Qualification Development

ATHE has developed a wide range of bespoke regulated qualifications, exclusive to ATHE recognised centres that have funded their development and worked with ATHE to ensure the content meets their learner needs in specialist areas. Details of these bespoke qualifications can be found on our bespoke qualification page here.

The centres that commissioned the qualifications may be open to discussing partnership arrangements with other ATHE centres for their delivery. ATHE would be happy to facilitate introductions for interested parties – please contact info@athe.co.uk.

Organisations can apply to have their own training programme developed into a regulated qualification. This service can raise the profile of an organisation’s training and development activities and increase opportunities for learners to showcase their achievements.

The qualifications are placed on Ofqual’s register of regulated qualifications, which is recognised by Higher Education Providers including universities and maps to the European Qualifications Framework.

The development of a regulated qualification involves significant preparation, research and evidence gathering as the proposed qualification must be shown to:

  • evidence UK learner demand and the ability to deliver the qualification in the UK
  • meet an industry need and provide learner progression to a particular destination, for example higher education or employment. 

It must also meet the various Ofqual conditions for regulated qualifications.  If evidence of UK learner demand and delivery cannot be met, ATHE could potentially review and endorse your programme. For more information on our Programme Endorsement service, please click here.

Benefits of developing a regulated qualification

Benefits for a learner

  • Achieving a qualification provides a recognised external benchmark of an individual’s knowledge, understanding and skills
  • Learning demonstrates to employers an individual’s desire and commitment to develop themselves and achieve formal qualifications
  • Achieving a qualification may provide entry to higher level qualifications and opportunities

Benefits for an organisation

  • Offering nationally and internationally recognised qualifications will help organisations to improve their profile and attract high calibre employees
  • The qualifications can be tailored to meet the needs of an organisation so that the learning is directly relevant to business strategy
  • ATHE is regulated by Ofqual, the regulator of qualifications in England which reports directly to Parliament
  • The qualifications will be placed on Ofqual’s Regulated Qualifications Framework (RQF), which gives learners greater mobility – the RQF has equivalencies with other qualifications frameworks across the world, such as the European Qualifications Framework (EQF)
  • The qualifications can be bespoke, and exclusive to your organisation

The process

Please note that if your organisation is not already an ATHE recognised centre, you must go through ATHE centre recognition for a regulated qualification development and complete the Centre Recognition Application Form via our website.

Centres complete and send the ATHE Qualification Development Form to us via our website. The information required includes:

  • the purpose of the qualification
  • the sector, proposed size, and level
  • the target learners including age group and type, e.g., aged 19+ in full time employment
  • details of organisations that support your proposed qualification and a summary of your discussions with them, e.g., employers, schools, Further/Higher Education Institutions etc.
  • potential learner progression opportunities
  • the structure of your qualification, including an outline of proposed optional and mandatory unit titles and RQF level
  • the assessment methods and grades
  • quality assurance procedures
  • the duration of your programme (Guided Learning Hours and Total Qualification time)
  • whether you would like to make the qualification available to other ATHE centres
  • the subject matter expertise/training expertise that your organisation can provide to support the development work
  • similar qualifications and how yours differs
  • expected new learner registrations for the first 4 years
  • proposed first registration and certification dates.

On receipt of the completed ATHE Qualification Development Form, we analyse your proposal to decide if the qualification will meet regulatory and business needs, as well as support learner demand and progression opportunities.

If the qualification proposal meets requirements, we produce a proposal including fees and timeline for your review and approval. The plan will outline our expectations from your staff to act as co-developers and/or subject matter experts, depending on their experience. Development costs are based on the size of the qualification.

If you are satisfied with the fees and would like to go ahead at this point, we will invoice you for 50% of the full fee amount.

Once we have received payment from you, our Qualification Development Associate(s) will work in partnership with you to develop the specification for the qualification, units, and assignments.

Once completed and quality assured, we will invoice you for the remaining 50% fee, and when received we will upload your qualification to the Ofqual register.

Depending on the size of your qualification, the timescale to develop a qualification is between 1 and 12 months. 

Next steps

For new ATHE centres interested in developing their programme into an ATHE qualification, you firstly need to apply to become a recognised ATHE centre. Please fill out the application form: 

Centre Recognition Application Form

For existing ATHE centres interested in developing a programme into a qualification with ATHE, you can find the application by logging into your portal account.

If you would like further information, please complete the ‘Expression of Interest’ form below.