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Information for Higher Education Institutions

Access to Higher EducationInformation for Higher Education Institutions

Information for Higher Education Institutions

This page contains links and information related to Access to HE, primarily for colleagues working in universities and other Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) offering higher education courses.

Access Validating Agency (AVA) responsibilities

OCN London is an Access Validating Agency (AVA). AVAs are licensed by QAA as an awarding body for the Access to HE Diploma. Under the QAA Recognition Scheme, AVAs have the following specific responsibilities in relation to quality assurance:

  • advice and guidance to providers wishing to develop new courses
  • validation of courses by a panel which includes HE representation
  • moderation arrangements for Access to HE courses
  • review and evaluation of Access to HE courses
  • collaboration with local HE institutions to ensure the continuing fitness for purpose of recognised programmes.

You can find out more about the QAA Recognition Scheme for Access to HE Diplomas on the QAA Access to HE website.

Access Diploma Specification

Access to HE Diploma Specification 

OCN London Diploma Specifications, Rules of Combination and Approved Unit Lists

QAA Guidelines for higher education admissions staff

QAA have published a toolkit for HE admissions tutors on the Access to HE Diploma and how to set entry requirements and make offers to Access to HE learners. This can be downloaded from the QAA Access to HE website.  

OCN London Access to HE courses

Our Access to HE Directory contains details of all of the Access to HE Diplomas validated by OCN London. You can search by course and by provider.

If you are interested in becoming more involved with Access to HE and taking part in an Access to HE validation panel please complete the form at the link below or contact Marisa Castellini m.castellini@ocnlondon.org.uk

Panel Application Form (Word)         Panel Application Form (PDF)  

GCSE Equivalence

This information is provided to help HEIs understand how the GCSE equivalence scheme operated when considering applications from learners who achieved the Access to HE Diploma before September 2014.

Prior to September 2014, learners studying an OCN London Access to HE Diploma could achieve GCSE level attainment in Maths, English and/or Science. Learners who achieved 12 credits from a 'GCSE equivalent' bank of units received a certificate to confirm that they had achieved GCSE equivalence in Maths, English or Science. 

Further information about the GCSE equivalence scheme.

It is not possible to recognise GCSE equivalent achievement under the new specification (in use from September 2014) so this scheme is no longer available.