Development Advisory Group - launched

Development Advisory Group - launched

We are delighted to announce that, as part of our ongoing commitment to engage with our stakeholders, we have launched our ‘Development Advisory Group’ (DAG) and our Learner Advisory Group (LAG), whose aim is to support the development of our new Advanced Skills Baccalaureate Wales qualification.

The DAG will offer an opportunity for ongoing dialogue with our centres and stakeholders to ensure that our new qualification is fit for purpose and responds to current and future needs of learners and practitioners. It also provides an opportunity for DAG members to inform and assist us in developing and maintaining strategic qualification interventions which meet the needs of the sector in the short, medium, and long term.

Membership of the DAG

One crucial component when developing this Advisory Group was to secure a wide representation of stakeholders from across the education sector, with a complementary range of experience and knowledge. Commenting on the recruitment was Rachel Dodge, Qualifications Development Officer:

Our goal was to ensure that the qualification would not be developed in isolation, and we are taking active steps to call upon the views and expertise of a variety of stakeholders. We called for practitioners and managers from schools sixth forms, FE colleges, employers, HEIs, and external organisations with an interest in the qualification to ensure that a variety of objective viewpoints could be called upon, throughout the development process.'

'We also ensured that our representative stakeholders were not limited just to Wales, as we believe it is vitally important to raise awareness of this unique qualification and sustain communication with English universities and employers."

Recruitment for the Advisory Group commenced in the autumn, and we received over 30 applications from a broad range of stakeholders, eager to contribute. All applications were carefully reviewed through an open and transparent process, and the 10 successful appointees were selected based on a specific criterion (including sector representation, geographical spread, and variety of roles).

We are delighted to announce that the confirmed members of the DAG are:

Name Role Organisation
Dr Anne Chappel Head of the Department for Education Brunel University, London
Bradley Tanner Education Manager Iungo Solutions, Pan Wales
Catherine Jones  Advanced Baccalaureate Co-ordinator Ysgol Glan Clwyd, Conwy 
Catrin- Penry Williams Leader of the Skills Challenge certificate Ysgol Gyfun Gymraeg Llangynwyd
Diane Evans Lead for post-16 and WBQ Partneriaeth, West Wales

Dr Joshua Andrews

Lecturer in Philosophy, Ethics and Religion

Bangor University

Gareth Rhodri Jones

Director of General Education

Coleg Cambria, Yale

Heather Francis

Senior Student Recruitment Officer

University of South Wales, Cardiff

Rebecca Davies


Engineering Education Scheme Wales

Sarah Kerrigan

Head of Skills

Merthyr College

Sean McDermott

WBQ co-ordinator

Welshpool High School

Dr Anne Chappel, Head of the Department for Education at Brunel University, said:

I was keen to get involved in the advisory group for this qualification because it has an exciting emphasis on educational endeavours that have the potential to be transformative at the point that the young people are involved in it, as well as contributing to their futures. The advisory panel brings together interested professionals from different parts of the education community who can contribute to the developmental discussions.”

Immediate tasks

The DAG will ensure that the Advanced Skills Baccalaureate Wales qualification will be manageable, authentic, and fit for purpose. The stakeholders, who are also users, will be able to provide an objective viewpoint throughout the process, whilst also allowing us to utilise our assessment knowledge to explain the rationale behind our decision making, along with ensuring that the qualification is aligned to regulatory requirements.

The initial priorities for the Development Advisory Group include:

  • Providing feedback and suggestions on the structure and proposed content
  • Utilising the group as a sounding board for the feedback received
  • Examining the content that has been produced at key stages – asking if the content is engaging and practical?
  • At each stage, providing feedback and suggestions on the structure and proposed content before submitting the material to Qualification Wales.

Commenting on our announcement is Rachel Dodge, Qualifications Development Officer:

"I am overwhelmed with the enthusiasm and passion of the Advisory Group members. There is a genuine consensus of pride and determination to shape a qualification where teacher and student requirements are of utter importance."

More about the Advanced Skills Baccalaureate Wales

Our new qualification will be taught by centres from September 2023 and will be first awarded in summer 2025. This new qualification will replace the current Advanced Skills Challenge Certificate following the 'Skilled for the Future' consultation undertaken by Qualifications Wales in autumn 2020. Our advisory groups will play a crucial role in its

development, ensuring we develop an innovative and sector leading qualification, that will equip learners with an array of skills that will enable them to flourish in a global market.

For regular updates and information regarding the development of the Advanced Skills Baccalaureate Wales, please subscribe to our email bulletin.