Keeping onside with the regulators – the dos and don’ts of marketing

approved centre statusOver the forthcoming months, HABC Strategic Director Chris Daniel will guide you through the various issues affecting the training sector, helping you to make sense of the numerous rules and regulations whilst providing tips and guidance on how to make the most of your Approved Centre status.

In this article, Chris looks at how to stay compliant with Ofqual in your marketing, and the ins and outs of qualification regulation across the UK.

Do not fall into the trap of misleading marketing
‘The training world has always been very competitive. As a HABC Approved Centre we know that you are always seeking to gain a competitive advantage over other providers. We also understand the importance of securing business in order to survive and we see it as part of our role to assist you with this. As such, it is important that information given to potential clients and learners is accurate and not misleading.

When creating your marketing material and information relating to HABC qualifications regulated by the qualification regulators (CCEA, Ofqual, SQA or Welsh Government), your account manager will be able to assist you with the appropriate wording. It is important that the message given is accurate.

HABC is regulated by the qualification regulators and this allows us to design, deliver and award qualifications. Regulated qualifications are available from HABC (through an approval mechanism) to Centres, who can then offer training courses to clients that can enable a learner to satisfactorily meet the qualification assessment requirements of the qualification. It is important that this message is made clear. Unfortunately, we have come across some messages inferring that courses are approved by qualification regulators. This is not true and, if found, the qualification regulators may take action directly against the Centre if its advertising is deemed to mislead learners.

Courses offered by your Centre may well lead to a regulated qualification which sits on a recognised qualification framework, for example the Qualifications and Credit Framework (QCF) in England and Wales, or the Scottish Credit Qualification Framework (SCQF) in Scotland. Centres need to be careful to not imply that their courses are ‘QCF/SCQF courses’ or ‘QCF/SCQF approved’.

HABC Approved Centres are encouraged to use the HABC Approved Centre logo subject to the requirements of the HABC – Use of Logo Policy. However, under no circumstances are Centres able to use the logos of any of the qualification regulators as this is strictly prohibited’.

Further advice and information can be provided by your account manager. It can also be found in an email communication from Terry Bloor, HABC’s Quality Assurance Manager, which was sent to your Centre in January’.

Over the next 12 months it is our intention to provide more detail about the way qualifications are regulated throughout the UK. We also hope to introduce a regulatory type surgery where if you have approved centre status you can ask questions relating to qualification regulation, and we’ll publish the answers in the newsletter. If you have any questions, please contact Mark Phillips, Communications Manager, at mphillips@highfieldabc.com

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