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Research and evidence


The Commission’s call for evidence was launched on 11 July 2012. Read the full call for evidence (PDF document, 77KB). Over the following eight months, the Commission secretariat received and catalogued over 250 items of evidence.

All the evidence was reviewed in order to inform the Commission’s summary report It’s about work…, published in March 2013.  In July 2013, the Commission published an evidence review paper which reviews the rich and powerful submissions received and shows how they influenced the key recommendations in It’s about work…

In addition, a selection of the evidence, in particular submissions which shine a light on examples of vocational teaching and learning practice, is available here.

The Commission has also published an introduction to some of the international debates and evidence on the ways in which adult vocational teaching and learning (AVTL) is conceptualised, organised and practised, available here.

Some of the Commission’s early papers and commissioned research are available below:


A number of themes were explored through:

  • a range of seminars with teachers, trainers, teacher educators and leaders of learning; and learners, employers, professional associations and learning technologists;
  • a programme of visits to enable commissioners to see good and outstanding teaching and learning in practice;
  • online discussions; and
  • a rigorous review and synthesis of the evidence base, including literature reviews; calls for evidence and commissioned research.

Thematic seminars and online discussions

The Commission ran a series of seven seminars in autumn/winter 2012/13 to inform its evidence base and final report and recommendations. These seminars considered the Commission’s cross-cutting themes. Although it was not possible to invite everyone with an interest to the seminars, the Commission was committed to finding a range of ways of hearing from people with insights and experience from across the sector. So the topics for each seminar have been made available online, and we set up a series of online areas (workrooms) to enable anyone with an interest to contribute and engage with the Commission’s themes. 

Phases of work

  • Phase 1 – summer 2012: consult widely, gather evidence, listen to a wide range of perspectives, review research literature and good practice.
  • Phase 2 – autumn 2012: explore cross-cutting themes, synthesise evidence and emerging findings with a wide range of stakeholders.
  • Phase 3 – winter/early spring 2012-13: develop, test and refine a framework for supporting outstanding teaching and learning, and prepare final report of the Commission’s findings, conclusions and recommendations.