Departmental officials met with members of the Better Regulation Executive to discuss the regulatory impact of the Apprenticeships, Skills, Children and Learning Bill, of which the provisions establishing Ofqual are a part, on 29 September 2008. The Better Regulation Executive saw a draft of the impact assessment for the Bill on 18 December 2008. The Bill itself, including the final version of the impact assessment, received Cabinet clearance in the normal way. There is no requirement to refer impact assessments to the Risk and Regulation Advisory Council. The impact assessment was published immediately after the publication of the Bill.
The Department consulted widely on the proposals to establish a new regulator in December 2007 (“Confidence in Standards: Regulating and developing qualifications and assessment”, DCSF/DIUS, Cm 7281). The consultation ended on 10 March 2008 and replies were received from a large number of awarding bodies, among others. A report summarising the outcome of that consultation exercise was published in June 2008 (“Confidence in Standards: Regulating and developing qualifications and assessment—Next steps”). Respondents were given a further opportunity to comment on the detail of Ofqual’s enforcement powers in October 2008, and, again, a number of awarding bodies responded. My officials have had regular discussions with awarding bodies about a wide range of issues around the set-up of Ofqual and the Bill.