Introduction to AQA and its pattern

AQA (Assessment and Qualifications Alliance) is an Awarding Body in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. It compiles specifications and holds examinations in various subjects at GCSE, AS and A Level and offers vocational qualifications. AQA is a registered charity and independent of the Government. It is regulated by Ofqual, which is the regulator for the public examinations system in England and Wales.

AQA is one of five Awarding Bodies which are recognised by the regulators of the public exams systems for England, Wales and Northern Ireland to offer GCSE, AS and A Levels in the United Kingdom. AQA also offers the AQA Baccalaureate, a qualification also intended for students in Year 12 and 13.

AQA began as an alliance of the Associated Examining Board/Southern Examining Group (AEB/SEG), Northern Examinations and Assessment Board (NEAB) and City & Guilds'GNVQ qualification in November 1997. In September 1998, it was registered as an educational charity. AEB/SEG and NEAB agreed to formally merge in October 1999, with this happening in April 2000.

The organisation has several regional offices, the two largest being in Guildford and Manchester. The current Chief Executive Officer of AQA is Andrew Hall.

In September 2010, the organisation announced that it will begin offering courses from September 2012 for which all assessment is carried out through examinations at the end of the course.