Working with our members
The JCQ is the single voice of its members. Awarding Bodies understand that accuracy is essential in delivering a successful world-class examinations system that has the confidence of all stakeholders. We work to find common agreement and establish consistent standards, regulations and guidance across our member Awarding Bodies. Detailed and well-tested procedures are in place to ensure standards are maintained. We also provide a forum for members to discuss issues with each other, partner organisations and the regulators, and we deal with the media on issues affecting all member Bodies.
We help our members to regulate themselves against agreed standards and monitor any exceptions. An example of how Awarding Bodies ensure standards are maintained is by undertaking statistical screening each year, that comprises a post hoc analysis of how statistically aligned the results for Awarding Bodies’ specifications in a subject were. The method compares specification outcomes, adjusted to take into account any difference in the ability of their entry cohorts. Those measures of ability for GCE and GCSE specifications are derived respectively from candidates’ mean prior and mean concurrent GCSE score. In the event of any unexplainable misalignment, remedial action is recommended for the following year.
Common procedures and consistent best practice
The JCQ ensures examinations are sat under consistent regulations, providing wherever possible, common administrative arrangements for the schools and colleges and other providers that offer their qualifications. We also work with the Federation of Awarding Bodies (FAB) to drive forward the use of common regulations and guidance for those taking vocational qualifications.
The JCQ publications detail procedures and requirements for the conduct of examinations across our member organisations for the benefit of stakeholders across the education sector. They are produced in consultation with our member Awarding Bodies with relevant input from other organisations such as disability discrimination groups and teaching unions.
Supporting Examination Centres
The JCQ’s Centre Inspection Service (CIS) visits new centres to verify they are compliant with the JCQ General Regulations before they are approved to offer qualifications as a JCQ registered examination centre. The CIS continues to inspect JCQ registered centres throughout the UK and overseas to ensure they remain up to date with changes in JCQ regulations and to promote and encourage best practice.
The UK examinations system operates to a very high standard with an extremely high level of accuracy, but Awarding Bodies continue to identify and implement improvements. For example, Awarding Bodies have invested significant resources into online marking, which reduces bureaucracy and allows for greater scrutiny of the marking process.
In consultation with the Department for Education; regulators in England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales; politicians and other stakeholders, the JCQ reviews proposals and initiatives relating to assessment, the curriculum, matters of policy and reform affecting the Education sector.