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Access to HE Bulletin July 2021

23 July 2021

Brand Changes


We let you know in June that the Certa Access brand will be withdrawn from the marketplace and replaced with Skills and Education Group Access from 1 September 2021.


Our team are currently working on this transition. A new Skills and Education Group Access website is being built and we will soon be sending over branding guidance along with Provider logos that you can use for marketing purposes.


In the meantime, you can find more information and FAQs about the brand changes here.


Introducing our New Deputy Head of Access to HE, Heather Brown


We are delighted to welcome Heather Brown to the team as our new Deputy Head of Access to HE. Heather joins us after managing Access to HE in FE organisations, and has over eight years' experience of working in colleges. Heather has already hit the ground running during the final moderation and awards board period and we look forward to introducing you to her properly as we begin preparations for the new academic year.


You can contact Heather via the following email address:


UCAS/Certification Information


The UCAS deadline this year is 26 July 2021. We are committed to releasing student results by DC Web (an electronic results platform) by 27 July. Paper certificates will be posted to the address recorded on Final Award Board minutes. We would appreciate it if you would ensure that you forward DC Web login instructions on to students so that they can set up an account and access their Access to HE Diploma results. They can share results with HEIs in advance of receiving their paper results.


We urge you not to ask students to contact Certa Access over the summer months. We are not able to confirm results with students and will need to direct them back to colleges. Please ensure that students know who to contact in your college to discuss results.


Any result errors or anomalies found after the Final Awards Board are likely to take time to resolve and may delay the finalising of student results.


Appeals Window


Once student results have been released, Certa Access will accept student applications of appeal of results. Please ensure that students have access to the guidance and application form that can be found in OneDrive.


QAA Updates


As part of the QAA Extraordinary Regulatory Framework (ERF), we are being asked for samples from five colleges, five Diplomas and five students. We have been in touch with those colleagues that QAA has chosen, asking them to provide us with the relevant information. The deadline for this submission is 23 July. QAA may want to see additional samples and we will be in touch over the next few weeks if you are part of any additional sample.


Learning Aims Update


QAA has updated AVAs on the Learning Aims codes for funding Access to HE. The Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) has now confirmed that the funding codes will soon have an end date of 31 July 2022 and will align with the Student Loans Company opening applications on 28 June 2021.


Please Note: The following Diplomas were taken to Validation Panel in June in order to change their Rules of Combination. This has resulted in NEW Learning Aims Reference codes.


Diplomas Learning Aim up to June 21 Learning Aim from July 21
Art and Design 40010612 40012931
Business 40008605 40012797
Computing 40010624 40012803
Creative Industries 4001227X 40012815
Criminal Justice 40011849 40012827
Digital and Creative Media 40007273 40012839
Early Years 40012785
Education Professions 40010806 40012840
Engineering 40010636 40012852
Environmental and Climate Science 40012025 40012864
Health Science Professions 4001079X 40012876
Humanities and Social Sciences 40010648 40012888
Law 40008666 4001289X
Science 40010818 40012906
Social Action 40011860 40012943
Sport and Physical Activity 40008678 4001292X


Relationship Manager Support for Centres


The Relationship Management team are here to help you maximise your relationship with Certa Access and across the Skills and Education Group to understand what we are about and how we can support your organisation. We have a team of experienced Relationship Managers on hand working in specific regions.


We pride ourselves on friendly and responsive customer service and are generally the first port of call when you start to think about planning or changing your offer. Our team work regionally and can help you think through your plans, ensuring we share our latest developments and update you on our products and services from across the whole Group.





Your Relationship Manager will work with you to:


  • Arrange 1:1 or team meetings – to check in on satisfaction, challenges, recruitment and support delivery/curriculum planning stages
  • Invite you to Centre events to provide valuable updates – we may occasionally ask for your input
  • Share product developments with you or anything they think is of interest to you
  • Feedback your ideas to the Product Development team
  • Provide you with advice on specific products
  • Support you with approval
  • Facilitate discussions or make introductions to other customers where there are aligned priorities
  • Be your critical friend
  • Invite you to be part of projects/pilots.


The Relationship Managers are always ready to have a chat so, if you need anything, please do not hesitate to contact the Relationship Management team.


Marketing Access to HE Diplomas


In line with QAA Licensing Criteria, Certa Access is required to check Centre marketing material and update the Access to HE Committee periodically. Please ensure that your marketing team are updated on your approved Diploma and marketing titles as well as the guidance on logo usage. If you would like access to any guidance on this, do contact the Access to HE team.


We will continue to check your websites in the next few weeks so that we can update the committee at their next meeting in September 2021. We will contact your marketing team if a website check finds information is being promoted that does not align to the approval for that Diploma(s).


External Moderator Recruitment


Certa Access is always looking to recruit new curriculum experts from FE and HE to join our team of External Moderators. If you would be interested in becoming a Certa Access External Moderator, do contact the team to express your interest and we will forward you some information and an application form. Depending on the time of year, we may hold your details on record for the next round of allocations.


We are also looking for curriculum specialists who would be interested in writing Exemplar Assessments for some of our units. The list is attached here.


Work has already begun on some units (showing as Draft) and will need tweaking, but the others will need writing from scratch. If you have the time and are able to undertake this work, we would like to hear from you. Please contact us if you are interested.


Case Studies


Despite the difficulties of the last year, we have been hearing about some remarkable successes across Access to HE. We would love to share your student successes on our platforms.


We have created an online form for Centres who would be happy to provide Certa Access with a case study for our website. The form is very short and can be completed in a few minutes. All case studies are an excellent way of not only promoting the successes of Access to HE students, but also the fantastic work that colleagues across our Centres are doing.


If you would be happy to provide a case study to add to our website, please complete the form here.


If you have any questions, please contact the team.


Skills and Education Group Foundation - Grant Applications Remain Open


Are there any students at your organisation who would benefit from financial support to help them reach their potential?


The Skills and Education Group Foundation is still accepting grant applications. These are available to Centres that are members of the Skills and Education Group - a map of member organisations can be found here. The grants can be used to pay for course equipment, transport costs, childcare, and much more. You can find out more and submit applications here.


Professional Development Opportunities


The Skills and Education Group are currently planning their professional development events for the autumn term. Keep an eye on the events page for upcoming sessions. If you would like to suggest a particular training topic or have an enquiry about the events, do get in touch with the Professional Development team.


You can also contact the Access to HE team if you have specific training requirements related to Access to HE at your organisation.