Providers seeking accreditation must first register with ODLQC. If you are already accredited or registered, you do not need to re-register. Details of the assessment process are set out in the Guide to Assessment (GUIDE G2)
To register, you should submit:
- a completed registration (Registration FORM F1);
- a short statement outlining:
- who you are, how you are constituted, and what links if any you have to other bodies (either educational or non-educational);
- what courses you offer, or are developing, and who are the present/intended learners/customers
- how long you have been in business, and what stage your development has reached
- your plans for the next 6 to 12 months
- pdfs or scans of any promotional materials such as leaflets and prospectuses (or hard copy as a last resort if the materials are extensive);
- the names and addresses of up to three referees where possible: referees should be able to comment professionally on the quality and/or probity of your provision. Referees are not essential, but their absence may slow down your application
- internationally-based or degree-awarding bodies need to address specific issues prior to registration (see below): your applications must also be supported by the contact details of any relevant official or voluntary agencies, whom Council may ask for independent verification.
Newly Established Providers
Assessment looks at the full service offered to learners, from enrolment to course completion. Full assessment needs some learners to have completed some self-contained aspect of the provision.
If you are a newly established provider, you can apply for accreditation. Your application will remain open until full assessment has taken place, up to a maximum of two years. During this time, you must show that your provision is compatible with accreditation, and that you are committed to achieving this.
A separate New Provider status is no longer offered by the Council.
If you are based abroad, you can apply for accreditation if a significant part of your provision is available within the UK. In such cases, an initial submission should set out the relevant legal and quality control frameworks in the country in which you are registered, or from which you operate, stating:
- what that regulatory framework is, whether you fall within it and, if not, why not
- whether there is an additional, voluntary, quality control framework in that country relevant to ODL provision, whether you are registered within that framework, and, if not, why not
- if the country where you are based differs from that where you are registered, and, if so, why
- whether the qualifications offered are externally assessed, accredited or validated in any way, for example by universities or other appropriate internationally-recognised professional bodies.
This is particularly important where those qualifications:
- offer or imply any right to practise within a profession
- have implications for the well-being of third parties
- offer degrees or other qualifications where there are implications of national and/or international credibility and comparability of levels of attainment or competence.
Because there are few globally established standards or procedures in this area, the Council cannot offer definitive guidance as to how these points should be met. The Council may request further information once a submission has been made, and may seek advice from other relevant bodies.
Internationally-based applicants are also asked to note that
- assessment will require a visit and you will be asked to meet any expenses in advance
- special arrangements will have to be made (and paid for) if substantial parts of the provision are not in English.
The Council recommends that all these issues are resolved before a full submission is made.
Universities and Degree-Awarding Bodies
Universities or degree-awarding bodies should make an initial submission which establishes that:
- the organisation has Chartered or equivalent national status if it calls itself a University
- any degrees offered are officially recognised by the appropriate national authority
- those national authorities have international credibility
- if the degrees offered are awarded by another university, this is clear in all publicity, and that university is itself officially recognised as set out above.
What happens next?
Once we have received and checked your completed registration form, we will acknowledge receipt and invoice you for the agreed fee.
If you are an internationally-based or degree-awarding provider, your request will go to Council for preliminary consideration. Assessment will begin only after preliminary approval has been gained. All UK-based providers can apply for full assessment either with or after registration (see the Guide to Assessment).