Called Qualifications Wales, the new body will be responsible for awarding qualifications and regulating and assuring the quality of all non degree level qualifications.
The decision to create the body follows publication of the report from the Board of the Review of Qualifications for 14-19 year olds, which was published last week. The Review recommended that the regulation of qualifications in Wales should be strengthened and separated from government.
Huw Evans OBE, the Chair of the Review of Qualifications, will work with the Welsh Government in an interim advisory role and has agreed to chair a task and finish group, which will be established early in 2013, to steer the early delivery of Qualifications Wales..
Leighton Andrews said:
"We are clear as a Government that this is the right way forward for us.
"We will now study and learn from the model that has been in operation in Scotland for some years, and works well there. Considerable thought will be given to the governance, remit, structure and operation of Qualifications Wales.
"I am delighted that Huw Evans will take this work forward. His considerable expertise will be invaluable in taking forward this recommendation in the Review. The group will advise on issues relating to timing, governance, structures and due diligence.
"I expect to see a detailed proposal and a business case from my officials in the first half of 2013."