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It's an AIM thing...

We are incredibly pleased to announce our new brand of AIM Awards qualifications and products.

Our rebrand is more than just new logos; it is about us celebrating who we are and what we stand for. As one of the most flexible national and international Awarding Organisations out there, our new products have been designed to represent a new, flexible approach to better meet the needs of employers and learners.

Our ethos hasn’t changed; our learners remain in the heart of what we do. So why not join us on our journey….

Why are things changing?

In September 2015, Ofqual introduced the new Regulated Qualification Framework (RQF) which aims to provide a single, simple system for cataloguing all qualifications regulated by Ofqual. The RQF replaces the Qualifications and Credit Framework (QCF) where most of our products sit.

As an Awarding Organisation regulated by Ofqual, we must make a few changes to our QCF qualifications to remain compliant. We must remove references to ‘QCF’ in our qualification titles and documentation and we must also introduce Total Qualification Time (TQT) for every qualification. TQT is the number of notional hours it takes an average learner to achieve the qualification and is made up of two elements:

  1. the number of Guided Learning Hours (GLH) - the number of Tutor-led contact hours
  2. the number of hours spent on preparation, studying and the assessment that is non- guided

We have taken this opportunity to improve our offer to better reflect the purpose of our products.

What’s changing?

Over the upcoming months, all of our qualifications and products will undergo a rebrand where we will work with you and your valued feedback to review the validity and content of our qualifications to create and re-brand new qualifications with exciting new documentation.

As and when we make these new style qualifications available to you, we will allow a sufficient transition period to transfer your existing provision over to these new RQF qualifications. We will work with agencies, such as the Skills Funding Agency, to ensure they remain accessible to you and your learners.

We promise to make any transition as seamless as possible; your dedicated Account Team will work with you to swap your provision over by automatically setting up your new replacement courses on our Portal ready for new learner registrations.

What will our new style qualifications look like?

Each new style qualification will be made up of components. Each component has standards, which are the requirements of that component. Learners must provide evidence to meet all of the standards in the component.

Each standard is usually accompanied with assessment requirements. These set out the recommended knowledge and/or skills required to achieve the standard. Learners must evidence all of the assessment requirements to successfully achieve the standard, unless otherwise stated.

We will provide you with:

  • Qualification Learner Guides - these learner-friendly guides will detail everything your learners will need to know about the qualification they are undertaking; the content of the qualification, how they will assessed, what the qualification could lead to and any additional information to help them successfully achieve.
  • Qualification Centre Handbook – these handbooks are aimed at all centre staff involved in the delivery and assessment of the qualification. They include our new style units (now called components) and guidance on assessment. It also includes information on how to offer the qualification - from qualification approval through to external verification and certification.
  • A Guide to Assessing AIM Awards Qualifications – the aim of this document is to provide guidance for Tutors, Assessors and Internal Verifiers (IVs) on the assessment requirements of Ofqual regulated, AIM Awards qualifications. It sets out the expectations for the achievement at each level and provides guidance on a range of assessment methods and activities.  

And finally, the big reveal…..

AIM Technical and AIM Professional Qualifications

What are they?

These employer-led qualifications have been designed to develop learners’ specialist knowledge and skills to work in specific industries.

AIM Technical qualifications are typically practical and skills-based qualifications, whereas AIM Professional qualifications focus mainly on knowledge and theoretical understanding. These qualifications are designed to help learners improve and develop relevant skills for a particular career path.

Typical features of AIM Technical and AIM Professional qualifications

  • Ofqual recognised qualifications
  • Level 2 and above
  • Medium-sized qualifications (minimum 150 GLH)
  • Vocational and academic focus
  • End point examinations/assessments
  • ‘License to practice’ qualifications
  • Recognised by employers and HEI’s
  • Dfe Key Stage 4 and 5 Performance Points
  • UCAS Points
  • May be available for e-certification
  • May be eligible for 16-19 funding i.e. study programmes
  • May be eligible for 19+ funding i.e. legal entitlements, advanced learner loans

Progression routes

  • Entry into employment
  • Apprenticeships
  • Progression to related further or higher education, i.e. specialist degrees

AIM Flexibilities Qualifications

What are they?

These flexible qualifications have been designed to develop a range of skills, from employability and personal and social development skills, to opportunities to explore different vocational areas. Our flexible design and assessment choices enable you to personalise your learner’s learning programmes.

