Exam board Pearson has hired Ofqual’s director of standards to take over as its responsible officer after last year’s BTECs fiasco.
Cath Jadhav will begin the new role on July 1, the exam watchdog announced yesterday.
The move has been approved under the government’s business appointment rules, Ofqual said, with “appropriate conditions put in place to protect both Crown information and any information that may be proprietary, sensitive or of commercial relevance to regulated entities”.
“As Cath is moving to a role with a conflict of interest, she has commenced an immediate period of garden leave,” it added.
Pearson left thousands of BTEC students in limbo after delays to results last year.
Following a review by Ofqual, which outlined a series of measures to prevent a repeat this year, Pearson said it would release results under embargo around a week before results are released.
Ofqual has also launched a Vocational and Technical Qualification (VTQ) taskforce to monitor the “safe delivery of results” in 2023, which includes a senior leader from Pearson.
Pearson was also fined a record-breaking £1.35 million by Ofqual last summer for allowing examiners to remark their own work and issuing incorrect certificates.
The failures were in relation to the awarding of GCSE and A-levels between 2016 and 2019.
Jadhav, who has worked for the regulator for 14 years, was the executive director for standards, research and analysis as well as acting executive director for general qualifications.
She resigned from her role at Ofqual on March 31.
Responsible officers serve as the authoritative point of contact for the regulator in relation to activities undertaken by the awarding organisation.
This includes any matters relating to Pearson’s compliance with its Conditions of Recognition and its ability to undertake the efficient development, delivery and award of qualifications.
Prior to Ofqual, Jadhav was previously a principal manager for business and social science subjects for exam board AQA.
She has also served as Ofqual’s acting director for strategy, risk and research, as well as its director for standards and comparability.
The watchdog’s chief regulator Jo Saxton said: “Cath’s contribution to Ofqual’s work is significant and I know that she will continue to act in the interests of students at Pearson.”
Sharon Hague, managing director at Pearson, said the firm was “delighted” to make the appointment.
“She brings a wealth of experience and insight from across her career – whether that’s working for Ofqual or other organisations more broadly across the awarding sector,” she added.