Information for Learners
As a national and international Awarding Organisation, we do not offer our qualifications directly to learners.
Our role is to work with education providers such as FE Colleges, Independent Training Providers, Schools, Employers etc, who provide the teaching, resources and assessments required to help you achieve our qualifications. We refer to these education providers as our Centres, who we approve for the delivery of our qualifications to learners.
In most cases your education provider will be best placed to answer any questions about your learning experience and to help you with any individual needs and circumstances. However, we want to help in any way we can too, so below you will find answers to some of the most common questions learners ask.
If you cannot find the answer you need below, please use our online enquiry form to get in touch and we’ll get back to you as quickly as we can.
I have found a qualification on your website, are you able to confirm if there is any funding available?
Whether or not you are able to receive funding to help with the cost of a course depends on a lot of different factors such as your age, employment status, previous education and also on the contracts or agreements your chosen college/provider has with different funding agencies.
You should speak to the provider of your course who will be able to advise you of any funding available, or provide an Information of Funding Letter. They will also be able to let you know how to apply and ensure you meet any eligibility criteria.
Why am I being asked to pay a different cost to the price displayed on your website?
The prices displayed on our website are the per-learner registration and certification charge that we make to education providers; i.e. our Centres and do not reflect the charge a provider will make to learners for their course delivery leading to the achievement of any qualification.
It is always best to check the cost of a course directly with a provider.
Note: In addition to the charges shown on our website, providers will have to take into account factors such as your eligibility for public funding, the cost of teaching staff, buildings and any other resources or equipment that they make available.
Certificates are a record of your achievement and should be kept in a safe place.
We have a dedicated webpage here to guide you through the process of applying to us for a replacement certificate, which involves completing a Replacement Certificate form.
Please read all of the information including our FAQ’s Regarding Replacement Certificates document before submitting the form.
My name has changed since I completed my qualification, how can I get my certificate updated?
Certificates must reflect your name at the time of the award. We can only approve name amendments on certificates in the following circumstances:
- Obvious Spelling Errors
- Evidence can be provided that the name was changed prior to the original certification
- Gender Reassignment
- UK Protected Person Service Status
How much does a replacement certificate cost?
- Replacement Certificate (posted within UK) - £31
- Replacement Certificate (posted outside UK) - £41
- Replacement Certificate Archive Search (Achievements prior to 1999) - £50
When will I get my Certificate?
Your training provider or college will provide you with your certificate, so you should speak to them in first instance about when you can expect to receive your certificate.
Open College Network endeavours to dispatch certificates to our Centres within five working days of a successfully completed claim from the Centre.
Note: There is usually some delay from the time learners actually complete their course to when Centres are able to submit certificate claims to us. There are many reasons for this such as there may be course work that needs to be marked or checked after learner completion of the course.
If you have spoken to your training provider and believe you should have received a certificate please contact us.
How can I tell if a certificate is genuine?
If you have a qualification certificate awarded by Open College Network West Midlands that you would like to verify as authentic you can use our free Certificate Verification process to instantly verify a certificate online.
You will need the following information to complete the authentication, most of which you will find on the certificate:
- Certificate Number
- Learners name
- Learners Date of Birth
Why didn't I get the qualification I was expecting?
There can be a number of reasons why you have not received a certificate you were expecting.
It is always best to raise any concerns initially with the college/provider where you studied and we will work with them to resolve the issue.
What is my certificate equivalent to?
Drawing direct equivalencies between qualifications can be difficult due to the different curriculum content, assessment design and details/subject matter that qualifications cover.
The qualification title will indicate the level of difficulty of a qualification and how long it will take the average learner to complete it, along with its general content. All qualifications have a Level and a Size that are indicated in the qualification title. The higher the level, the more difficult the qualification. Qualification size can be measured in credits or in the time an average person would be expected to take to complete the qualification. See our webpages for more information about qualification titles, sizes and credit and levels.
For further information about the different types of qualifications, the Gov.UK website provides a list of the different types of qualifications available at each level, and links to compare Scottish or overseas qualifications.
If you have achieved a level 3 qualification (such as an Access to Higher Education Diploma) with the intention of progressing to Higher Education, you can use the UCAS Tariff Calculator to find out how many points each qualification attracts.
If you are intending to study a qualification to meet the entry requirements for a job or further study, we would always recommend checking with your intended employer or provider that they will accept that particular qualification before you start your studies.
How can I check my UCAS points?
The number of Tariff points for the Access to HE Diploma varies between 48 and 144 points, dependent on your grade profile.
For full details please read our guide to UCAS tariff.
Will my Higher Education Provider/University accept my certificate?
If you have achieved an Access to Higher Education Diploma it is a nationally recognised qualification, regulated by the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA) and will be accepted by most UK universities.
You should always check with the institution you intend to study at as they may have other entry requirements that you also need to meet, or require your Access to Higher Education Diploma to have specific subject focus.
Certificates do not have an expiry date, but some HE providers may require evidence of recent study.
Other questions you may have
Where can I find out more support and information about Access to HE?
We have a section on our website for Access to Higher Education Students which provides more information and links you may find useful here.
Can’t find the information you are looking for?
In many cases your college or learning provider will be best placed to help you.
If you need to contact us about anything else, please use our online enquiry form to get in touch and we’ll get back to you as quickly as we can or simply call us on 01902 624230.