Research in to Standards in GCSE's in relation to Norm and Criterion referencing

  • Qualifications Wales
  • 20/09/2022
Researcher, Senior researcher, Project lead Democracy and Governance Education and Skills Labour Markets and Employment


A Two Year Framework for Assessment research exploring and explaining standards in GCSE's and A Levels in relation to Norm and Criterion referencing.
We would like to commission a project that:
  • Helps to clarify and explain how standards work in GCSEs and A levels
  • Makes the links across a ‘value chain’ of assessment in terms of a ‘journey towards grades’ - between the design of a complex construct as typically found in qualifications, the design and operationalisation of the associated assessments and the conditions in which they are taken, how value is assigned to assessment responses (including standardisation and marking) and how this links to the validity of grades
  • Describes what the standards processes in GCSEs and A levels are designed to manage or take into account of (for example, changes in entries, changes in assessment demand, changes in performance). We do not want to go into the details of differences across subjects and qualification types within general qualifications, we are concerned here with more fundamental questions about what the processes and the different sorts of evidence used are trying to do.
  • Identifies the key assumptions being made in the approach (e.g., examining committees can take account of changes in assessment demand when they are briefed on statistical evidence linked to performance on the assessments)
  • Explores ‘pure’ forms of norm and criterion referenced standards approaches as they could be applied to graded qualifications, and how these compare to the current standards approach
  • Considers whether and how norm and criterion referenced approaches to standards could work for GCSE and A level grading, what changes might be necessary to make those approaches work and the benefits and risks of these approaches (including trade-offs that might need to be made or limitations that might need to be accepted).

Project Type

Consulting - Tender opportunity

Application deadline