Vocational assessment

Vocational assessment

Student using drill

Vocational assessment is important as once a candidate has a vocational qualification they may become licensed to practice. It is vital therefore that the qualifications are valid, reliable, fair and fit for purpose. 

The vocational landscape is changing and research has a key role in ensure the quality of qualifications as well as helping to identify trends and anticipate emerging issues and challenges. It ensures that our vocational qualifications – whether knowledge, competence or skills focused – are assessed using methods which are both valid and manageable.

Published materials

Related materials

Reforming vocational education: plugging the skills gap

Insight, 28 January 2014

With nearly one million 16-24 year olds unemployed in the UK it is easy to see that there is some way to go to ensure that young people leaving the education system are appropriately prepared for the world of work.  

Effective Vocational Education and Training

Insight, 18 January 2013

In a significant new paper, our Director of Assessment Research and Development, Tim Oates, looks at the whole issue of vocational and technical education in Britain and Europe.

Is 14 the new 16?

Insight, 07 June 2011

Should there be a national examination at 14 rather than 16? Our debate considered whether the age at which children take GCSEs should be lowered to 14 as well as the pros and cons of a routed system.


Ewart Keep

Tim Oates' and Ewart Keep's views on vocational training (4:10)

Tim Oates and Professor Ewart Keep share their vision of vocational qualifications in the labour market.

Voc Qualifications skills

Seminar delegate views (2:48)

Participants include: Professor Anna Vignoles, University of Cambridge; Neil Brookes and Carol Holloway, Sandwell College; Gemma Gathercole, OCR; Patrick Craven, City and Guilds; Fiona Pethick, Ofqual.


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Seminar: Vocational qualifications in the labour market (27.6MB)

Professor Ewart Keep talks about vocational qualifications and the labour market

Research Matters

Research Matters is our free biannual publication which allows us to share our assessment research, in a range of fields, with the wider assessment community.

Research Matters 28: Autumn 2019