New Access to HE Diploma Specification for Linking London

Access to HE
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
What hasn’t changed
Access to HE Diploma remains a 60 credit qualification.
Standard format for Diploma titles e.g. Access to HE Diploma
Diploma Rules of Combination with named mandatory and
optional units.
Grading system based on pass, merit and distinctions at unit
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
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
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
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.

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