The History of Technical and Commercial Examinations –Glossary

This entry is part 7 of 8 in the series The History of commercial & Technical Examinations

All areas of human activity create and develop their own specialist language. The area of education and training is no exception to this rule and acronyms, abbreviations and special terms abound. The list below attempts to provide a reference of terms used in post-16 education and training as well as terms associated with schools and Higher Education. Although many of the terms are historical they still appear in many documents. This fourth version of the glossary hopefully will cross reference with the history of technical and vocational education, the history of technical and commercial examinations and the chronology. The list cannot hope to be perfectly accurate or complete but should provide a guide to the terminology, new organisations and initiatives that come and go with increasing rapidity but hopefully the list will be of use to the readership.

Update July 2017


A Advanced level (GCE).

AA Advanced Apprenticeship

AACE Army Certificate in Education

AACS Adult Advancement and Careers Service

AAD Advanced Apprenticeship Diploma

AAI Association of Art Institutions

AAP Assessment of Achievement Programme

A1 First Year of Advanced Level Study 2000+

A2 Second Year of Advanced Level Study 2000+

AB Awarding Body

ABC Awarding Body Consortium

ABCM Association of British Chemical Manufacturers’ founded in 1916.

ACC Association Chambers of Commerce

ACCA Qualifications Curriculum and Assessment Authority for Wales 1997+.

ACE Association of Consulting Engineers.

AEA Advanced Extension Awards first examinations in 2002

AEB Associated Examining Board (‘A’ and ‘O’ levels)

AD Advanced Diploma

AFE Advanced FE level 3 i.e. more than ‘A’ levels

aMA Accelerated Modern Apprenticeship

ALIS ‘A’ Level Information Service – an attempt to assess value added

ALL Advanced Learning Loans

AMA Advanced Modern Apprenticeship

AoN Application of Number

AOs Awarding Organisations

APEL/APL Accreditation of Prior Education (Experience) and Learning/Accreditation of Prior Learning

APU Assessment of Performance Unit established in 1965

AQA Assessment and Qualifications Alliance

AQAC Accreditation and Quality Assurance Committee

ARC Agriculture Research Council

AS Advanced Subsidiary (Originally called Advanced Supplementary which started in 1987) offered from 2000

ASC Agricultural Secretaries Certificate (Scotland).

ASDAN Award Scheme Development and Accreditation Network

ASE Amalagmated Society of Engineers

ASET Association for Sandwich Education and Training

ASET Accreditation Syndicate for Education and Training

AST Advanced Skills Teacher

ATI Association of Technical Institutions

ATC/D Art Teacher’s Certificate/Diploma

AVCE Advanced Vocational Certificate of Education – vocational ‘A’ levels. replaced Advanced GNVQs in 2000


BA Bachelor of Arts

BB British Baccalaureate

BEC Business Education Council – 1974-1983

BEC British Employers Federation

BEng Bachelor of Engineering

BERA British Educational Research Association

BERR Department of Business, Education and Regulation/Regulatory

BESE Board of Education Science Examination

BIM British Institute of Management

BIS Business Innovation and Skills

B-IT Business-Implementation Techniques

BJET British Journal of Education Technology

BoE Board of Education (1899-1944)

BS Basic Skills

BSc Bachelor of Science

BSc (Econ) Bachelor of Science (Economics)

BTC British Training and Enterprise Council

BTEC Business Technician Education Council (TEC + BEC) – 1983-1996

BVQR Board for Vocational Qualifications Reform


C 1, C2 The first two years of a craft course

CA Credit Accumulation

CAC Central Advisory Council

CACE Central Council For Education

CAC (W) Central Advisory Council (Wales)

CAEL Council for Adult and Experiential Learning

CAI Computer Aided Instruction

CBA Certificate in Business Administration (Scotland).

