The Gateway Qualifications Centre Handbook is split into 4 categories. These categories include:

Introduction to Working with Gateway Qualifications
Centre Recognition and Qualification Approval
Quality & Compliance
Internal & External Assessment Practice
Access Arrangements, Reasonable Adjustments & Special Considerations 

This Introduction to Gateway Qualifications section includes details of our admin processes and outlines the responsibilities of a recognised centre.

The below sections expand to reveal full details and useful links that offer insight into how to best work with us.

If you print this page of the Centre Handbook, please ensure you regularly check back here to ensure you are using the most up-to-date version.

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An Overview of What is on Offer
An Overview of What is on Offer

All of our qualifications are compiled by combining a number of learning components, generally called units or units of assessment, which build into a coherent qualification.

Each unit has a specified size, expressed in total and guided learning hours and credits. The number of units used, and hence the size of the qualification, can vary significantly depending on the rules of combination, the number of credits to be achieved and the needs of the particular curriculum area, sector or learner’s circumstances.

Gateway Qualifications’ provision spans a range of levels, based on national level descriptors, from entry level through to level eight.

Your Choice of Qualifications

As a recognised centre, you will decide which qualifications you wish to offer.  Your offer will be developed through discussion with your Business Development Manager and will focus on the specific needs of your learners.

What is a Coherent Qualification Offer?

As a Gateway Qualifications recognised centre you will have considerable flexibility in using qualifications in ways which are meaningful to your particular learners’ needs, by using units as your building blocks. This flexibility applies to all of our qualifications.  It is essential, therefore, that in using this flexibility you ensure that the resulting course or qualification is ‘coherent’.

In order for a qualification to be considered coherent, the following elements should be addressed:

  • How does the qualification meet the needs of the target group?
  • What entry requirements/skills are required to ensure that a learner will benefit from the qualification?
  • What are the likely progression routes for learners and are these as wide as possible?
  • What is the volume of learning and does this relate to the guided learning hours being proposed?
  • Is it at the appropriate level(s)?
  • Do the units combine in a meaningful way and do the learning outcomes relate to one another?
  • Are the rules of combination (that is the rules by which the particular Qualification allows units to be combined) being adhered to? (Rules of combination for each Qualification are outlined in the specific Qualification Specification, available on the Gateway Qualifications website.)
  • Can any units previously achieved be used to enable progression towards full achievement of the qualification?

In order to address the considerations above, Gateway Qualifications requires recognised centres, as part of their quality assurance system, to have in place a robust system for internal qualification approval.  In this context, a robust system means that the centre can demonstrate that there is a process in place which answers all the above questions.

Course Approval for Unit Delivery

We recognise that sometimes centres may not wish to offer full qualifications and instead may wish to offer units as stand-alone unit delivery.

In these cases, you would not apply for qualification approval but would instead complete a course approval form – Unit Delivery Approval Application.

If you then wish to make any changes to your course at any time, you can do so by completing a Course Amendment Form – otherwise known as a Unit Delivery Programme Amendment.

Becoming a Gateway Qualifications Recognised Centre
Introduction to Centre Recognition

Centre recognition is an agreement made between the centre and Gateway Qualifications, specifying the minimum requirements the centre must commit to in relation to curriculum, administration and quality. The centre recognition agreement:

  • Provides information about the centre, its structure and contacts.
  • Forms the basis of – and details the arrangements for – the review of Gateway Qualifications’ provision within the centre.
  • Locates responsibility for the overall planning and delivery of Gateway Qualifications’ provision at the appropriate level within the centre.

Gateway Qualifications will assign a member of the Business Development team to the organisation who will provide support during the centre recognition process and on-going curriculum and development support.

The criteria for approval include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Fit with our mission and purpose.
  • Appropriate systems and processes in place.
  • Appropriate staffing available.
  • Previous experience of working with awarding organisations.
  • Suitable resources.
  • Financial viability.

Once approved, Gateway Qualifications sends the following to newly recognised centres:

  • Confirmation of centre recognition.
  • Confirmation of the customer service team.
  • Centre recognition invoice.
  • Centre recognition certificate (upon payment of invoice).

Delivery of any qualification, including Access to HE Diplomas, must not commence until written approval has been granted and the Centre Agreement Terms and Conditions have been accepted.

As part of the Gateway Qualifications’ quality assurance process, recognised centres are monitored annually by External Quality Assurers who report on internal quality assurance systems. The External Quality Assurer’s annual visit is a necessary condition for continued centre recognition.

