Skip to main content Accessibility Statement

QAA has been notified by One Awards - one of the Access Validating Agencies (AVA) for the Access to HE Diploma that they are in the process of insolvency. As the AVA can no longer meet the conditions of licence for the Access to HE Diploma, QAA has taken the decision as regulator of the Access to HE Diploma to withdraw their licence with effect from 5.00pm on Tuesday 30 August 2022. QAA will be custodian for provision approved under the AVA licence held by One Awards from this date until provision is transferred to another licensed AVA (or AVAs).


QAA worked closely with One Awards to oversee the assignment to QAA of all intellectual property rights for the Access to HE Diplomas awarded and/or certified by the AVA and will work with all affected providers to support them in transition to another AVA (or AVAs).

Please see relevant section below for providers or students for information.


Access to HE providers

Throughout the transition process, QAA will:

  • provide one-to-one meetings with each provider to discuss how QAA can support them in selecting an AVA (or AVAs) and guiding them through the transition process
  • liaise between providers and AVAs
  • monitor the transition process and beyond to ensure the protection of student and provider interests.

Our primary concern is ensuring that students’ interests are protected, and that no student is disadvantaged by these events. We have well-established procedures in place to ensure that the delivery, assessment and award of the Diploma continues uninterrupted, and that each provider recognised by One Awards to deliver the Access to HE Diploma, is supported in transitioning to another AVA (or AVAs).


QAA officers will be in touch with lead contacts at each affected provider to discuss arrangements for the transition to another AVA or AVAs. For students who enrolled on an Access to HE Diploma prior to 30 August 2022, QAA will work with those providers to ensure outstanding assessments are quality assured and awarded by the alternative AVA (or AVAs) selected by each individual provider.

 

If affected providers have any specific concerns or questions, they can contact a member of the Access to HE team on AHE@qaa.ac.uk


Q. What is QAA doing to mitigate risks to students and providers?

A. Our primary concern is ensuring that students' interests are protected, and that no student is disadvantaged by these events. We have well-established procedures in place to ensure that the delivery, assessment and award of the Diploma continues uninterrupted, and that each student registered with One Awards is able to continue on a QAA-recognised Access to HE Diploma with their chosen provider. QAA will work closely with providers in supporting them to transition to another AVA (or AVAs).

 

Throughout this process, QAA will:

 

  • provide one-to-one meetings with each provider to discuss how QAA can support them in selecting an AVA (or AVAs) and guiding them through the transition process
  • liaise between providers and AVAs
  • monitor the transition process and beyond to ensure the protection of student and provider interests.
  •  

    Q. What measures are in place to safeguard the academic experience of students registered on Access to HE programmes awarded by this AVA?

    A. As per the Access Validating Agency (AVA) licence withdrawal procedure, QAA will work with all affected providers and with the other Access Validating Agencies (AVAs) to ensure a smooth transfer of responsibility for recognised Access to HE provision to another licensed AVA (or AVAs). During the interim period, QAA will maintain responsibility for course recognition and effective quality assurance.

     

    QAA have also introduced additional regulatory AVA guidance on transitional arrangements for One Awards Access to HE provision to receiving AVA(s) to:

    • protect the interests of students and providers
    • safeguard the security of arrangements for the recognition and effective quality assurance of Access to HE provision during the transition process
    • support a smooth and effective transition of responsibility of provision to a licensed AVA (or AVAs) through a secure and managed process.
    • maintain academic standards achieved by students awarded the Access to HE Diploma
    • ensure the process and expectations are clear and transparent to all parties.
    Q. What impact will this have on continuing students?

    A. QAA has put plans in place to mitigate any risk to continuing students. Outstanding assessments to be completed by students will be quality assured and awarded by the alternative AVA selected by their provider. In addition, the award of the Diploma will be certificated by the alternative AVA selected by their provider.

     

    Q. We have already paid our centre fees to the AVA 2022-23. Can we recoup these costs?

    A. QAA is aware that a small number of providers have already paid their centre fee to the AVA for 2022-23. Whilst we will work closely with providers to support the successful transition to another AVA (or AVAs), we will be unable to reimburse any fees paid to One Awards. Any queries regarding recovery of costs should be submitted to One Awards or their representative.

     

    Q. Will Access to HE Diplomas validated by One Awards still be funded?

    A. Yes, any Access to HE Diploma validated by One Awards will continue to be eligible for funding. If you have any specific questions regarding the funding of courses, please contact the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA).

     

    Q. We are delivering newly approved Diplomas. Will these be funded?

    A. Yes, we are aware of two newly approved Diplomas for delivery from September 2022 and remain valid until September 2027, both of which remain eligible for funding. They are:

    • Access to HE Diploma (Public Services)
    • Access to HE Diploma (Sound and Music Technology)
    Q. What will happen if providers incur an additional cost as a result of the change of AVA?