CC’s Commercial Certificates

CCA Credit Common Accord

CCEA Northern Ireland Council for Curriculum Examinations and Assessment

CCW Curriculum Council for Wales

cea curriculum, examinations and assessment

CEE Certificate of Extended Studies

CEBR Centre for Economics and Business Research

CEF European Common Framework

CEI Council of Engineering Institutions

CELP College Employer Links Project

Cert Ed Certificate of Education

CERI Centre for Educational Research and Innovation

CEng Chartered Engineer

CFE Certificate of FE (Various stages e.g. 1,2 and 3)

CFEs Colleges of Further Education

CFE/T Certificate of FE/Teaching

CfL Campaign for Learning

CGLI City and Guilds of London Institute

CI Central Institutions

CIE University of Cambridge International Examinations

CIF Common Inspection Framework

CIS Chartered Institute of Secretaries

CITB Construction Industry Training Board

CMS Certificate of Management Studies

CNAA Council for National Academic Awards 1964/5 – 1992

COAD Centre for Optimal Adult Development

CoID Council of Industrial Design

CoP/CP College of Preceptors

COS Certificate of Office Studies

CoT College of Technology

CPhy Chartered Physicist

CPD Continuous Professional Development

CPF City Parochial Foundation

CPVE Certificate of Pre-Vocational Education 1983-1991 – replaced by the DVE in 1991

CREST Creativity in Science and Technology – to promote links between education and science and technology in industry

CREDIS Credit Framework (Wales)

CRMP Certificate in Retail Management Principles

CS Core Skills

C Sci T Chartered Science Teacher

CSA Council for the RSA

CSE Certificate of Secondary Education introduced in 1965. Ceased1986/87

CSYS Certificate of Sixth Year Studies

CT Credit Transfer

CTC Central Training Council

CTEB Council of Technical Examining Bodies – comprised of CGLI and 6 REBs

C2k Curriculum 2000.

CUC Coal Utilisation Council.

CULE Cambridge University Local Examinations.

CVU Council of Validating Universities.


DA Diploma in Art

DAB Diploma Awarding Body

DAB Diploma Development Board

DAE Diploma in Advanced Engineering

DAS Diploma Aggregation Service

DAuE Diploma in Automobile Engineering

DATEC The Art and Design Committee of TEC – 1977-83

DCAe Diploma in Aeronautics (of the College of Aeronautics – Cranfield)

DCE Diploma of Continuing Education

DCSF Department for Children Schools and Families (2007-2010)

DENI Department of Education for Northern Ireland

DES Department of Education and Science (1964-1992)

DDPs Diploma Development Partnerships

DfE Department of Education (1992-1995)

DfEE Department of Education and Employment (1995-2001)

DfES Department for Education and Skills (2001-2007)

DFE Department for Education (2010+)

Dip AD Diploma in Art and Design

Dip HE Diploma in Higher Education from 1974 HE award equivalent to the first two years of an integrated degree course

Dip Tech Diploma in Technology

Dip Tech (Eng) Diploma in Technology (Engineering)

DIUS Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills

DMS Diploma in Management Studies

DoE Department of Employment

DoE Department of Education

DoPA Department of Practical Art

DoSA Department of Science and Art

DoT Department of Technology

DPSE Diploma in Professional Studies in Education

DSA Department of Science and Art

DTI Department of Trade and Industry

DUB Durham University Board

DVE Diploma of Vocational Education replaced CPVE in 1991

DWP Department of Work and Pensions


E 1, 2 & 3 Entry levels 1,2 and 3

EA Education Act

EAB Examinations Appeals Board

EAEB East Anglian Examinations Board (CSE)

EAL English as an Additional Language

EARACFE East Anglian Regional Advisory Council for FE

EAV Examining and Validating

EB English Baccalaureate

EB European Baccalaureate

EBC E Bacc Certificate

EBCs English Baccalaureate Certificates

ECDL European Computer Driving Licence

ECITB Engineering Construction Industry Training Board

ECTS European Credit Transfer System

ED Employment Department

ED Education Department

Ed Dep/ED Education Department (1856-1899)

Edexcel Awarding body formed by merger of BTEC and ULEAC in 1996

EfG Engineering for Growth

EDSU Examination Delivery Support Unit

EIGA Engineering Industry Group Apprenticeships (1953+)