Overview of the Centre Recognition Process

If you wish to become a Gateway Qualifications recognised centre, please contact us by telephone, email or via the website. A member of our Development Team will then be in touch with you to discuss the following:

  • Centre recognition requirements.
  • The range of existing qualifications and units your centre would be able to access.
  • Gateway Qualifications’ quality assurance requirements.
  • Staffing requirements, as detailed below.

If you decide you would like to become a Gateway Qualifications recognised centre, you will need to:

  • Complete and submit an online centre recognition application.
  • Agree quality assurance arrangements.

Your Business Development contact can provide additional guidance to support you in completing the centre recognition application form.  You only have to complete the centre recognition application once, unless the centre’s circumstances change, or Gateway Qualifications withdraws centre recognition status. Gateway Qualifications has the authority to apply sanctions or withdraw centre recognition status if your centre fails to comply with the terms and conditions.

Gateway Qualifications will review the documentation provided against the centre recognition terms and conditions. If appropriate, we will confirm centre recognition and the centre will be invoiced the annual centre fee.

Centre Recognition Withdrawal

In the event that a Centre wishes to, or Gateway Qualifications decides to, withdraw recognition the following policy and procedure will apply:

Centre Recognition Withdrawal Policy and Procedure

We will work with the centre to develop and implement a Withdrawal Plan that includes the following:

  • rationale for the withdrawal
  • number of current registered learners and qualifications likely to be affected
  • details of plans to support existing learners yet to complete to ensure that their interests are protected
  • last date for registrations
  • late date for certifications.

If a Centre wishes to withdraw their Centre Recognition please notify Gateway Qualifications in writing.

Claiming Certificates and Verifying Results

There are two different methods available to claim your certificates, direct entry of results or downloading and completing a report of achievement or completion (RAC).  Depending on your preference, full guidance on how to process results is available on our website.

Each qualification (except Access to Higher Education) is allocated an External Quality Assurer (EQA).  This is the person recognised by Gateway Qualifications as the authority to verify results.

This process involves 2 steps:

  1. The administrator completes the results process.
  2. Once results have been submitted, the EQA will receive an email notification. This will include a link asking them to log in to verify and approve the award claimed.
Issuing Certificates

We aim to issue eCertificates within 1 to 5 working days of the results being verified. The physical certificates will arrive within 10 working days.

Before distributing certificates directly to your learners please ensure your learner home addresses or email addresses records are accurate and up to date. Please include a return address should the certificates need to be sent back.

Replacement Certificates

We can only issue replacement certificates achieved within the last 10 years only and assuming we hold the learner information, aim to issue replacements within 10 working days.  An online request form is available on our website and guidance notes are provided when completing the information.  Full details of charges can be found in the Fees and Charges section of our website.

Please note – we will only approve name amendments on certificates in the following circumstances:

  • Obvious Spelling Errors
  • Evidence can be provided that the name was changed prior to the original certification
  • Gender Reassignment
  • UK Protected Person Service Status
Retaining Learners' Certificates

Centres may destroy any unclaimed certificates by a secure method (for example by shredding or incineration) after holding them for a period of 12 months from the date of issue.

A record of all certificates destroyed by a centre should be kept for a further period of four years from the date of their destruction.

For certificates issued for Access to HE Diplomas, please refer to A Quick Guide to dealing with Access to HE Certificates.

Complaints and Feedback

We always strive to deliver excellent customer service however, should you have any concerns or encounter any issues, please refer to our comprehensive Complaints Policy and Procedure page.


We value your feedback, so feel free to share your thoughts on our dedicated Feedback, Appeals and Complaints page, contributing to our commitment to continuous improvement.


Help with Administration

We have a number of resources available to make your experience of working with us straightforward and our Help with Administration webpages are specifically designed to walk you through the registration and awarding processes.

In addition, we also offer a wide-ranging collection of Frequently Asked Questions to answer the most common queries that centres, learners and employers ask us.

It is our aim to provide you with the tools to successfully run our qualifications and we are always at the end of the phone (take a look at our Contact Us page) to personally answer any questions that arise.

The Online Portal

QuartzWeb is Gateway Qualifications’ learner registration and award system.

Once your centre is recognised, login details are issued to your designated administration contact.  We will acknowledge this person as the main contact within your centre and certificates will usually be sent for their attention.

Centres are permitted to have more than one administrator and additional login details can be provided.  If you have a staff member that requires access to the system, a request must be received from the main administration contact to permit us to provide these details.

Further information on our systems can be found here.

Please note – Log in information is personal to each individual and must not be shared.

Administration of External Assessments

Step by step guidance on how to administer external assessments including scheduling learners, accessing external assessment papers and using the online Surpass system are available on our website.

Centre and Learner Fees

Gateway Qualifications charges fees based on two elements – an annual centre fee and an individual learner fee for registration and certification of accreditation.

