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Open College Network West Midlands Centres: Lifetime learning for all

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COVID-19 Open College Network Update

Sunday, 12 July 2020
Open College Network would like to inform you of our current situation and protocols concerning COVID-19 (Coronavirus).
We are pleased to be able to advise that we are continuing to operate as a business during these unprecedented times, although all of our staff are now working remotely from home.  Our main offices closed down on 23 March.
We are currently unable to routinely issue certificates of achievement at this time.  All results will continue to be processed in the usual way and certificates will be issued gradulally over the coming months.
Similarly, we are likewise unable to routinely  issue centres witb Centre Recognition certificates and these will be posted out as soon as our offices are able to re-open.
You can continue to contact our staff on their usual e-mail addresses and our main office telephone number 01902 624230 as calls are being re-directed to staff.
  • Until further notice all Centre Quality Monitoring activity by our External Quality Assurers (EQA’s) will be completed remotely for all Centres and all Subject Areas and supported by online applications and electronic forms of communications
  • Where possible, physical EQA visits scheduled to take place at Centres will be replaced with remote activities and your EQA will contact you with regards to what information they will require from you in advance of the remote activity.
We anticipate that each centre will have their own documented contingency planning and are committed to ensuring that we are able to work with our centres to ensure that no learners are disadvantaged by current events. Should you identify a situation where learners are likely to be adversely affected please refer to our special considerations policy in the first instance and contact us for further advice and support.
Extraordinary Regulatory Framework: Centre Guidance Summer 2020
We have developed comprehensive guidance for our Centres relating to our plans for awarding qualifications this Summer and all our affected Centres have been contacted directly with all the information required. 
Details of all this guidance and associated documentation can be found on our website here
We have also developed a FAQ document relating to the Assessment and Evidence requirements which can be found on our website here
Specific Guidance for Centres Offering First Aid Qualifications
Centres offering First Aid qualifications must adhere to specific guidance issued by the First Aid Awarding Organisation Forum, details of which can be found on our website here
As part of your planning you may wish to consider:
  • Arrangements for assessment and internal moderation should staffing be reduced or centres forced to close
  • Access to learning and assessment materials remotely for learners working from home or self-isolating
  • Arrangements for providing samples for EQA
  • Maintaining contact with us and reporting any concerns.
We have thoroughly reviewed both our organisation's Contingency Plan and Epidemic Plan, which are now being implemented. 
We are working closely with all our Regulators to minimise the impact upon learners and support their achievement during these unprecedented times.  
Stay well and safe.
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