EIS Educational Institute of Scotland

EITB Engineering Industry Training Board

EJEB Engineering Joint Examination Board – comprised Institutions of Civil, Mechanical, Electrical, Municipal, Marine Engineers, Royal Aeronautical Society and the Institution of Structural Engineers for the purposes of examining candidates for studentship or other grades of the respective institutions

EL Entry Level

ELD Entry Level Diploma

ELWa Education and Learning Wales

EMEU East Midlands Educational Union

EMFEC East Midlands FE Council

EMREB East Midlands Region Examinations Board (CSE)

E 1,2 and 3 Entry levels 1, 2 and 3

EMTA Engineering Marine Training Authority

Eng Tech Engineering Technician

EQF European Qualifications Framework

EQCF European Qualifications and Credit Framework

ERDF European Regional Development Fund

ESB Employer Skills Board

ESIW Essential Skills in the Workplace

E2E Entry to Employment

ET Education Training

ET Education and Training

ETC Elementary Technical Course

ETDU Examinations Techniques Development Unit

EV External Verification/Verifier

EVB Examining and Validating Bodies


FAB Federation of Awarding Bodies from 2001

FBI Federation of British Industries (Now the CBI).

FCEC Federation of Civil Engineers Contractors founded in 1919.

FD Foundation Diploma.

FD Foundation Degree from 2001.

FDA Foundation Degree in Arts.

FDF Foundation Degree Forward.

FDG Foundation Degree Group.

FDS Foundation Degree in Science

FDs Foundation Diplomas

FDTF Foundation Degree Task Force

FE Further Education

FECs FEColleges

FES FE Sector

FES24 FE and Skills 24

FFORWM National Organisation for FE Colleges in Wales

FL Foundation Learning

FLT Foundation Learning Tier

FM Functional Mathematics

FMA Foundation Modern Apprenticeship

FSs Functional Skills

FSMQ Free Standing Mathematics Qualifications

FSMUs Free Standing Mathematics Units

FT Foundation Tier

FTC Full Technological Certificate awarded by CGLI


G General Course

G 1, G2 First two years of a part-time general preliminary diagnostic course at a FE college

G* One-year part-time general preliminary diagnostic course at a college

GA Graduate Apprenticeship

GCE General Certificate of Education from 19511986/87 replaced by GCSEs

GCs Group Certificates

G-CC Grouped-Course Certificate

GCSE General Certificate of Secondary Education

GEC General Education Course

GNVQ General National Vocational Qualification 1991

GRIC Graduateship/Graduate of the Royal Institute of Chemistry

GSVQ General Scottish Vocational Qualification


H Higher grade of the Scottish leaving certificate

HCOS Higher Certificate in Office Studies

HNC/HND Higher National Diploma/Certificate 1921+

HD Higher Diploma

HFE Higher and Further Education

HMIs Her Majesty Inspectors

HSLC Higher School Leaving Certificate

HT Higher Tier

HTB Hairdressing Training Board

HTC Higher technical Certificate

HTD Higher Technical Diploma


IBacc/Int Bacc International Baccalaureate

IBD International Baccalaureate Diploma

IC Intermediate Certificate (CGLI)

ICAAE International Curriculum and Assessment Agency for Examinations

ICAC Intermediate Certificate in Art and Crafts

ICWA Institute of Cost and Works Accountants

ID Intermediate Diploma

IEE Intermediate Engineering Examination

IEng Incorporated Engineer

IEQs International English Qualifications

IIA Institute of Industrial Administration – offered certificate in Foremanship and Works Supervision

IIS Institute of Industrial Studies

IML Institute of Leadership and Management – formed by the merger of NEBSM and ISM in 2002

ILAs Individual Learning Accounts

ILP Individual Learning Plan

IOM Institute of Office Management

ISM Institute of Supervision and Management

ITB Industrial Training Board

ITC Industrial Training Council

ITOs Industrial Training Organisations

ITQ Information Technology Qualification

IVQs International Vocational Qualifications


JACQA Joint Advisory Committee for Qualifications Approval

J1, J2 Prior to 1944 the two years in a junior technical school before entering a senior course in a college

