DCS Criteria for Centres

Direct Claims Status (DCS) is given to Centres on an individual qualification basis and allows centres to claim certification without waiting for an external quality assurance activity to take place.

Achieving DCS
Gateway Qualifications takes a risk-based approach to application of DCS. Centres who are given DCS will have suitable staff and a robust and effective system of internal quality assurance.

For DCS to be achieved, Centres need to have:

  • suitably qualified staff in place for each qualification as set out in the relevant qualification specification and the Centre Handbook
  • established internal quality assurance systems
  • internal quality assurance arrangements that meet the requirements as detailed in the Centre Handbook
  • evidence that internal quality assurance arrangements been applied effectively for a minimum* of one complete cycle of programme delivery
  • no actions relating to curriculum and assessment delivery raised against the Centre**

*more than one complete cycle of programme delivery may be required to demonstrate all aspects of internal quality assurance are in place. For example, where delivery is over a very short period, small numbers of staff are involved, or learner numbers are high.

**If actions are raised within a cycle, the cycle will begin again from the date the actions have been closed.

Maintaining DCS
DCS is reviewed on an ongoing basis through quality review activity with the centre. Following monitoring activity, the Centre EQA would make a recommendation to award (or remove) DCS for a qualification to the Quality Team based on the outcome of monitoring.
All portfolios claimed by DCS and the associated assessment records must be available at the next quality assurance visit when they will be sampled.

Removal of DCS
If DCS is removed from a qualification, this may be temporarily removed until actions are completed or as a result of a sanction as per the Gateway Qualifications Sanction Policy. Centres will always be notified if DCS is removed either as part of standard monitoring activity where they no longer meet the DCS criteria or as part of a sanction.