AIM Qualifications and Assessment Group merges with Open College Network West Midlands
1 September 2022
The two long-established Awarding Bodies develop qualifications and award certificates to learners in schools, colleges, training providers, and centres across the UK.
Between them, the two organisations have over eighty years’ experience of developing regulated high-quality qualifications for the education and training sector.
More recently, AIM has become recognised as a specialist in the delivery of end-point assessments for apprentices. It works with employers across the UK to assess their apprentices on a range of creative, cultural, and professional services standards.
The two organisations, both based in the Midlands, merged on the 1st September and now operate under the AIM Qualifications and Assessment Group name. The merger means that colleges, centres, and training providers now have access to almost 600 regulated qualifications for their learners, and employers will have an expanded network of support when looking for an end-point assessment organisation for their apprentices.
Both organisations have come together from a position of financial strength and the strong financial foundation provides an opportunity for the new organisation to re-invest significantly into its stakeholders and staff.
Ethos and values
The merger was led by Group CEO Kevern Kerswell, a staunch supporter of lifelong learning. Kevern, who has built his career in education and training over the past 25 years, said; “This is a merger of two closely aligned organisations who share the same ethos and hold similar values and philosophies on furthering education”. He is a firm believer in the role that learning can play in delivering social justice and says he will; “Prioritise the development of qualifications, apprenticeships and other services that benefit learners and tackle inequality.”
Quality endorsements for bespoke training
As well as developing regulated qualifications, the unified organisation provides a national quality kitemark - which endorses an organisation’s own internal training and development programmes and systems. Ideal for companies who are developing courses and training programmes tailored to meet the needs of their employees or customers.
The new organisation will continue to operate from sites in Wolverhampton and Derby. Kevern added; “The merger brings together two highly successful organisations who are very positive about their ability to bring even more knowledge and resources to customers. We look forward to continuing our work with all our existing customers and to welcoming new ones.”
Notes to Editor
AIM Qualifications and Assessment Group has a portfolio of almost 600 qualifications (Entry Level to Level 6, across 85 subjects). The Aim Group holds two of only 10 national Access Validating licences to approve and monitor Access to HE courses, and to work with FE colleges and other providers that deliver these courses to students.
AIM works with over 1,000 colleges, training providers and centres across the UK who deliver AIM Qualifications to over 47,500 learners every year.
AIM is an End-Point Assessment Organisation (EPAO) registered with the Education and Skills Funding Agency, to deliver EPAs for 25 apprenticeship standards (and growing).
Kevern Kerswell built his career in education and training over the past 25 years. He joined Open College Network West Midlands as Chief Executive in September 2020 and following the merger became the Group CEO.
All media queries should be directed, in the first instance, to jill.Minter@aimgroup.org.uk, tel 01332 341822