1.18 Funders, providers and awards bodies should all address the urgent need to reduce complexity, eliminate unnecessary bureaucracy and red tape, cut out duplication and simplify progression routes, qualifications and learning pathways. The focus should be on the needs of learners themselves, systematically making it easier for them to take up and continue lifelong learning, rather than upon the requirements of institutions and organisations. Links between different forms and levels of learning should be understandable, transparent and as flexible as possible. This calls for effective leadership from senior managers of funding bodies, providers and those responsible for qualifications and awards: they should collaborate in simplifying and integrating their arrangements. Government should declare this work a priority, requiring the production of reports on progress from publicly funded bodies, such as the Funding Councils, the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority, Educational Inspectorates and Audit Commission.
1.19 Work should begin on the creation of a new national credit framework. This should be done under the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority, and in consultation with awarding bodies and others. It should build on the support expressed in the Kennedy Committee on Widening Participation, the Dearing Review of Higher Education and the work already completed in Wales to establish such a framework, known as CREDIS. The new framework should provide a record of accreditation for interim achievement and enable learners to build credit throughout their lives, based upon the accumulation of units of credit which can be built up to full qualifications according to need.
1.20 The Qualifications and Curriculum Authority should also give a lead in the development of a national system of recording and signalling learning activity and achievement. We have in mind the development of a national, widely used Record of Achievement or what has more recently been referred to by Sir Nicholas Goodison and the Dearing Review of Higher Education as a 'Progress File'. Properly organised and widely recognised, the use of such a method of recording learning would contribute to learners' own sense of ownership and management of their own learning, engaging them in monitoring and reviewing their own progress throughout life.
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