Education (Scotland) Bill: business and regulatory impact assessment

The business and regulatory impact assessment (BRIA) for the Education (Scotland) Bill.

Competition Assessment

There is not expected to be an impact on any aspect of competition as a result of the provisions in the Bill, or from the activity that stems from implementation in relation to limiting the range or ability of suppliers to compete, or the choices available to consumers. This is because the role and remit of the functions are already present in the system as part of the SQA and Education Scotland.

Qualifications Scotland

The functions of Qualifications Scotland will have some relevance to competition in the qualifications market, particularly around the accreditation of qualifications. These are already present in the system and therefore will not change as a result of the Bill.

The Bill will establish a new qualifications body with two distinct functions. One of these will be to develop and award qualifications. The other, will be to accredit and regulate the qualifications market in Scotland. However, the Bill will establish a new body that will replace the current provider in this space. For the aforementioned reasons, there is clearly an active market for qualifications suppliers, providers, and those that seek to use them. The Bill makes no changes to these functions that impact on competition.

As such, the Bill will not have a limiting impact on competition in Scotland. In fact, the opposite may be said as through an effective and credible accreditation function the competitiveness of the market should increase, as credentials that signal quality provide significant incentives for market providers and send clear, credible information to consumers to inform their choices.

The Bill will enable the new body to develop and award qualifications of any kind except university degrees. In practice these can be developed to meet the specific needs of businesses, consumers, and the education, qualification and employment system. This is no different to any other market provider. In Scotland, there is nothing to stop any consumer choosing alternative qualifications to those that will be provided by the new body. In fact, there is a clear market for different types of qualifications that are currently being provided for in different education and training establishments to meet different individual and group needs. The establishment of the new body will not alter the current demand-led model seen in Scotland and the rest of the UK.


It is not considered that this part of the Bill will have a direct positive or negative effect on any competition as the inspection of the establishments, undertaken by His Majesty appointed Inspectors reflects current practice. The Bill will provide for the HM Chief Inspector of Education to undertake inspection of the full range of establishments currently inspected.



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