JBPVE Joint Board for Pre-Vocational Qualifications

JC Joint Committee

JCC Junior Commercial Certificate

JCS Junior Commercial School

JCGQ Joint Council for General Qualifications established in 1999 comprising AQA. Edexcel. OCR. CCEA (NI). WJEC (Wales)

JCQ Joint Council for Qualifications

JMB Joint Matriculation Board

JTS Joint Technical Scheme

JTS Junior Technical School


KS Key Skills

KSA Key Skills Assessment

KS 1/2/3/4 Key Stages in National Curriculum

KSSP Key Skills Support Programme


LA Local Authority

LBs Lead Bodies

LCC London Chamber of Commerce started examinations in 1890

LCCI/LCCIEB London Chamber of Commerce and Industry Examinations Board 1890+

LEA Local Education Authority

LEAEG London and East Anglian Examining Group (GCSE + CSE examinations)

LHCRACTE London and Home Counties Regional Advisory Council for Technological Education

LIBs Lead Industry bodies

LME London Matriculation Examinations

LNE Literacy,Numeracy and ESOL

LPC London Polytechnic Council

LREB London Region Examination Board

LSIS Learning and Improvement Service

LUEs London University Examinations

LUIs London Union of Institutions


MA Modern Apprenticeship from 1995 – Foundation (FMA)/Advanced (AMA)

MAAC Modern Apprenticeship Advisory Committee – 2001+

MaST Mathematics Specialist Teacher

MC Matriculation Certificate

MCT Membership of the College of Technologists taken over by CNAA

MEnt Master of Enterprise

ME/MEng Master of Engineering

MEG Midlands Examining Group (GCSE + CSE examinations)

MLE Main Learning Element

MoE Ministry of Education (1944-1964)

MoL Ministry of Labour

MoT Ministry of Technology

MSc (Eng) Master of Science (Engineering)

MTL Masters in Teaching and Learning

MTech Master of Technology


NAA National Assessment Board

NABCE Non award Bearing Continuing Education

NABTEB National Business and Technical Examination Board

NAC National Apprenticeship Council

NACAE National Advisory Council on Art Education

NACEIC National Advisory Council on Education for Industry and Commerce

NAFE Non Advanced FE – up to level 3 i.e. ‘A’ level

NAS National Apprentice Scheme

NAW National Assembly of Wales

NBD National Bakery Diploma

NC National Certificate from 1921 Joint Committees replaced by BTEC awards

NC National Curriculum

NC/DA National Certificate/Diploma in Agriculture

NCBS National Certificate in Business Studies

NCC National Curriculum Council 1988-93

NCDAD National Council for Diplomas in Art and Design – established in 1961

NCETW National Council for Education and Training in Wales (ELWa)

NCF National Curriculum Framework

NCFE Northern Council for FE

NC/DH National Certificate/Diploma in Horticulture

NCITO National Council of Industry Training Organisations

NCS National Certificate Scheme

NCs National Certificates

NCTA National Council for Technological Awards

NCTEC Northern Counties Technical Examinations Council

NCVQ National Council for Vocational Qualifications 1987-97

NCWE National Council for Work Experience

ND New Deal

NDA National Diploma in Agriculture

ND National Diploma from 1921 Joint Committees replaced by BTEC awards

NDD National Diploma in Design

NDS National Diploma Scheme

NEA Northern Examining Association (GCSE + CSE examinations)

NEB National Examination Board (Shorter title for NEBAHAI)

NEBAHAI National Examination Board for Agriculture, Horticulture and Allied Industries

