Pearson Edexcel, also known as just Edexcel, is one of England, Wales and Northern Ireland's five main examination boards, and is wholly owned by Pearson, the world's largest education publishing and technology company which is part of Pearson PLC, the global publisher and owner of Penguin and Financial Times. Its name is a portmanteau word derived from the words "educational" and "excellence". The company offers a variety of qualifications, including A levels (GCEs), GCSEs and the BTEC suite of vocational qualifications. It also offers work-based learning qualifications - including BTEC Apprenticeships and NVQs - via Pearson Work Based Learning. Edexcel operates internationally, awarding over 1.5 million certificates to students around the world every year. It ran the marking of the UK National Curriculum assessments until 2008 when ETS Europe was given the contract. Following the 2008 marking debacle, ETS Europe was stripped of its contract and Edexcel was awarded a contract to re-mark disputed test papers.  Edexcel was then re-hired to run the assessments from 2009. Its main competitors are AQA and OCR. (source "http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edexcel")
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