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  2. Vocational Qualifications
  3. Frequently asked questions

Frequently asked questions

  1. Can I register for a vocational qualification if I live outside of the UK?
  2. How many hours per week should I allow to work on my vocational qualification?
  3. What are the entry requirements to register for a vocational qualification?
  4. Do I need to attend workshops, tutorials or any day events?
  5. Do I need to be working to register for a vocational qualification?
  6. When will I receive my materials?
  7. Can I complete a vocational qualification without someone visiting me in the work place?
  8. Can I suspend or extend my qualification end date?
  9. Can I complete my qualification before the end date?
  10. Can I pay the fee in instalments?
  11. Would I be eligible for any funding towards the qualification fee?
  12. As a sponsor can VQAC keep me up to date with the progress of my staff?

Can I register for a vocational qualification if I live outside of the UK?

We are only able to offer vocational qualifications to learners based in the UK as the qualifications are based on UK national standards.

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How many hours per week should I allow to work on my vocational qualification?

We offer a flexible distance learning approach to completing a vocational qualification and each qualification is designed so that you can progress at your own working pace. The time it takes to complete a vocational qualification can vary depending on your own working pace and environment as well as the size and level of your qualification. The Total Qualification Time (TQT) can be found in the Course Summary section for each qualification.

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What are the entry requirements to register for a vocational qualification?

Normally our vocational qualifications have no formal entry requirements, in relation to prior qualifications. However we recommend you check the qualification you are interested in for more details. To successfully complete a vocational qualification it is essential that you are currently working in a relevant position in the sector you wish to undertake a qualification.

This means you do not have to complete a Level 2 qualification before you move onto a Level 3 qualification, for example. The most important thing is that the job you do must be varied enough to fulfil the requirements of each of the units within your qualification. The mandatory units within each qualification confirm the tasks and functions you must be performing to complete the vocational qualification.

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Do I need to attend workshops, tutorials or any day events?

We offer a distance learning qualification which can be completed in the workplace or at home. We are not able to offer face to face support sessions, workshops, classes or other types of day events. The only face to face contact you will have is your workplace observation.

You will have access to an online e-portfolio which guides you in submitting your evidence through a series of structured activities. You will also have access to our learner resources website, 'VQLearner Home', the support of your assessor and the VQ Learner Support Team by telephone and email.

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Do I need to be working to register for a vocational qualification?

Vocational study is often referred to as ‘work-based’ and all qualifications offered by the VQ Assessment Centre are vocational. This means you must be currently working in the sector in which you wish to undertake a qualification before you can register and successfully complete the qualification. For example, if you would like to complete a vocational qualification in Advice and Guidance, you must be currently working in the Advice and Guidance sector.

The job you hold doesn’t have to be permanent or full time and there is no ‘time limit’ on how many hours you must work during the week; many of our learners have completed their qualification while working in a temporary or voluntary position. The most important thing is that the job you do must be varied enough to fulfil the requirements of each of the units within your qualification.

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When will I receive my materials?

When you submit your registration forms we will start to process your registration, you will receive an email to confirm we have received your forms.

A Welcome Pack, containing all the materials you need to get started on your vocational qualification will be sent by email to you in time for the qualification start date.

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Can I complete a vocational qualification without someone visiting me in the work place?

For the majority of qualifications we offer, you will need to be observed in the work place. The observation is a mandatory element as some assessment criteria can only be covered by observing work practice/s.

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Can I suspend or extend my qualification end date?

We do not allow vocational qualifications to be suspended or for the start date to be deferred. If you do not complete your qualification by the stated end date you may be able to apply for an extension which will incur additional fees.

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Can I complete my qualification before the end date?

When you register, you will see that your qualification has a stated end date. You can complete your qualification sooner than the end date if you are able to submit work regularly and at a good pace.

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Can I pay the fee in instalments?

The Open University Student Budget Account (OUSBA) allows you to pay your qualification fee in monthly instalments. If you indicate this as your preferred method of payment on your registration agreement form a separate email will be sent after the registration closing date with details of how to complete your OUSBA application online.

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Would I be eligible for any funding towards the qualification fee?

Unfortunately, The Open University does not have access to any funding for vocational qualifications.

We are also not able to accept Student Loans or the Advanced Learner Loan for vocational qualifications.

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As a sponsor can VQAC keep me up to date with the progress of my staff?

We offer a monthly progress mailing which can be sent to a sponsor or line manager. The mailing includes the following information:

  • Start date
  • Last login date
  • Overall progress percentage
  • Notes on progress

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Find out how we can help you

From exploring the right course for you to helping you register, our advisers can help.

Contact us