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About us

About us

Who we are

OCN London is a national not-for-profit organisation that creates and awards qualifications. We work in partnership with educators, training providers, charities and employers to help transform people’s lives through learning.

Our mission is to help create a fairer society where everyone, whatever their educational background, has an opportunity to benefit from learning, realise their potential and fulfil their goals.

We have been helping organisations to develop and validate their education and training provision for over 25 years.

Our focus is on providing opportunities for people - many of them ‘second chance’ learners who have missed out on traditional education - to progress and achieve their goals. This is at the heart of our mission.

We understand the power of learning to transform organisations, empower communities and help people to grow.

We are committed to ethical business practices, transparency and integrity.

We always put the needs of learners at the heart of our service.

Our vision and values

Our vision is to create an awarding organisation with a difference – one whose priority is providing added value, rooted firmly in the values of social justice.

Our history

We have an engaging story to tell. It dates back to the mid 1970s when a group of colleges started to provide alternatives to the traditional school and college-based exams for adults that wanted to progress to higher education. The innovative model was based around credits that enabled people to achieve in small steps. From here we created a grassroots open college network movement that followed the ethos of widening participation. At OCN London we are continuing that tradition whilst meeting the demands of a rapidly changing society.

What we do

We offer national qualifications for learners aged 14 upwards.

We are a market leader in the recognition of achievement through credit-based units. This approach offers maximum flexibility for learners and the opportunity to create learning programmes that reflect people’s interests and ambitions.

We develop bespoke programmes that enable organisations to deliver accredited courses that meet their exact needs.

We run training courses for teachers and tutors, assessors, moderators and administrators.
We also offer a quality mark to organisations that want recognition for excellence in learning and development practice.

With a team dedicated to offering exceptional support and expertise, we have achieved a reputation for enhancing quality and providing a personal and responsive service to our centres.

Our impact

Impact and Centre Stories

We have helped thousands of people to fulfil their dreams of a university education through our Access to HE qualifications. 

We have helped to empower people in communities to take control of their lives.

We are opening up new opportunities in health and social care for people to progress in their careers.

We have supported small businesses to get started, expand and thrive.

We have helped to give people a new start in life … and a new career.

Who we work with

  • Further education colleges
  • Adult and community education
  • Schools, academies and youth groups
  • Universities and other higher education institutions
  • Training providers
  • Community and voluntary organisations
  • Prisons and offender learning providers

Why work with us?

  • We are agile and responsive. This means you will get a personal service with direct access to a named contact and a quick turnaround.
  • We pride ourselves on our close relationships with centres. The people we work with see us as a trusted partner, not just a supplier.
  • We want to help you get the very best from your learners and employees.
  • We have a reputation for high quality. The OCN London brand carries national recognition and kudos.
  • We are flexible and recognise the importance of accommodating the needs of different learners and different learning styles.
  • We offer exceptional value for money.
  • We are committed to the belief that learning can change lives.

Find out more

How to become a centre
Bespoke work

What people say about us

We are really proud of our excellent customer service and the difference that we make to organisations and individuals. Here’s just a flavour of what people say about us.

“We are delighted that our partnership with OCN London is helping us to ensure that the Royal College of Nursing offers the highest quality learning and development to all our trade union representatives, both now and in the future.” Janet Davies, Chief Executive and General Secretary, Royal College of Nursing.

"Working with OCN has been brilliant for us. We find them very responsive and supportive. Whenever I have questions I can speak to an external moderator very quickly.” Jo Morrish, SafeLives.

"OCN London is a nationally recognised organisation that is respected by universities, with a rigorous verification process. That makes it easier to attract new students to our Access courses as they know that their certificates will have universal currency." Ian Wilkinson, Access Curriculum Leader, City & Islington College.

“OCN London offers us high standard curriculum development and consistent quality assurance from a supportive team so that our Access courses meet the demands of our learners, for whom this is often their second chance in education, thus enabling them to fulfil their personal goals of studying and achieving at university”. Robert Whitehead, Curriculum Manager, Carshalton College.