Frequently Asked Questions
Agored Cymru is an awarding organisation like City and Guilds, BTEC and Edexcel. We are one of two Welsh based awarding organisations, the other being the WJEC. We were formerly known as Open College Network Wales and we have been involved in accrediting learning for over twenty five years. Our customers include all of the further education colleges in Wales, the local authorities who deliver adult education, schools, businesses, voluntary organisations and the National Health Service. We are a charity and social enterprise with offices in Bangor and Cardiff.
We offer a range of qualifications and units to help learners demonstrate their achievements and skills. The units we offer are listed on our website and have a level and credit value. Each unit is broken down into a series of Learning Outcomes and Assessment Criteria.
The QCF - the Qualification and Credit Framework, recognises vocational skills and qualifications. It does this by enabling the awarding of credit for qualifications and units (small steps of learning). This enables people to gain qualifications at their own pace along flexible routes. The CQFW is the Credit & Qualifications Framework for Wales it encompasses all of the qualifications included in the QCF as well as skills and qualifications that are particular to Wales.
Credit is a currency for learning which can be used to compare learning and qualifications.
You can build the credit you achieve toward a qualification or other learning aim.
Credit tells you how much learning you have gained within a certain amount of
time, for example, from taking part in school courses, college courses or training courses. Credits can be added together to make up whole qualifications.
Gaining credit is dependent upon you completing certain assignments covering learning outcomes, such as practical work, essays, presentations, reports, portfolios, project work, exams or other.
Credits start from whatever level you are at and go all the way up to the top university level – Level 8 (Doctorate).
Entry Level provides a basis for progression to other learning programmes within frameworks across the UK.
Level One is comparable to NVQ1, Welsh Baccalaureate Foundation Diploma and GCSE grades D-G.
Level Two is comparable to NVQ2, Welsh Baccalaureate Intermediate Diploma and GCSE grades A*-C.
Level Three is comparable to NVQ3, Welsh Baccalaureate Advanced Diploma A Level and AS Level.
Learning Outcomes are the parts of the unit that outline what you will be able to do. They are always preceded by the words “the learner will” and will be followed by verbs such as;understand, know or be able to .
Assessment Criteria are the elements of a unit that demonstrate that you have achieved a piece of learning. They are always preceded
by “the learner can”. The verb that follows this phrase gives an indication of your level of learning. To achieve credit for your learning, you will be asked to complete assessment activities to show clearly what you have learnt. There are lots of different types of assessment e.g. questions and answers, projects, role play, practical demonstrations etc.
Yes, you can use evidence of learning achieved prior to registration on your current course. The evidence should be relatively recent i.e within 2 or 3 years. Ask your tutor for advice on this. Copies of the Recognition of Prior Learning policy and procedure are available on the Agored Cymru website.
Qualifications are formally recognised by the UK Government through Ofqual (in England) Welsh Government in Wales and CCEA in Northern Ireland. Scotland has its own arrangements. Recognised qualifications appear on a register of qualifications (RITS). Local units are units which have been developed locally and have been quality assured by Agored Cymru and the regulator. These units can only be delivered by organisations recognised by Agored Cymru.
Your tutor will decide the right type of assessment for you and your course. Very few Agored Cymru courses are assessed using tests or exams. The emphasis is on allowing you the best opportunity to display your skills.
A wide range of evidence is acceptable. Ideally it should integrate into your learning and allow you to produce evidence as part of the learning experience. There are lots of different types of assessment e.g. questions and answers, projects, role play, practical demonstrations etc. all of which can be used to produce evidence of your achievement.
Accrediting learning not only celebrates your achievement but also proves that the learning has met a particular standard and is quality assured. Standards are set against the European Qualifications Frameworkallowing the difficulty and “volume” of the learning to be measured and taken with you. (See level and Credit).
- It could help you and other people such as potential employers, colleges universities to understand the type of learning you have completed and what it is worth.
- Your learning is divided into small units and therefore you can build up credits when doing a specific course, programme of study, or practical learning and training.
- If you find that the course you have started on and gained some credits for is not for you then you may be able to use or transfer those credits to another course.
- A credit based system will help you follow a particular training or study path.
- Gaining credit for your learning can raise your confidence and motivate you to continue your achievements.
- Credits can be taken from one place to another such as changing schools, colleges or workplace.
Our courses can only be accessed through one of our recognised centres, each of which is quality assured by us. Our centres include colleges, training providers, the voluntary sector, schools, the national health service and others.
Our network of recognised centres is independent. They pay us for use of our qualifications and units but their charges to learners are not in our control. You will need to find this out from the centre you are studying with.
Enquiries, complaints and appeals
If you have any enquiries, complaints or appeals, please put them forward to the centre where you have studied in the first instance.However, if you are not satisfied with the centre’s response, you can complete the form available from your centre or the Agored Cymru website and submit it to us.
If you have specific needs or disability or suffer illness or experience problems, there are ways that you can be supported in your assessment. Please approach your tutor or staff at your centre.
Copies of the following policies are available on the Agored Cymru website;
- Access to Fair Assessment Policy;
- Diversity & Equality Policy.
If there are any errors on your certificate, please inform your centre in the first instance. Once you have told your centre what the error is, your centre will get in touch with us and we will re-issue a certificate with the correct details to your centre within 5 working days of a written request from your centre.
If you haven’t received your certificate within 35 working days of completing your course, please inform your centre in the first instance. If your centre does not have your certificate, your centre will liaise with us to ensure that you receive your certificate as soon as possible.