NEBOSH National Examinations Board in Occupational Safety and Health

NEBSM National Examinations Board for Supervisory and Management

NEBSS National Examination Board in Supervisory Studies – established in 1964

NGfL National Grid for Learning

NICCEA Northern Ireland Council for the Curriculum, Examinations and Assessment

NIG NAFE Implementation Group

NIHEC Northern Ireland HE Council

NISEC Northern Ireland Secondary Examinations Council

NISVQ National Information System for Vocational Qualifications

NNEB Nursery Nurses Examination Board

NOC National Occupational Standards

NOCN National Open College Network

NPS National Preferred Scheme

NPTC National Proficiency Test Council

NQAI National Qualifications Authority of Ireland

NQF National Qualifications Framework

NR National Route

NRA National Record of Achievement 1991+

NRDC National Retail Distribution Certificate

NRCVQ Network of National Resources Centres for Vocational Guidance

NREB Northern Region Examinations Board

NROVA National Record of Vocational Achievement 1988+

NSEAD National Society for Education in Art and Design

NSLC Natural Science Learning Centre

NSTF National Skills task Force established in 1998

NTA National Training Award

NUJMB Northern Universities Joint Matriculation Board

NVG National Consultative Group for Co-ordination of Validation Arrangements in Agriculture and Related Subjects

NVQs National Vocational Qualifications 1988+

NWREB North West Regional Examinations Board (CSE)


‘O’ Ordinary level

O1, O2 First two years of an ONC course

Ofqual Office of Qualifications

OC Open  College – established in 1987 by the DTI

OD1, OD2 First two years of an OND course

OCR Oxford Cambridge and Royal Society of Arts from 1998

OCEAC Oxford Cambridge Examinations and Assessment Council

OFSTED Office for Standards in Education established in 1992 later titled Office for Standards in Education

OCSEC Oxford and Cambridge Schools Examinations Council (O and A levels)

OD Open Diplomas

ODLE Oxford Delegacy of Local Examinations

Ofqual Regulator for qualifications, examinations and assessments in England and for vocational qualifications in Northern Ireland

OND/Cs Ordinary National Diplomas/Certificates from 1921 Joint Committees

1-2-1 Careers advice replaced by Jobseeker Plus  1994-1998

Op 1, Op 2 First two years of an operatives course

Open College Established by the DTI in 1987

Open Tech 1982-87 a relatively short lived project

OT Other Training – other training not leading to NVQ qualifications

OU Open University 1969 first students in 1971

OUDE Oxford University Department of Education


P1, P2 First two years on preliminary course

PCC Preliminary Craft Course (Pre-Craft Certificate)

PCE Professional Certificate in Education

PE Pitman Examinations

PEI Pitman Examination Institute

PGCE Post Graduate Certificate in Education

PIs Performance Indicators

PL Principal Learning

PNC Preliminary National Course (Pre-National Certificate)

POS Programme of Study

PRA Professional Recognition Award

PSC Pre-Senior Course

PST Pre-Senior Course

PST Preliminary Senior Technical Course. (Evening Institute)

PTC Preliminary Technical Course offered by REBs (Pre-technical Certificate)


 QAA Quality Assurance Agency

QCA Qualifications and Curriculum Authority 1997+- merger of NCVQ and SCAA.

QCDA Qualifications and Curriculum Development Agency

QCF Qualifications and Credit Framework

QIA Quality Improvement Agency

QNCA Qualifications and National Curriculum Authority (Original title of QCA)


RAA Royal Academy of Arts

RACs Regional Advisory Councils

RACOFEEM Regional Advisory Council for the Organisation of Further Education in the East Midlands

RCB Regional Curriculum Board

RCT Royal College of Technologists/Technology

RDAs Regional Development Agencies

REBs Regional Examinations Boards/Bodies

REPLAN DES programme to provide better opportunities for unemployed adults – 1984-1991

REUs Regional Examining Unions

RMC Regional Management Centre

RMCA Regional Management Centre Association

RoA Record of Achievement

RoC Rules of Combination

RRQs The Register of Regulated Qualifications

RSA (Royal) Society of Arts founded in 1754

RDA Regional Development Agency

RSPs Regional Skills Partnerships

RtA Route to Achievement

RTJC Retail Trade Junior Certificate

RVQ Review of Vocational Qualifications 1986

RVQs Related Vocational Qualifications

RWE Realistic Working Environments


S1, S2 Prior to 1944 the first two years of a senior course in Scotland

SA Student Apprenticeship

SAD Science and Art Department

SANCAD Scottish Association for National Certificates and Diplomas – established in 1962