Typical features of AIM Flexibilities qualifications

  • Ofqual recognised qualifications
  • Entry Level and above
  • Pre-entry available
  • Vocational tasters
  • Personal and social development
  • Employment skills
  • Foundation Learning
  • Skills for life
  • Build-your-own, personalised programmes
  • Nested qualifications
  • Spikey profile options
  • Flexible assessment
  • May be available for e-certification
  • May be eligible for 16-19 funding i.e. study programmes
  • May be eligible for 19+ funding i.e. local flexibilities, legal entitlements

Progression routes

  • Entry into employment
  • Progression into further or higher education

Investing in Your Future (IF)

Qualifications are an excellent way of recognising the knowledge and skills that an individual has achieved, but they don't work in every learning situation. Sometimes lighter touch quality assurance is more suitable which requires less paperwork and assessment, but still lets people know that your training activities have been recognised as high quality by a third party organisation. For these situations we have developed our Investing in Your Future (IF) product.

Investing In Your Future allows you to gain validation as an AIM Awards Excellence Focused Organisation, giving you the freedom to develop courses to suit the needs of different employers, learners and government objectives and also gives your centre the flexibility to tailor your courses to niche markets.

Investing In Your Future Excellence Focused Organisations will have a proven record of high standards and continually drive for internal excellence and high standards in design, delivery and quality assurance. You will benefit from the assurance that your systems have been checked and approved to be of a high standard of excellence, and this accolade can be used in your marketing materials.  As an IF centre, you are able to have your own education courses and programmes validated with our Excellence Mark. This shows that you have met criteria of excellence in development and delivery.

Typical features of IF

  • Non-regulated learning programmes
  • Increased flexibility
  • Mapped to RARPA
  • Full cost recovery models
  • May be available for e-certification

AIM Access

The Access to Higher Education (Access to HE) Diploma is a widely recognised qualification that provides a second chance for adults who left school without the qualifications needed to enter higher education. Each year around 30,000 learners in the UK take Access programmes and many go on to succeed in Higher Education and embark on life changing new careers.

We like to think of ourselves as experts in Access to HE and are regulated by QAA as one of the well-established Access Validating Agencies (AVA) in the country. Our Diploma is a full Level 3 qualification that is accepted by most Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) to meet the entry requirements on their courses. We have worked with HEIs to design its content to prepare learners for successful study on a wide variety of degree programmes.

Our providers are important to us; we have taken the time to listen to what our centres want. Gradetraka is our exciting new free software, where tutors can clearly track their learner’s progression and grade profiles throughout the academic year and then export this information ready for the final Awards Board. Programme and learner data will be pre-loaded into the system following registration and tutors will be able to add, amend or view the grades learners have achieved against their units. This information will also be able to be viewed as a summary suitable for tutorials with learners or emailed to learners to keep them up to date with their own progress.

“Thank you - it is a thing of beauty- really easy to use and will save so much time at the end of the year.” - Julia Hayes, South Leicestershire College 

Typical features of AIM Access

  • QAA recognised qualification
  • Level 3 qualification
  • Available for 19+ learners
  • Pre-Access L2 qualifications available
  • Off the shelf programmes and units
  • Tailored-made, bespoke programmes
  • Available for adult legal entitlements and advanced learner loans

AIM Functional

Functional Skills qualifications are designed to give your learners the essential English, maths and ICT skills required to participate in life, learning and work.

These qualifications have been designed to improve learner’s English, maths or ICT skills so that they can operate confidently in their life and community. Functional Skills is delivered and assessed using situations and day-to-day events that you and your learners will be familiar with allowing them to develop your skills ready for everyday life.

Our Functional Skills levels are available at:

  • Entry 1, 2, 3 (Paper based assessments)
  • Level 1 & 2 (Online assessments)

The English Functional Skills is split into three components: Reading, Writing and Speaking and Listening at each level. All three components must be achieved for your learner to receive the Functional Skills in English qualification. Maths and ICT have a single component at each level.

Typical features of AIM Functional

  • Ofqual recognised qualifications
  • Flexible assessment, paper based and online
  • Available for pre-16 learners
  • Spikey profile in English component
  • Variety of topics, based on real-life functional situations
  • Blended learning provision
  • May be available for e-certification
  • May be eligible for 16-19 funding i.e. study programmes
  • May be eligible 19+ legal entitlements

We hope you like the new look and can’t wait to catch up with you soon!

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