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As your first step, you will need to identify the Access Validating Agency (AVA) that awarded the certificate. All AVAs keep records of previous awards for a certain period so that they can issue replacements. The college that you attended will not be able to issue a replacement Access to HE certificate.


If you know which AVA awarded the original certificate

Contact the AVA directly and explain your situation. They will let you know what information they require from you before they can issue a replacement. AVAs usually make a small charge for this service


If you don't know which AVA awarded the original certificate

You may be able to find this out if you know the name of the college where you studied on the Access to HE course. Check this on the Access Courses Database by searching for the college’s name. As long as the college is still providing Access to HE courses, the details on the database will show you which AVA currently validates its courses. In many cases, this will be the same AVA as originally awarded your Access to HE certificate.


If you cannot remember the AVA or the college where you studied

You can try searching the Access Courses Database using the location and the list of results may help to prompt your memory. In recent years, many AVAs have changed their names or merged. If the name of the AVA which awarded your certificate is not listed, or you are told that the AVA which awards Access to HE qualifications at your old college has changed, contact us with details of where you studied and when, and we may be able to identify the successor organisation.


Changes to certificates

The Access to HE qualification has changed over the years, and these changes are reflected in the information provided on certificates. This means your certificate might not include the information a university is asking for.


The main changes over the last few years, which have affected what appears on student certificates, are:

  • change of the qualification name from 'Access to HE Certificate' to 'Access to HE Diploma' (2009)
  • adoption of a common approach to credit and common credit target for the qualification of 60 credits (2009)
  • introduction of a common system of grading, based on the award of Pass, Merit and Distinction grades (2010).