SAR Self Assessment Report

SASE Specification of Apprenticeship Standards for Employers

SATs Standard Assessment Tests

SC School Certificate

SC Schools Council 1964 replaced  SSEC that was created in 1917

SCAA School Curriculum and Assessment Authority 1993-1997 – merged with NCVQ to form QCA

SCAGES Standing Conference of Associations for Guidance in Educational Settings

SCC Senior Commercial Certificate (Scotland)

SCCE Scottish Council for Commercial Education – established in 1961

SCCE Schools Council for the Curriculum and Examinations

SCAA Schools’ Curriculum and Assessment Authority

SCDU School Curriculum Development Committee founded in 1984

SCE Scottish Certificate of Education

SCORE Science Community Representing Education

SCOTBEC Scottish Business Education Council

SCOTCATS Scottish Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme

SCOTEC Scottish Technician Education Council

SCOTVEC Scottish Vocational Education Council 1983+ Scottish equivalent of TEC and BEC

SCQF Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework from 2002

SCRAC Standing Conference of Regional Advisory Councils

SCREB Standing Conference of Regional Examination Boards

SCTEB Standing Conference on Technical Examining Bodies

SD Specialised Diplomas

SDC Scottish Diploma in Commerce (Scotland)

SDUK Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge

SE Scottish Executive

SEAC School Examination and Assessment Council 1983-1993 replaced by SCAA

SEB Scottish Examination Board

SEC Schools Examinations Council founded in 1984

SED Scottish Education Department

SFR Statistical First Release

SEG Southern Examining Group (GCSE + CSE examinations)

SEO Scottish Office

SEREB South East Regional Examinations Board (CSE)

SFA Skills Funding Council

SIAD Society of Industrial Artists and Designers

SL Supplementary Learning

SoA Society of Art

SOC Standard Occupational Classifications

SOED Scottish Office Education Department

SQA Scottish Qualifications Authority from 1997

SQC Scottish Qualifications Certificate

SRCFE Scottish Region Council for FE

SREB Southern Regional Examinations Board (CSE)

SS Skills Strategy

SSA Sector Subject Area

SSA Scottish Survey of Achievement

SSC Senior Secretarial Certificate (Scotland)

SSEC Secondary Schools Examinations Council

STC Short Training Course

SRECC Scottish Technical Education Consultative Council

S-SC Single-Subject Certificates

STF Scottish Training Federation

SUEB Scottish Universities Entrance Board

SUJB(SE) Southern Universities Joint Board (for School Examinations)

SVQ Scottish Vocational Qualification

SVQRB Scottish Vocational Qualifications Reform Board

SWEB South West Examination Board (CSE)


‘T’ Technician Course

T1, T2 First two years of a technician course

TC Technical Certificate -part of the Modern Apprenticeship framework  2002+

TCs Training Credits

TEB Technical Education Board (London)

TEC Technician Education Council

TD Technical Diploma

TGAT Task Group on Assessment and Training established in 1983

TMG Target Minimum Grade

TRADEC Trades Education Courses

TRIST TVEI-Related In-Service Training

TSP Training for Skills Programme

TVEI Technical Vocational Education Initiative from 1983


UABs Unitary Awarding Boards/Bodies

UBS Unit Based System

UCLES University of Cambridge Local Examinations Syndicate

UESEC University Education and Schools Examination Council

UD Unit Database

UDE University Diploma of Education

UDSEB University of Durham School Examination Board – abolished in 1964

UEI Union of Educational Institutions

UF Unified Framework

UFI University for Industry from 2000

UKBVQR UK Board for Vocational Qualifications Reform

ULCI Union of Lancashire and Cheshire Institutions

ULEAC University of London Examinations and Assessments Council

UODLE University of Oxford Delegacy of Local Examinations

UoD Units of Delivery

UoI Union of Institutions

UQ Unified Qualifications

ULF Union Learning Fund

UVP Unified Vocational Preparation 1976-1983 DES/TSD initiative to develop vocational preparation for young people in jobs which did not offer any training or FE


VABs Vocational Awarding Bodies

VASFE Vocational Aspects of Secondary and FE

VCE Vocational Certificates of Education

VCE ‘A’ level Vocational Certificate of Education Advanced level

VET Vocational Education and Training

VGCSEs Vocational GCSEs replaced GNVQs in 2001

VQs Awarding bodies include: CGLI. AQA. OCR. Edexcel. CITB. EITB. OU. LCCIEB. Institute of Management Foundation. Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development. Chartered Institute of Bankers.

