The Welsh Baccalaureate Advanced Diploma aims to develop a learning and assessment programme that develops and accredits students’ skills.
The qualification also provides a guarantee of a degree of breadth in learning programmes and promotes inclusion, retention, completion and achievement.
It builds on the candidate’s previous education and allows for progression along and between the chosen pathway for each individual, thereby reflecting the vision laid out in the Welsh Assembly Government’s guidance in Learning Pathways 14–19 Guidance II (Circular 17/2006).
The Baccalaureate Core is graded:
Pass (awarding in 2014)
A*/A/B/C (awarding in 2015 and 2016).
Assessment of the Core of the Welsh Baccalaureate Qualification is based on a Candidate Diary, Individual Investigation and achievement in Essential Skills Wales/ Wider Key Skills qualifications.
The Candidate Diary is compulsory for all candidates and is assessed on a pass/ fail basis. It provides evidence of the development of candidate knowledge, understanding and skills in respect of the requirements for achievement of:
- Personal and Social Education including Community Participation
- Wales, Europe & The World including the Language Module
- Work Related Education including work experience and an enterprise activity
Assessors authenticate that candidates have met all the requirements of all the components, (e.g. confirming that required hours have been completed on language modules and Key / Essential skills).
The Individual Investigation is presented in written form that will normally include graphs, images, statistical tables, diagrams, drawings, etc. It must be at least 3,000 words (excluding graphs, tables and diagrams).
The Individual Investigation is assessed in terms of five learning themes, and eight associated assessment criteria, each allowing achievement at Pass, Merit or Distinction. Points are available for each criteria as follows:
Pass = 1
Merit = 2
Distinction = 3
Candidates must achieve at least a Pass in each of the eight assessment criteria, thus the range of possible pass marks is from 8–24. Overall grades are determined on the basis of the total points score as follows:
Pass = 8 - 11
Merit = 12 - 19
Distinction = 20 - 24
ESW/Key Skills are separately certificated by the relevant awarding organisation.
The Welsh Government has worked with stakeholders to revise and strengthen the Welsh Baccalaureate and to increase its rigour. This followed recommendations from the independent Review of Qualifications and also addresses recommendations in a report the Welsh Government commissioned from Wales Institute of Social & Economic Research, Data & Methods (WISERD) (2013):
Within a relatively short period of time higher education admissions tutors will see a number of iterations of the Welsh Baccalaureate:
- 2014 saw the final award of the Welsh Baccalaureate that was pass grade only
- 2015 and 2016 will see the interim Welsh Baccalaureate awarded, which is graded A*-C
- 2017 onwards will see the award of the fully reformed Welsh Baccalaureate, graded A*-U.
Links to qualification and subject level regulations and rules published by Welsh Baccalaureate Organisation
Link to Welsh Government Review of Qualifications 14–16: