Independent Review of Qualifications and Assessment

Views sought on reform.

A consultation has been launched on how qualifications and assessment should be reformed to ensure learners’ achievements are fairly recognised.

Young people, parents, carers, teachers, education staff and all learners are among those being encouraged to give their views.

The consultation invites opinions on:

  • the balance between exams and other forms of assessment
  • how a wider range of learners’ achievements can be recognised
  • potential uses of technology in assessment and qualifications
  • how to ensure that qualifications enable all learners, regardless of their circumstances, to demonstrate their strengths and achievements

The consultation, which will close on 16 December, is part of an independent review of qualifications and assessment announced by Education Secretary Shirley-Anne Somerville in October 2021.

The review is being led by Louise Hayward, Emerita Professor of Educational Assessment and Innovation at Glasgow University, who will provide independent advice for Ministers to consider in March next year.

Professor Hayward said:

"This Review of Qualifications and Assessment offers Scotland an opportunity to look to the future.

“We want to ensure that the ways in which we gather evidence about all learners' achievements, awards and qualifications help every learner to transition positively into the next phase of life, be that in college, employment, university or voluntary work.

“By supporting every learner to become a confident, committed life-long learner, we will help Scotland to grow socially, culturally and economically."

Education Secretary Shirley-Anne Somerville said:

“The aim of reforming qualifications and assessment is to ensure that all senior phase learners have the best possible opportunity to demonstrate the breadth, depth and relevance of their learning.

“This consultation and the other work being done by Professor Hayward to gather a wide range of opinions is crucially important and I would encourage anyone who has an interest, particularly young people, parents, carers and education staff, to give their views.

“The review, and our other planned education reforms, have the clear purpose of doing all we can to improve the experiences and outcomes of children and young people in Scotland’s education system.”


The consultation on qualifications  and assessment will run until 16 December.

The Independent review of Qualifications and Assessment  is being led by Professor Hayward supported by an Independent Review Group (IRG) that includes learners, parents and carers, education staff and college and university representatives.

The independent review will culminate in advice to Ministers on how to ensure that all senior phase learners have an enhanced and equal opportunity to demonstrate the width, depth and relevance of their learning, with an acknowledgement that externally assessed examinations will remain part of any new system.

It will also be informed by the findings of the National Discussion on Education which is being co-convened by the Scottish Government and COSLA, and which runs until 5 December.




Media enquiries

Back to top