Following a consultation period, QAA has confirmed changes to its Diploma Specification and Grading Scheme for August 2024.

The following has been announced:

Diploma Specification

  • The Diploma will remain a credit-based qualification of 60 credits, of which 45 credits will be at Level 3 and graded as Pass, Merit or Distinction. The remaining ungraded credits will be Level 2 or 3.
  • A minimum of one unit of either 6 or 9 credits will be included in each Diploma.
  • A maximum of 30 credits can be made of 6 or 9 credit units (offered as graded or ungraded credits permitted 30 credits are not exceeded.)
  • A Subject Descriptor is being introduced for Nursing and Health Professions Diplomas (available as a pilot for 2024 with implementation in 2025.)

Grading Scheme

  • There will be three Grading Standards which will be applied equally to all units and all assessments
  • A grade can only be determined upon completion of all unit learning outcomes.

We appreciate the continued support from our Access to HE Centres as we implement these changes, and thank them for their participation and involvement.

Page Last Updated: 30th April 2024

QAA official web pages

Recognition Scheme documentation 2024

Diploma Specification 2023

How will these changes impact you and your learners?

QAA is aware that the implementation of new processes and procedures will have an impact. Let us know the effects the changes will have on your Centre and learners by emailing – QAA welcomes your feedback and will share your views with them.

QAA Weekly briefings

Centres are invited to attend QAA briefing meetings for an introduction to the changes coming into effect from 1st August 2024. Dates and information on how to join a session are available on the QAA website.

New suite of Access to HE Diplomas for August 2024

Our brand new suite of Access to HE Diplomas has been given the green light for delivery starting 1st August 2024. Overview Guides contain a detailed list of units for each diploma to help you plan for delivery.


Support for our Access to HE Centres

QAA recently wrote to providers outlining the support it will offer all Centres. In addition, Gateway Qualifications will provide a comprehensive support package to ensure a smooth transition for our Centres.

What does that mean for you

Access to HE is changing: Discover what this means for you

Watch our webinar for for an in-depth look at the details:

  • Why the changes are happening
  • New diploma specification requirements and grade scheme
  • Subject descriptor for Nursing and Health Professions
  • Funding boost for Access to HE
  • Revised diploma offer – first look!

Watch here


Access to HE assignment briefs: Meeting revised grading scheme requirements

Watch this webinar and explore the details of:

  • converting assignment briefs and creating new ones
  • integrating units
  • our assignment brief checking service
  • our bank of ready-to-use resources
  • assessment plans

Watch here

assessment grading

Understanding assessment and grading for Access to HE

Prepare for assessments and the process of awarding grades with our webinar where we discuss:

  • using the revised grading scheme in assessment
  • providing effective feedback
  • calculating unit grades
  • moderation and standardisation
  • referrals
  • extenuating circumstances
  • resources and support

Watch here

Engagement groups and validation panels: Concluded

Thank you to everyone who attended and took the opportunity to discuss the structure and content of diplomas with other providers.