    A. We recognise that it is possible that additional costs may be incurred as a result of the change of AVA. QAA is unable to reimburse any additional costs arising the change of AVA. However, through our one-to-one liaison with affected providers, QAA is keen to identify all potential impacts arising from the withdrawal of AVA licence. We shall work with providers, AVAs and other stakeholders to attempt to find solutions where impacts are identified.


    Q. Can we continue to teach and assess the same units and Diplomas that we did under One Awards?

    A. Yes, the intellectual property for all Diplomas and units approved by One Awards has been transferred to QAA, whilst we take interim responsibility of the provision. QAA shall transfer the programme submission documents, including the rules of combination and associated units to your receiving AVA or AVAs. Receiving AVAs will work with you to support you in the delivery of Diplomas you have been approved to deliver.


    Q. Will our Diplomas continue to be funded?

    A. Yes, in the interim you can continue to use the current learning aims. When you transfer to a receiving AVA or AVAs the learning aims for your Diplomas will be amended to reflect the transfer. Your MIS team will need to ensure that once you have transferred to the receiving AVA or AVAs the learning aims for your students are updated on the Individualised Learner Record (ILR) return made to the ESFA.

    QAA will provide guidance for receiving AVAs to help with this process.


    Q. We have been preparing for our DTR (Desk Top Review) that is due at the end of September, will this still be going ahead?

    A. Yes, in order to provide continuity and in recognition of the work already undertaken by providers the DTR process will go ahead as planned. QAA will work with the moderators from One Awards to undertake the review whilst QAA takes interim responsibility of the provision. In addition QAA will work with receiving AVAs to map the DTR against receiving AVA quality assurance processes.


    Q. Do we need to reprint all the materials that have already been prepared?

    A. No, it is not necessary to reprint any materials you have already prepared for students. However, we expect that as you work through the academic year you transition to your receiving AVA’s documentary requirements and branding. We also request that students are informed at the beginning of their course that the Diploma they will receive will not be awarded by One Awards and will be awarded by another Access Validating Agency. In addition, students will need to be made aware that as you transition to a new AVA or AVAs students will see changes to the materials presented to them.


    Q. We have until 26 October 2022 to choose an AVA, what about the deadlines for registrations?

    A. We recognise that the withdrawal of One Awards AVA licence is an exceptional situation. In recognition of this situation, QAA expects that students undertaking any Access to HE Diploma, whatever their mode of study, must be registered to a QAA-recognised Access to HE Diploma no later 12 weeks from the start date of the Access to HE course. Normally students must be registered with an AVA within 42 days.

    Registration on units to the value of 60 credits must be completed no later than 12 weeks from the start date of the Access to HE course.

    Each situation for an affected provider will be different, and we shall provide flexibility as required. We would ask that you keep us informed if you expect there to be any delays to completion of registrations within this timeline so that we can work with all parties as necessary. We shall be speaking to receiving AVAs, funding bodies and other stakeholder to mitigate any potential risks arising from registrations made after 42 days.


    Q. Who do we contact about registrations?

    A. Until you have transferred to your new AVA, please contact QAA with any questions that you would normally ask AVA officers. You can contact us on ahe@qaa.ac.uk or by telephone 01452 557060.


    QAA is not an AVA and cannot register students.


    Q. We have not had our usual confirmation that we can run the course, what do we do?

    A. QAA has received all documentation from One Awards, and we shall write to individual providers and provide access to definitive Diploma documentation that includes confirmation of the Diplomas, units and rules of combination that were approved by One Awards. This may not be to the same timelines as you are used to, but we shall let you have these as quickly as we can.


    Q. What do we say to the students?

    A. You must make sure that students are told that their awarding body is no longer licensed and that you are reviewing your awarding body. They should be reassured that their qualification remains valid, and that funding continues to be available.


    Once you have decided on your receiving AVA or AVA(s) you should ensure that students are informed of the AVA’s name.


    Q. We have prepared our assignment briefs and they have written to the One Awards specification and have been internally moderated against One Awards requirements, do we need to redo them?

    A. No, you may use what you have prepared and transition to your new AVA’s documentation and branding as you work through the academic year and produce new briefs.


    You should also ensure that students are informed of the situation that as you transition to a receiving AVA or AVAs they will see changes to the materials presented to them. Student should be advised that the Diploma they will receive will not be awarded by One Awards and will be awarded by another Access Validating Agency.


    Q. Will we continue on the old One Awards quality model, or will we need to transfer to our new AVA’s quality model this year?

    A. This is under careful consideration to assess the options and associated risks. We will work with receiving AVAs to ensure that an appropriate solution is put in place for all parties.


    We can confirm that in the short term DTRs will continue as scheduled.


    Q. We currently work with another AVA, but they did not offer the subjects that we were running through One Awards, if we want to stay with this AVA will they have to take these new subjects on?

    A. QAA’s expectation is, that as part of the transitional arrangements, the qualifications would be transferred to the receiving AVA or AVAs. It would be sensible to check with the receiving AVA or AVAs that they were willing and able to continue to approve the transferred Diplomas after this academic year.


