage our people, resources and systems.