VQRP Vocational Qualifications Reform Programme

VRQs Vocationally Related Qualifications from 2002


WABLA (HE) Welsh Advisory Body for Local Authority Higher Education from 1982

WAG Welsh Assembly Government

WB Welsh Baccalaureate

WBA Work Based Assessment/Accreditation

WBA Work Based Assessment

WE Work Experience

WJEC Welsh Joint Education Committee (Cyd-Bwyllgor Addysg Cymru – CBAC) 1944+

WMACFE West Midlands Advisory Councils for FE

WMEB West Midlands Examinations Board (CSE)

WO Welsh Office

WRNAFE Work Related Non-Advanced FE

WULF Wales Union Learning Find



YA Young Apprenticeship

YC Youth Credit

YCFE Yorkshire Council for FE

YHAFHE Yorkshire and Humberside Association for Further and Higher Education

YHREB Yorkshire and Humberside Regional Examinations Board (CSE)

YPLA Young People’s Learning Agency

YTS Began in 1983

YUMI Yorkshire Union of Mechanics Institutions


A few definitions of terms and expressions commonly used in examining and examinations:

Academic Drift The perception by many to see academic qualifications as superior to non-academic or vocational programmes and therefore follow the supported academic routes. Also technical and vocational qualifications drift and gradually become more academic in nature.

Accreditation Set of formal procedures though which one academic body or university accredits the awards of another and acts as guarantor of appropriate standards

Achievement Outcome of learning, the acquisition of competence, skill or knowledge

Aptitude: an individual’s potential ability to acquire skills or knowledge.

Assessment: a judgement about the quality of a student’s work and the level at which the student has performed. Formative assessment is carried out during the course of study whilst summative assessment is carried out at the end of the course. Formal methods of assessment include assignments, examinations, essays, multi-choice, projects and tests.

Attainment: level of learning or achieving knowledge or skills to date in defined areas.

Competence: the ability to perform a learned and required task to a recognised standard.

Competence-based assessment: characterised by a focus on measurable learning outcomes, not inputs, the separation of learning from assessment, no-time serving criteria and an emphasis on performance in the workplace (or meaningful simulation).

Credential inflation: the supposed devaluing of qualifications as a result of more students taking them.

Criterion –referenced assessment: an approach when there is a list of criteria available to provide guidance to the standard that is required. A student is assessed according to how well the criteria have been realised and the assessment is made by the tutor or by the student (self-assessment).

Grade Inflation: occurs when the pass marks appear to increase each year but standards don’t and these can fall or just remain the same.

Norm-referenced assessment: an approach when the performance of one individual is ranked in comparison with that of the others. A crude method of limiting the number of passes.

Qualification Inflation A perception/view held by some people that jobs that once required say ‘O/GCSE’ levels now require ‘A’ levels and those that once required ‘A’ levels now require first degrees. It gives rise to so-called under-employment.

Sandwich Course: Period of study in an educational institution augmented by periods of practical work- based experience. Two forms exist e.g. thick – long periods and thin – shorter periods of placement.

Skills: Practical abilities that underpin performance

Validation: A process of quality assurance through which a course/programme of study is deemed worthy of the validating/awarding body’s approval

Workplace Competences: Inter-personal skills-( i) teamwork and ability to collaborate in pursuit of a common objective. (ii) leadership capabilities. Intra-personal skills- i) motivation and attitudes. (ii) ability to learn. (iii) problem solving skills. (iv) effective communication skills with colleagues and clients (e.g. written, verbal and numerical). (v) analytical skills and Technological and ICT skills

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