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COVID-19 (Coronavirus) – support and guidance

Arrangements for the assessment and award of the Access to HE Diploma in 2020-21

Date: September 25 - 2020

The delivery, assessment and quality assurance of the QAA-recognised Access to HE Diploma will be subject to new arrangements for the award of the Diploma in 2020-21, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In April 2020, an Extraordinary Regulatory Framework was implemented to ensure that Access to HE Diploma students were able to attain their academic goals during the pandemic. We are delighted to say that 22,000 students received Access to HE Diplomas this summer.

This year, students will be supported to complete their studies through possible adaptations to the delivery and assessment. Where adaptations are required, an Extraordinary Regulatory Framework will be applied to ensure that quality, standards and student outcomes can be maintained.

Students will be awarded grades for all graded units they complete; no estimated assessment grades will be received.

It is QAA’s priority to ensure students receive fair and robust results, and that the distribution of grades this year follows a similar pattern to the grades received in previous years. Access Validating Agencies and providers will continue to implement robust quality assurance mechanisms.

QAA will maintain overall oversight of the framework and will undertake additional monitoring activities, where necessary, to assure ourselves and stakeholders that students’ results continue to be accurate, fair and robust. The development and promotion of the Diploma is a service for QAA Members, while at the same time we work with licensed Access Validating Agencies to ensure it is properly regulated.

Information for students on the new arrangements has been published on the Access to HE website, along with frequently asked questions to support Access to HE students and Access to HE providers.