Information for current AIM centres

September 2021 newsletter


Most of us were happy to see the end of the last academic year. It was challenging for all of us, and very difficult for some. It is our hope that 2021 will be the beginning of a new dawn, of new hope for the world and the education of our society.

This update has some important information for all AIM centres so please take 5 minutes to bring yourself up to date. If you have any questions, as always, please contact the Customer Experience team or your centre lead on enquiries@aim-group.org.uk


Over summer 2021, we undertook a detailed review of our AIMVOC portfolio to ensure they were relevant, current and delivered maximum benefits to learners, centres and AIM Qualifications. As a result, we have identified several qualifications that we will be withdrawing. The full list can be seen on our webpage.

Please note that centres can still register new learners on these qualifications until 30 April 2022.
You do not need to do anything now. We will be contacting all affected centres individually by email in the next few weeks with advice on the steps to be taken. 
In the meantime, please check our other qualifications as there may be something similar you could offer, or find out if the AIMINVESTING IN YOUR FUTURE (IF) excellence kitemark might be an option.
For more information, please contact your Centre Lead, email enquiries@aimgroup.org.uk or call us on 01332 341822.
Early Bird Bookings for EV allocation for centres who present their evidence to the AIM EV team throughout the year*.  

Please take a couple of minutes to complete the request form to let us know when you think you might need  an EV activity in 2021/22 (especially for the busy summer period). We will provisionally schedule your appointment and reserve the EV space. You can make changes later - subject to availability. 

Note: The Early Bird Booking form is only open until the end of October. After this date, you will need to book your EV activity in the usual way via the AIM webpage a minimum of two weeks in advance (subject to EQA availability). 

*Doesn’t apply to the following centres:
•    those delivering only Access to HE, or ESOL qualifications
•    qualifications wholly covered by direct claims status
•    qualifications assessed entirely by AIM multiple choice exams.


Blended practice option for AIM’s level 4 counselling diploma.
AIM centres can now offer learners a new, optional ‘blended practice’ module, where learners develop an understanding of working with clients using forms of communication other than traditional face to face (in the room) working. The component encourages learners to explore the likely impact that this way of working may have on both practitioner and client. Learners will have the opportunity to embark on reflective blended practice through role play.
The blended practice component is now live in the Level 4 Diploma in Counselling Practice and the assignment briefs are available from the AIM portal. 
Have your say: A reminder that the deadline for completing the surveys is Friday 24 September. If you didn’t receive the email, please contact: enquiries@aimgroup.org.uk.
The 2022 assessment schedule for counselling, and games animation and VFX qualifications has been added to our webpage.
The Department for Education has set out the policy position that ‘exams and assessments will take place in the academic year 2021 to 2022’. Ofqual is changing the categorisation of qualifications and is moving all qualifications to Category A from 1 September 2021. This will allow AIM to make adaptations to assessments and qualifications but not to award results using alternative evidence, including TAGs. 
More information can be found on our webpage.
On Friday 3 September 2021, QAA released new guidance for the awarding of the Access to HE diploma in 2021 -22. The processes for awarding will remain the same as they were during 20-21 and providers can access adaptations for assessment (if needed and appropriate for students). AIM will send out adaptations spreadsheets, as used in 20/21, by the end of September and will be discussing the framework at the next AIM clinic
Nominate your best students for entry into a national competition. Prizes given to two Access to HE learners for incredible achievements to their studies and education. There are two categories for student nominations:

Outstanding Academic Achievement – for excelling in their academic 
Outstanding Commitment to Study – for showing outstanding commitment, perhaps in the face adversity

Nominations should be submitted on the correct form and sent to jill.minter@aim-group.org.uk by Friday 29 October 2021.  More information can be found on our webpage.

Over the last academic year we have developed and launched two new diplomas and have one more in development:

1. The Creative Industries diploma provides a clear pathway into further education in creative sectors and covers a range of specialisms including:
•    animation
•    creative advertising 
•    digital marketing
•    esports
•    fashion
•    film
•    games design
•    graphic design
•    illustration
•    media production
•    photography
more information... 

2. The Animal Science diploma was launched in Sumer last year. This specialist diploma gives students an understanding of the functions of the animal body, and diseases and treatments. Students study a series of graded units in animal science, animal management, biology, geography and environmental science. 
more information

In development… 
3. In development: Our Access to HE (Medicine) will have a strong emphasis on biology and chemistry to give a balanced view of skills and to enable progression to medicine-based degree programmes. For more information about this new qualification. Please contact: cathy.brown@aim-group.org.uk

The SFA has produced a useful provider toolkit for leaders, managers and learner-facing staff. 
The toolkit is divided into two sections:
SECTION 1: Offers tools for leaders and managers to support strategic planning, operational procedures, the management of Loans at an organisational level, and managing growth in Loans-funded provision.
SECTION 2: Provides information, advice and guidance, offering tools for learner-facing staff to help them improve the communication and advice provided to potential Loan-funded learners.
A copy of the toolkit can be downloaded from the AIM webpage.

New dates are available for our clinics and workshops for 2021/2022, including

  • AIM Counselling suite of qualifications
  • Diploma in Games, Animation and VFX qualifications

Centres delivering Capital Tutorials eLearning resources, are invited to attend the new eassessment clinics supporting the multiple-choice exam assessment opportunities. Learners must now either complete the multiple-choice exams provided by the AIM XAMS system or create a portfolio of evidence.

Did you know that AIM will endorse the quality of your in-house training and provide you with an AIM kitemark for your learners’ certificates and a plaque for your wall?

AIMINVESTING IN YOUR FUTURE provides a unique opportunity for all AIM centres to have their systems checked and reviewed against a quality framework to show that they have a proven record of high standards and that they continually drive for internal excellence in course design, delivery and quality assurance.

For more information see: www.aim-group.org.uk/IF

AIM’s ESOL International suite of qualifications is designed primarily for adults who are not native speakers of English and is offered across a range of levels. These internationally recognised English language qualification are most suitable for learners normally based outside the UK who may be emigrating, working in an English-speaking country, or are preparing for entry to higher education or professional employment in the UK or elsewhere.

AIM and Anglia Examinations are partnered to deliver the internationally renowned series of STEP TO books.

The books are specially designed for students who want to prepare for their Anglia ESOL examinations and comprise 10 books and audio files from Beginner to Mastery. The final three books equate to B2, C1 and C2 on the Common European Framework of Reference and students are awarded an AIM Qualification, Level 1, 2 or 3 in ESOL International.

As of May 2021, students successfully completing the AIM Qualifications Level 3 Certificate in ESOL International (Anglia Mastery), will be awarded tariff points which can count towards their university application. Read more