COVID-19 Access to HE Update - 12th April 2021

12th April 2021 Date of publication

QAA have issued a further update on the arrangements for the award of the Access to HE Diploma this summer. The guidance provides clarification for AVAs, providers and students on how to manage any exceptional cases where, following the implementation of all adaptations and flexibility measures, a student still cannot be assessed and may be awarded unit(s) that make up the Diploma through extenuation. The tutor/provider will draw upon either further adaptations to assessments or alternate lines of evidence to determine whether the unit can be awarded.

Please find below links to the updated guidance on the QAA website:

Information for providers

Information for students


These arrangements will be discussed during the forthcoming moderation sampling activities and any exceptional cases will be managed on a case-by-case basis. In the meantime, if you have any questions or would like to discuss this further, please don’t hesitate to contact your Lead Moderator or Jennie Lawson, Head of Quality.

COVID-19 Access to HE Update - 2nd March 2021: QAA update statements for providers and students following the Ofqual announcements:

In response to the release of information from Ofqual on 25 February, regarding the arrangements for the Award of GQs, VTQs and OGQs, QAA have released a communications update today for students and providers. Please follow the links below to the statements which can also be found in the updates section on the One Awards website:

QAA Access to HE statement for students:


QAA Access to HE statement for providers:


COVID-19 Access to HE Update - 12th February 2021:

The QAA FAQs relating to the pandemic for students and providers have been updated and are available on their website.

To confirm, the regulatory arrangements have not changed but the FAQs provide clarification in relation to questions asked by providers and students – please follow the links below:

For Providers: https://www.qaa.ac.uk//en/access-to-he/covid-19-support-and-information-Access/faqs-for-access-to-he-providers

For Students: https://www.accesstohe.ac.uk/contact-us/faqs/coronavirus-(covid-19)

Reminder: If you are planning to make adaptations to assessment please complete the application for an adaptation to assessment form and return it to your Lead Moderator.

Application forms: https://www.oneawards.org.uk/access-to-he/ahe-info-providers/ahe-guidance-resources/ahe-publications/

One Awards COVID-19 update page: https://www.oneawards.org.uk/access-to-he/ahe-info-providers/ahe-coronavirusupdates-2021/

Coronavirus Update for NOCN Qualifications - 1st February 2021

Further to the previous update on 5th January, please find below links to the current guidance in relation to NOCN Qualifications, including Functional Skills:

NOCN Qualification update: https://www.nocn.org.uk/data/Page_Downloads/RegulatedQualifications2021v2[1](1).pdf

Functional Skills and ESOL Skills for Life update: https://www.nocn.org.uk/data/Page_Downloads/FunctionalSkillsupdate.pdf

These arrangements are in line with guidance from the Department for Education and will be in place until the publication of the outcomes of the government consultation on alternative arrangements for the award of VTQs and other general qualifications in 2021. We anticipate this will be announced at the end of February and we will then provide further information regarding any resulting changes or adaptations.

If you have any questions in the meantime please contact us at Quality@oneawards.org.uk or your EQA.

COVID-19 Access to HE Update - 26th January 2021: Flexibilities for providers supporting Access students during lockdown

Further to the Government announcement of the third lockdown and closure of schools and colleges we have collated the list of flexibilities which may inform your contingency plans for groups and individual students th link to this is below. Some of the suggested measures will not be appropriate for all or any students but it is important that all providers are aware of the options available in case they provide a solution for students facing particular challenges.

Provider flexibilities for supporting Access students.pdf

QAA are currently facilitating weekly meetings with all AVAs which provide an opportunity to share information and so further measures and suggestions may be highlighted. We are also working directly with providers in relation to particular challenges and agreeing appropriate adaptations. As further flexibilities and possible solutions come to light we will update the document linked above and re-circulate

UCAS extends January deadline for all applicants

Students applying to start university or college in 2021 have an additional two weeks to complete their applications, following announcements in the UK to close schools and colleges.

The UCAS January equal consideration deadline, the point by which the vast majority of applications are submitted has now been moved to Friday 29 January at 18:00 (UK time), to allow both students and their teachers and advisers additional time to complete applications and references.

UCAS Chief Executive, Clare Marchant, said: 'We have engaged widely with school leaders and admissions colleagues in universities and colleges as well as students and whilst the feedback is that the vast majority of students are on track with their applications, there is recognition of the significant demands on teachers' and advisers’ time as they move to online learning. This decision to extend the deadline is about relieving the pressure not only on students, but also teachers and advisers.

Coronavirus Update for AHE Providers - 6th January 2021: Third national lockdown QAA guidance and webinars

QAA have today issued information for Access to HE providers and students. Please note that the guidance confirms that there are no additional changes to the current quality assurance and regulatory arrangements planned for this academic year. QAA are hosting a series of webinars for provider staff and students which can be booked via their website. Please follow the links to the information and webinar booking sites below. I would also be grateful if you would make this information available for your students.

Information for providers:

Linked from: www.qaa.ac.uk/access-to-he/covid-19-support-and-information-Access

Information for students:

Linked from: https://www.accesstohe.ac.uk/news-events/support-and-information-covid-19

Webinar booking sites:
Student webinars:

Provider staff webinars: https://www.qaa.ac.uk/news-events/events/access-to-he-provider-forum-awarding-the-access-to-he-diploma-7-13-january-2021

We understand that these are challenging times for all staff and students. If you have any questions or require further clarification or support please don’t hesitate to contact your Lead Moderator or the Access to HE Team at One Awards.

Operational Update on One Awards and the NOCN Group Qualifications and Services - 5th January 2021

Following the UK Government announcement on Monday 4 January regarding the third national lockdown, One Awards and the NOCN Group will continue to operate as we have done since September 2020.

Information for Centres approved for NOCN Qualifications

All our staff are working from home, and we are still offering front line support, through telephony, email and webchat (NOCN Job Cards) as usual.

Certificates for regulated qualifications and cards are being issued to centres in the normal way.

We aim to provide as full a range of our services as possible, where these can be delivered remotely, and we can use remote or recorded assessment methods, whilst maintaining the integrity of the assessment.

All face-to-face appointments for approval visits, External Quality Assurers, and external assessments will be conducted remotely (where possible).

We are providing digital online support, including offering WebEx interviews, developing online invigilated exams in place of physical papers, and digital content support.

We will be following the guidance issued by DfE, ESFA, IfATE, Ofqual, CITB, CCEA Regulation, QAA and Qualifications Wales, and will provide updates via our website, email and social media as the situation changes.

Information for One Awards Bespoke Accreditation and Quality Mark Centres

All One Awards staff are working from home and offering support through telephony and email. All EQA activity will continue to take place remotely. We will of course review the situation regularly and adapt to any further government guidance as required. If you need any further information, advice or support please contact your EQA or the Quality Team at One Awards – quality@oneawards.org.uk

Information for Access to HE Centres

One Awards are continuing to operate as we have since September in line with the QAA guidance ‘Arrangements for the Award and Assessment of the Access to HE Diploma 2020-21’. We will continue to support providers with adaptations as required and undertake all quality assurance activity remotely. QAA will be publishing guidance and information tomorrow (Wednesday 6th January) and offering information webinars for providers and students from the 7th January. We will continue to work closely with QAA and provide updates and information via email and on our website. If you have any queries or require support please contact your Lead Moderator or the One Awards Access Team – access@oneawards.org.uk

If you have any general concerns or would like to discuss the impact on your centre, or learners please contact us on admin@oneawards.org.uk or 0191 518 6550.

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