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  3. Information for sponsors

Information for sponsors

Sponsoring learners with VQAC

This section explains how organisations can sponsor learners undertaking a vocational qualification with VQAC.

The registration process

You have been directed to this page because you, on behalf of your organisation, have agreed to sponsor one or more of your employees to do a vocational qualification with VQAC.

You need to be fully aware of what you are agreeing to when you enter into a sponsorship arrangement with us, so we have set out the terms and conditions of sponsorship in our Conditions of Registration. You are advised to read them carefully so that any queries can be resolved before you enter into a binding agreement by which you accept liability for fees on your company’s behalf.

The registration agreement

The VQAC registration form shows details of your employee and the qualification offered by the VQAC for which they would like to register. Provided that we receive payment and registration forms by the due date, and that your employee meets the requirements for this qualification, we will be able to register him/her.

Sponsoring other employees

A VQAC registration agreement must be fully completed for each individual employee. Either you or your employee can contact the VQAC to request further registration packs which will each include a registration agreement form.

Payment of fees

If you want to receive an invoice for payment of qualification fees, please indicate this on the VQAC registration agreement when completing the sponsor section. If your company requires us to quote a purchase order number on our invoice, it must be provided on the agreement form.

Alternatively you can pay by company cheque, made payable to The Open University VQ Assessment Centre; or by credit/debit card, using the authorisation form which is included as Section 5 of the registration agreement form.

The completed registration agreement and payment, or a commitment to pay, should be returned to the VQAC.

Your employee will then be registered and individual confirmation is sent to them. If you requested an invoice, you will receive this during the first month of the qualification, and it must be paid within thirty days of the invoice date.

If you wish to partly sponsor an employee, you must indicate this in Section 6 of the registration agreement form.

Please ensure you provide full and accurate invoicing details.

What happens next?

Although there are minor differences between qualifications, registered learners usually receive an information pack before their qualification is due to start.  This will contain all the materials needed for your employee to get started on their vocational qualification. This mailing, if appropriate to this qualification, will also tell your employee who their assessor will be and how to get in touch.

Assessors offer support throughout the qualification, assess learner evidence and will give constructive comment on their progress. 

Information about learner progress

In signing the registration agreement form, learners have also given us permission to provide progress reports, workshop and assessment feedback reports to representatives of their sponsoring organisation. We will send these to you if you ask us for them.

Special arrangements for sponsored groups

For some qualifications, if you are sponsoring a group of learners in the same work location, it may be possible for us to allocate the whole group to the same assessor, organise a group induction session and/or arrange some work based workshops.

Please contact the VQAC to discuss such special arrangements and to discuss whether any additional costs will apply.


All withdrawals must be notified to the VQAC by the learner themselves by letter or email. We will not accept notice of withdrawal from a third party. All withdrawals will be acknowledged by letter or email.

You will not be liable for any fees for learners whose notice of withdrawal is received within 14 days of the registration cut-off date. Any payments you have made for that learner will be refunded.

If a learner withdraws after the 14 days, you remain liable for qualification fees. General principles for refunds are set out in Table A, but we recommend that you contact us to confirm your entitlement to any refund.  If you have part-sponsored your employee your refund will be worked out on a pro-rata basis

Sponsors cannot withdraw from a sponsorship agreement once the VQAC has accepted it when the learner becomes registered. Since you, as the sponsor, are liable to the VQAC for the fee, it is advisable to make a separate undertaking with your employee in case they withdraw from the qualification or leave your employment. 

Table A Percentage of qualification fee refunded if you employee cancels their registration or withdraws from their qualification.

Up to 1 month after the registration cut-off date After 1 month but before the qualification start date Up to 3 months after the qualification start date Up to 6 months after the qualification start date Over 6 months after the qualification start date
Full Refund 75% of full qualification fees 50% of full qualification fees 25% of full qualification fees No refund will be made in any circumstances


Table B How to work out the dates that apply to your employee’s registered qualification

Registration cut-off date 1 month after the registration cut-off date Qualification start date 3 months after qualification start date 6 months after qualification start date
15th March 15th April 15th May 15th August 15th November
15th June 15th July 15th August 15th November 15th February
15th September 15th October 15th November 15th February 15th May
15th December 15th January 15th February 15th May 15th August


Table C Qualifications for which no refund will be made (unless the cancellation is within 14 days of the registration cut-off date)

Any qualification or group of individual units with an overall fee of £500 or less

Changing qualifications

Learners can change to a different qualification by telling us by letter or email, that they want to withdraw from their current qualification and by completing a registration agreement for the new qualification.

Learners can change qualification to another during the 14 days following the original qualification registration cut-off date, as long as they meet the requirements for the new qualification. The original fees will be transferred to the new qualification but you must pay any difference between the original fee and the new fee before we can register the change. If the new fee is cheaper, you will receive a full refund of the difference.

Beyond 14 days after the registration cut-off date, learners can change their qualification to another at any time. You will have to pay the full fees for the new qualification and the fees due for the original qualification up to the point at which your employee withdraws from it (see Table A).  If you have paid in full for the original qualification you may be due a refund (see Table A).

Sole traders

If you have signed the sponsor section of the registration agreement, you cannot also be the registering learner unless you are a sole trader or a director and only employee of a limited company.

VQAC discretion

VQAC reserves the right at its sole discretion to reject any sponsorship agreement and in consequence to require full payment of the qualification fee before any learner is registered. You will be informed if the VQAC reaches this decision.

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