A new joint committee linking the National Council for Vocational Qualifications with the School Curriculum Assessment Authority was launched this week.
The committee, announced by Gillian Shephard, Education and Employment Secretary, has been set up to advise both bodies on the development of A levels and their vocational equivalents.
The move was recommended by Sir Ron Dearing last year in the interim report of his review of 16 to 19 qualifications. The committee may lay the ground for the creation of a single qualifications agency, which Sir Ron is expected to propose in his final report at Easter.
Mrs Shephard also announced the reconstitution of the NCVQ and the appointment of Sir Michael Heron, NCVQ chairman, as a member of SCAA.
The new NCVQ includes representatives from further and higher education and industry, as well as NCVQ and SCAA officials.
John Barnes, an NCVQ member and former chairman of the General National Vocational Qualifications committee, said one of the new Council's first reports will look at higher level GNVQs. Responses to a consultation paper suggest that plans for these qualifications might be put on hold, he said.