(More recent and other publications to be added)

Click the publication covers to read them.



Lillis F. (2016) Discourse, practice and power in adult learning reform in England and Wales, 2000-2014. UK: Institute for Work Based Learning Middlesex University

NOTE: My thesis – Useful for Universities looking for academic references – four of the reports in this list were accepted as doctoral work. Other reports above are cited as references.

The thesis is about how those with power controlled the discourses of reform of adult learning in this period and describes some of the consequences of that control. 



Lillis F. (2015) Crossing the Bridge - Progress Report on the Skills for Health Bridging Programme. UK: Skills for Health

NOTE: Using a credit based qualification to build a bridge for healthcare support workers into training for Nursing, midwifery etc. inside Universities in England.

Executive summary and full report available. 


Skills for Care (2013) New routes into university for people working in adult social care. UK: Leeds. 

NOTE: This report is about a system that enables Care Managers to use the credit they gain outside University to count directly towards qualifications inside University. Important for people gaining credit at level 4 and 5 at work. 


Lillis F., Stott C. (2009) Getting the best from the QCF: Final report on the support and capacity building programme for UK Sector Skills Councils and Standard Setting Bodies, for the development of units and qualifications as part of the VQ reform programme (including QCF) and the alignment of priority qualifications with public funding. UK: Learning and Skills Council.

NOTE: A further report on putting a credit system in place – too quickly. It has useful lessons for how not to expand too fast.


Stott, C., Lillis, F. (2008) ‘The right to make the wrong choices – liberty, learning and credit systems in the twenty-first century’. In Flint C and Hughes C (eds) Not just the economy: the public value of adult learning. Leicester: NIACE. 

NOTE: This is a fun read ;-) – compared with the rest! What happens when people have to pay for learning and credit?  We educators may have a view about what people should learn, but if they are paying for credit? Don’t paying learners have the right to make ‘bad’ choices? 

“This paper considers the potential impact of the introduction of a credit system on the public value of learning and achievement into the future. Using existing research evidence it explores how credit could affect the way adults perceive learning and how society judges its value. How might the relationship change between individual achievement and the added social and economic benefits to society?  A right to recognition of learning achievements (regardless of who pays), using credit as the currency, could in the future have a much wider impact than we realise on how we value and trade the outcomes of our learning.”


Lillis, F., Stott, C. (2007) Examining the implications of APL and Exemption within the QCF in the context of supporting and measuring learner progression. Credit Works for The Learning and Skills Council. UK: 2007.  

NOTE: “There is no doubt that for most stakeholders interviewed, historical and many current approaches to APL and Exemption were considered ineffective, difficult, dull and bureaucratic. However as this project progressed clear evidence of demand for APL and Exemption emerged, providing the current weaknesses and failures were addressed and workable solutions were put in place...” 

A technical analysis – which showed how the system would need to work for APL to work properly.




Stott C., Lillis F. (2007) Final Report – Scoping Strengths and Weaknesses in Initial Assessment and Ongoing Review to inform models and requirements for the Foundation Learning Tier. UK: Learning and Skills Council.

NOTE: This report is very important for understanding how to use diagnostic assessment and monitor progress in learning and achievement – weak in England then and now.  


Lillis, F., Stott, C. (2006) The feasibility of employing the accreditation of prior learning (APL) to support progress towards the achievement of full Level 1, 2 and 3 qualifications. Credit Works for The Learning and Skills Council. UK: 2006.

NOTE: The aim of this study was to examine the feasibility of using accreditation of prior learning (‘APL’ - used throughout the report as a mnemonic for formal recognition of prior learning and achievement) as a means of supporting progress towards achievement at Levels 1, 2 and 3. 




Lillis, F., Stott, C. (2006) Characterising First Steps Learning. Credit Works for The Learning and Skills Council. UK: 2006.  

NOTE: “…we listened to people in neighbourhoods and workplaces who [had] taken their first steps back into learning, pursuing their own motivations and aspirations for the future [and] used their experience and perceptions to inform our analysis and recommendations.”  
This is important for what people said and believed – it gave us authentic evidence from learners themselves – very important. 




Lillis F., Stott C. (2006) A toolkit for unit developers designing units to support Learner Referenced Achievement. UK: Learning and Skills Council.

NOTE: This is still a useful guidance document – the first to show people how to design Entry level 1 units. 



Lillis F., (2006) Stott C. Adult Learning, Skills and Progression to Level 2: a Study of Market Failure. UK: Learning and Skills Council.

NOTE: This report showed how the qualification system completely failed people who struggled to achievement and make progress in adult learning. It was used to justify reform of the system – at and below level 2. 




Lillis F., Stott C. (2005c) The implementation of Credit in E2E. Coventry: Learning and Skills Council.

NOTE: This study showed that Entry to Employment (E2E) and Work Based Learning (WBL) providers and sector bodies were supportive of credit for WBL and had their own imaginative ideas about how credit could be applied to increase flexibility and responsiveness.





Lillis F., Stott C. (2005b) Final Report on Research to Identify the Key Issues in Including Learner- referenced Achievements within the Framework for Achievement. UK: Credit Works.

NOTE: This report was very important for Entry level and recognition of achievement. It provided the fundamental concept and approach which was adopted for Entry level 1 learning and accreditation.





Lillis F., Stott C. (2005a) Learning from experience – implementing credit: A Comparative Analysis of Awarding Body Credit Practice within the Credit and Qualification Framework for Wales. UK: Federation of Awarding Bodies.

NOTE: The Credit and Qualification Framework for Wales (CQFW) is a national system used in Wales. I was involved from the beginning. This report describes how to put a national system in place. It was very influential on England but instead of gradually persuading ‘players’ to get involved, the English government imposed the system from the centre. This approach made enemies and caused problems – and the system in England did not last.





Lillis F., Gillard K. (2004) The Application of Credit for Work Based Learning with reference to Entry to Employment and Modern Apprenticeships UK: LSC

NOTE: This report looks at how credit systems can be used at all levels of learning at work – but concentrates on Entry to level 2 – and young learners who fail ‘in the system’.

Executive summary and full report available.


Lillis F. (2004) Recognising Achievement in Non-Formal Learning – the role of Credit in the reform of Education.

NOTE: This paper was presented at the conference entitled  ”Credit and non-formal learning – sharing new ways to recognise learning achievement”, Campus Skellefteå, Sweden, July 2, 2004. It is optimistic! And is a good picture of how things were developing in July 2004.





 Bargh, J., Lillis F. (2004). “It should always be available”: Recognising Achievement and Accreditation in the Adult and Community Learning Fund. NIACE/NOCN 2004    

 NOTE: The issue of whether learners are ‘put off’ by formal accreditation is examined in this report. The study identified that there were approaches to assessment that ‘go with the grain’ of learner experience, which assessed achievements that learners felt were important, in a way (and in a place and time) that celebrated learners’ newly acquired capabilities.  Both prescriptive and responsive approaches to accreditation appear in this research report.

This was a study of adult learning projects funded nationally, operated through local government.

Executive summary and full report available.



Lillis F., Sparrow M. (2003) The Rewards of Recognition: the value of NOCN Accreditation, Quality Assurance and Development for Non-Accredited Learning. UK: NIACE.

NOTE: This report includes examination of some OCN projects and a large survey of local government education which used OCN accreditation.

Executive summary and full report available.



Lillis, F.(2002) Credit: a report by the National Open College Network (NOCN). NOCN for DFE. August 2002

NOTE: This report compiles many different reports on OCN credit practice prior to 2002. The Department for Education was looking for evidence of how credit works in practice, as the government was moving towards testing and then adopting a credit system for qualifications in England.