IOE EPrints

A question of regulation: a study of the regulation of qualifications in England

Blacklock, William David (2003) A question of regulation: a study of the regulation of qualifications in England. EdD thesis, Institute of Education, University of London.

BLACKLOCK.pdf - Accepted Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial Share Alike.

Download (858Kb) | Preview
Official URL:


This thesis considers whether there is a case for the regulation of qualifications in England. It draws on regulatory theory to develop an original conceptual model for regulation incorporating five important public interest objectives: control of systemic risk; quality; information asymmetry; value for money; and planning deficit. The model is used to evaluate the case for regulation. Interviews with officials responsible for regulatory policy, and representatives of those organisations subject to regulation, provide evidence that allows an assessment of whether they understand and support the regulatory functions appropriate to qualifications, the value of such regulation and possible alternatives. The study reviews how other regulatory arrangements in education and training inform the evaluation of the case for regulation. The thesis also surveys the basis for the regulation of financial services to see if lessons can be learnt for the regulation of qualifications from a non-educational context. The thesis concludes that a case can be made for the regulation of qualifications but that such a case needs to go back to first principles rather than depend on the current inadequate legislative basis. There is a clear case for regulation to address the issues of systemic risk and quality and standards and these were identified in my empirical findings as the two most important objectives. As far as the issues of information asymmetry and value for money are concerned there is justification for regulation in principle although in practice the case does not appear to be very strong. However, the case for central planning of the qualifications system is not clear and further justification would need to be made for before regulation could be justified to achieve this objective. Finally, the key issues of regulatory balance and the impact of economic globalisation are discussed in relation to the future direction of regulatory policy.

Item Type: Thesis (EdD)
Controlled Keywords: Qualifications,Quality control
Depositing User: Mr Andrew Welshman
Date Deposited: 12 Aug 2014 09:38
Last Modified: 25 Jun 2015 16:31
View Record in Library Catalogue:{CKEY}
View Item View Item