Annual Centre Fee – This is an annual fee, payable on the 1st August each year.  New centres will be invoiced at the point of recognition. If recognition occurs between 1st February and 31st July, the charge will be prorated on a sliding scale to the end of the year.

Learner fees – Learner fees are based on the intended achievement of a learner.  The fee is levied at the point of registration of learners.

Fees are reviewed annually and are available in the Fees and Charges section of our website.

Registering Learners

Depending on the length of the course, registrations must be submitted to us within the following deadlines:

  • 25 working days from the start of the course for short courses (defined as 15 weeks or fewer)
  • 60 working days for longer courses (15 weeks+)

Start of the course is defined as the date tutor delivery commences and not date of induction or enrolment.

An additional fee will apply to all registrations received after the deadlines and full details can be found in the Fees and Charges section of our website

Guidance on how to register learners can be found here.

Regulatory Requirements
Ofqual – England

Ofqual’s requirements for awarding organisations are set out in the Ofqual General Conditions of Recognition.

Qualifications Wales

The Qualifications Wales requirements are set out in the Standard Conditions of Recognition.

Adverse Effects

Guidance in relation to Adverse Effects

An ‘adverse effect’ is defined as:

An act, omission, event, incident or circumstance which:

  1. Gives rise to prejudice to Learners or potential Learners, or
  2. Adversely affects

i. the ability of the awarding organisation to undertake the development, delivery or award of qualifications in accordance with its Conditions of Recognition,

ii. the standards of qualifications which the awarding organisation makes available or proposes to make available, or

iii. public confidence in qualifications.

Centre Responsibilities

The approved Gateway Qualifications centre responsibilities related to Adverse Effects are outlined in the Gateway Qualifications Centre Agreement.

Centres must take all reasonable steps to ensure that staff involved in the management, assessment and quality assurance of Gateway Qualifications should report any situations which could have an adverse effect or affect learners. Centres must identify and manage the risk of and occurrence of an incident which could compromise:

  • The integrity of qualifications.
  • Gateway Qualifications’ compliance with the General Conditions of Recognition.
  • The Centre Approval Criteria.
  • The reputation of Gateway Qualifications.

Where a centre identifies a risk, it should take all reasonable steps to prevent the incident from occurring, or where it cannot be prevented, reduce the risk of the incident occurring.

Your Responsibility To Us
Centre Staff - Key Roles

When you complete your Centre Recognition Application you will be asked to provide us with details of contacts within your organisation. This is to ensure that we contact the right person. We will send these contacts emails and call them from time to time with updates or ask them questions, so it is very important that these are kept up to date.

In a large centre, it is likely that several different people will carry out these roles. However, we understand that in a smaller organisation, one individual may undertake a number of different roles.

It is your responsibility to update your centre’s contacts.

Key Roles

Head of Organisation:

The head of the organisation, e.g. Chief Executive. This person will:

  • Act as the overall point of accountability for the delivery of qualifications.

Centre Contact:

This person will be the key contact between Gateway Qualifications and the centre. They:

  • Will be the conduit for all correspondence between the centre and Gateway Qualifications, being responsible for disseminating information within your organisation appropriately.

Curriculum Development Contact:

The person with overall responsibility for curriculum planning and development within your centre. This person:

  • Ensures qualifications submitted to Gateway Qualifications for approval have been through an internal approval process.

Quality Assurance Contact:

This person is responsible for:

  • Maintaining internal quality systems including internal quality assurance, standardisation, response to quality assurance reports and annual reviews.
  • Ensuring the training and updating of staff involved with internal quality systems.
  • Ensuring the regulations for qualifications are met e.g. security of external/internal assessments.
  • Liaising with Gateway Qualifications’ External Quality Assurers.
  • Ensuring the centre is represented at standardisation events and that samples of learners’ work are made available for standardisation.

Administration Contact:

Key responsibilities include:

  • Ensuring accurate and prompt completion of administrative forms/processes relating to the registration and awarding of learners.
  • Submitting learner registrations within specified time frames.
  • Liaising with Gateway Qualifications’ staff and forwarding necessary learner registration documents to tutors and other staff.
  • Maintaining accurate records of all course and learner registrations.
  • Receiving certificates from Gateway Qualifications and ensuring the prompt distribution of certificates to learners.
  • Updating the annual estimated learner plan.

Finance Contact:

Key responsibilities include:

  • Ensuring timely payment of invoices.
  • Liaising with Gateway Qualifications’ finance staff.

Terms and Conditions

When you become a recognised centre with Gateway Qualifications you sign up to our terms and conditions, to assure us that you will do certain things, set out within a Centre Agreement.