Access to HE Diploma Specification (2013) Key Contextual Changes that impacted on the Access Qualification Funding: FE fees, with 24+ Advanced Learning Loans BUT Access to HE students can apply to SLC for loan to be written off at end of HE course. HE student number controls: Access to HE Diploma on ABB+ equivalent qualifications list. Qualifications: A level/GCSE reform. Spotlight on Access to HE requires a more standardised qualification. What hasn’t changed Access to HE Diploma remains a 60 credit qualification. Standard format for Diploma titles e.g. Access to HE Diploma (Nursing). Diploma Rules of Combination with named mandatory and optional units. Grading system based on pass, merit and distinctions at unit level. No overall qualification grade What has changed for 2014/15? 45 graded level 3 credits which must all come from units based on academic subject content. The remaining 15 credits can be either ungraded level 3 or level 2. As part of the validation, units will be classified as either graded or ungraded. Learners can only be registered and certificated for 60 credits . What has changed for 2014? No delivery of additional units and no accreditation for additional achievement. GCSE Equivalences will no longer be regulated by QAA as part of the Access to HE Diploma qualification. Revised assessment regulations for the timing of requests for ‘referrals’. QAA Access to HE Diploma Specification Summary of key changes 45 graded subject specific credits. 15 ungraded level 3 or level 2 from ‘other’ units. Registration and certification against a set of 60 credits GCSE equivalences no longer recognised as part of the Access to HE Diploma qualification. Referrals to be put forward at any point in the academic year. New Specification and OCN London The QAA Access to HE specification still requires that each Diploma has a named Diploma title and Rules of Combination (RoC) with mandatory and optional elements. AVAs are competing Awarding Organisations and each will be implementing the new specification in their own way. Each Diploma has its own generic RoC. All providers approved to deliver a Diploma use the same RoC, but may select a different range of Diploma approved non mandatory units during course recognition All Diplomas will include 15 credits of ungraded level 3 or level 2 study skills units. The mandatory units will all consist of: a reading unit, an academic writing skills unit and a graded subject specific unit appropriate for the Diploma progression route/s. Information for HEIs QAA will be publishing guidance for HEIs on the new specification and on making offers. QAA will also be hold briefings across the country. OCN London will be sending out a bulletin and is liaising and visiting key receiving London HEIs. We are developing an FE/HE portal on our website which will be password protected and where both HEIs and FE Colleges can post information Concern over offers continues and will increase if offers next year are based on ABB+ equivalence ( 30 distinctions and 15 merits ). This would leave no room for leaners to develop and achieve initial units at a pass. Learners would be expected to achieve a minimum of a merit from the start of the course. In London last year only 15% of learners met the equivalence GCSEs/ equivalences from 2014-15 provider alternatives 1.Require learners to already have GCSEs in English and Maths as an entry requirement. This is likely to be an issue, in particular for Diplomas where a large percentage of learners do not hold these former qualifications, but may be wholly appropriate for some Diplomas. 2. Maths and English GCSEs currently funded for adults. These can be taught alongside the Access to HE Diploma or offered the year prior to the Access course making this 2 year offer. A concern here is that learners on JSA would have a problem as this is likely to bring the programme over 16 hours a week. It may also be a tall order for some students to take the GCSEs alongside the Access Diploma. This would very much depend on their starting point. GCSEs/ equivalences from 2014-15 provider alternatives 3. To offer a two year programme to learners whose Maths and English is not strong enough for them to complete both the Access Diploma and GCSEs in one year and to offer one or more of the following possible options: A funded fast track Pre Access qualification for which OCN London are developing small English and Maths qualifications to prepare learners for GCSE, for first six months of the course and GCSE Maths and English from January to complete in June in year one and the Access Diploma in Year two. A funded Pre Access qualification as above and packaged with a smaller version of providers’ existing Pre Access qualifications including some study skills in year one and the Access Diploma plus GCSEs in Year two. GCSE Maths and English in year one and the Access Diploma in year two.