    Q. Will our rules of combination remain valid for future years with the new AVA?

    A. As part of the transitional arrangements, QAA can guarantee they will remain valid for this academic year, but longer-term arrangements would be something to discuss with receiving AVAs.


    Q. Can students contact QAA on the ahe@qaa.ac.uk email address?

    A. Yes, as QAA has taken responsibility for One Awards’ provision in the interim students can contact us on our ahe@qaa.ac.uk email address. We can answer questions around regulation but would refer specific questions about delivery and assessment to course providers.


    Q. Can we move to another AVA at the end of this academic year if things don’t work out, and would we have to follow this transition process?

    A. Yes, you can move to another AVA at the end of this academic year. Providers will need to discuss what those arrangements will look like with the AVA they wish to transfer to. Once this initial transfer of activity has been completed under QAA’s transitional arrangements, providers and AVAs should follow the normal provider transfer processes.


    Q. Will we keep the same moderator?

    A. QAA will work with One Awards moderators to undertake quality assurance activities, whilst QAA takes interim responsibility of the provision. It is not a regulatory requirement that the receiving AVAs work with One Awards Moderators. QAA will work with AVAs to support them in managing the quality assurance processes.

    Access to HE students

    Throughout the transition process, our primary concern is ensuring that students' interests are protected, and that no student is disadvantaged by these events. We have well-established procedures in place to ensure that the delivery, assessment and award of the Diploma continues uninterrupted, and that every student is able to continue on a QAA-recognised Access to HE Diploma with their chosen college or provider.


    QAA have also introduced additional regulatory AVA guidance on transitional arrangements for One Awards Access to HE provision to receiving AVA(s) to:

    • protect the interests of students and providers
    • safeguard the security of arrangements for the recognition and effective quality assurance of Access to HE provision during the transition process
    • support a smooth and effective transition of responsibility of provision to a licensed AVA (or AVAs) through a secure and managed process.
    • maintain academic standards achieved by students awarded the Access to HE Diploma
    • ensure the process and expectations are clear and transparent to all parties.

    New students (due to enrol on an Access to HE Diploma after 1 September 2022):


    Students due to enrol on an Access to HE Diploma in the forthcoming academic year (2022-23) will see no changes to the delivery of their programme due to the withdrawal of the AVA licence. The Diploma will continue to be delivered by the college or provider of their choice, with the quality assurance and awarding of the Diploma being carried out by an alternative AVA (or AVAs), selected by their college or provider.


    Continuing students (students who enrolled on an Access to HE Diploma before 31 August 2022):


    Students who enrolled prior to 31 August 2022 will see no changes to the delivery of their programme due to the withdrawal of the AVA licence. The Diploma will continue to be delivered by the college or provider of their choice, with the quality assurance and awarding of the Diploma being carried out by an alternative AVA (or AVAs), selected by their college or provider.

     

    The award of the Diploma will be certificated by the alternative AVA selected by their provider.


    Previous students (students who completed an Access to HE Diploma before 31 August 2022):


    As the organisation responsible for the recognition and quality assurance of the Access to HE Diploma, QAA can assure all students holding an Access to HE qualification issued by One Awards that these awards will continue to be recognised as legitimate qualifications. Any previous students wishing to secure information about their award should contact QAA on ahe@qaa.ac.uk.


    If students have any concerns about the withdrawal of licence from One Awards, or would like further information, they are advised to contact their college or provider in the first instance.


    Q. What changes, if any, will students currently enrolled or due to enrol on a One Awards qualification notice in the delivery of their programme?

    A. As programme design and delivery is managed by individual Access to HE providers, students will see no changes to the delivery of their programme. If students have any concerns, they are advised to contact their college/provider.


    Q. What impact will this have on continuing students?

    A. QAA has put plans in place to mitigate any risk to continuing students. Outstanding assessments to be completed by students will be quality assured and awarded by the alternative AVA selected by their provider. In addition, the award of the Diploma will be certificated by the alternative AVA selected by their provider.


    Q. I have applied for Advanced Learner Loan funding for an Access to HE Diploma, awarded by One Awards. Will I still be able to get this loan?

    A. If you meet the eligibility criteria for the loan, then yes. All courses which are eligible for Advanced Learner Loan funding will remain eligible following the transition to an alternative AVA or AVAs. If you have any specific questions about Advanced Learner Loans, please contact Student Finance England.


    Q. I haven’t yet applied for Advanced Learner Loan funding for an Access to HE Diploma, awarded by One Awards but plan to do so. Will I still be able to get this loan?

    A. If you meet the eligibility criteria for the loan, then yes. Students due to enrol on an Access to HE Diploma awarded by One Awards which is eligible for the Advanced Learner Loan may continue to apply for this loan. If you have any specific questions about Advanced Learner Loans, please contact Student Finance England.