Further growth for Highfield

Highfield Qualifications logo It’s been an exciting and exhilarating transition since Highfield Qualifications launched in 2008 as Highfield Awarding Body for Compliance (HABC).

So, it’s with great delight that we were the second largest awarding organisation in England for certifications in the first quarter of 2019 according to Ofqual! That’s quite a trajectory from the days when we offered just one food safety qualification and had a handful of staff, to today with over 200 separate qualifications on offer and nearly 300 colleagues based in offices in the UK and the Middle East.

We believe we’ve cemented our position in the top tier of awarding organisations by focusing on you, our customers. We’ll always answer the phone within three rings, respond to emails within one working day and strive to listen and respond to you. And of course, we’ll continue to offer the best all-round package of qualifications and support to help centres and businesses achieve their own ambitions and objectives. 

We are thankful to all of our extremely loyal customers and are absolutely dedicated to ensure as we grow we keep our strong family values. As always if there is anything we can do to improve our service please let us know. We really do listen and respond!

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

Qualification regulation and why it matters

Chris DanielMaking sense of qualification regulation can be a bit of a headache. That’s why –  as part of a number of forthcoming articles on regulations and compliance – HABC Strategic Development Director Chris Daniel  takes you through the who, what, why and how.

Who?
There are four main regulatory bodies in the UK who recognise awarding organisations and their qualifications:

What?
There are many qualifications offered across the UK which are regulated. These are also known as ‘regulated qualifications′. All awarding bodies that offer regulated qualifications must be ‘recognised’ by the qualifications regulator for each country in the UK. HABC has been recognised by the regulators since 2008. Regulated qualifications are those that are reviewed, recognised and monitored by the regulatory bodies in order to make sure that they meet specific criteria and quality standards. The requirements for the qualifications to be regulated are set out in the regulatory arrangements for the respective countries.

Why?
The most obvious advantage of regulated over non-regulated qualifications is that the regulated ones provide the learners and stakeholders with a guarantee of quality, of both the qualification programme and the awarding body that offers regulated qualifications. Non-regulated qualifications, on the other hand, are not regulated and there is no guarantee that they meet appropriate standards. There is no way to tell whether they are fit for their purpose, if they include relevant content or if appropriate methodology for assessment is used.

How?
The regulators use several methods to ensure a high quality of regulated qualifications. In order to be recognised and have our qualifications regulated by the regulators, we have to submit our proposition to the regulator which then carefully reviews the proposed qualification. If the qualification programme meets the regulator’s criteria it is recognised. If it does not meet the set criteria, it is rejected. In order to make sure that the regulated qualifications maintain appropriate standards and quality, they are kept under review by the regulators, who also have the power to withdraw accreditation’.

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 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