Why the switch from NCFE to ABC accredited award for all courses?

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I noticed on the main Stonebridge webpage that the accredited body has switched from NCFE to another called ABC awards.

Could anyone at the College please explain to me why this has occured?

I started my course back in September 2013, when the course was advertised as being NCFE accredited. I am hoping to receive a NCFE certificate at the end of it. Will this still be the case?

Many thanks for answering my questions.

~Annabelle
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Annabelle Abdulaty, Champion

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  • anxious

Posted 6 years ago

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Simon Baber

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Hi Annabelle, I'm a little concerned also as I signed up because my course was NCFE accredited. I would also appreciate an explanation from the college.

Happy Easter!


Simon

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sharon

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hi, I am not happy about this either, i signed up for a NCFE accredited course. I have never heard of ABC.

sharon

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Heather Bevan-Hunt

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I signed up for this course because it was NCFE accredited as well, only a few weeks ago.  I have also put this on my CV! Why has the college not informed us that the awarding body has changed?
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sharon

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this is the reply i had from stonebridge,

 

Thank you for email.

 

This is indeed correct, however, this change will not negatively impact on the courses you have studied or are currently studying.

 

As of September 2013 NCFE will be withdrawing their IiQ endorsement services for certain sectors (please note: Ofqual have NOT prevented all awarding bodies from doing this).

 

We obviously appreciate that this may have an impact on your course and thus we are pleased to announce that we have secured a partnership with a UK leading Awarding Organisation to continue our endorsement of customised provision. For more information on this exciting development please click on the link below:

 

www.stonebridge.uk.com/abc-awards  

 

Once again we would like to reassure you that the transition of your course from NCFE to ABC Awards will be seamless and that your award will now be long recognised long after NCFE withdraw from this area of their business. We are sure that you will agree that this is a major development for the college and hope that you will be as excited as we are that we have secured this for your future.

 

So that you are aware, if you still want the NCFE award you can still get it, you will need to let us know ASAP so that  we can register you with NCFE before 30th September 2013, they will then insist your course(s) are completed within a year (September 2014) in order to issue you with the NCFE certificate. However please be aware that not only will this impose a deadline on your course (which we currently do not do) but you will also receive a certificate from an awarding body who no longer accredits courses in your sector which may devalue the ongoing NCFE certificate for you.

 

We would be more than happy to give you a call to discuss your options if you give us a number, date and time that we can call you on

 

Kind regards,

 

Sarah

Student Suppor

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Annabelle Abdulaty, Champion

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Hmm, interesting response from Stonebridge.

I personally think (after reviewing ABC and NCFE again) that I still want to go with the NCFE certificate (to be honest, why can't we have both certificates?), so I will call the College first thing tomorrow.

I am a bit disappointed that Stonebridge staff didn't tell us this was happening... I mean did anyone here know about an imposed September 2013 deadline? I only hope they can still register me with NCFE in time now.... I am sure I will complete my course before September this year.


(Edited)
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sharon

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i am very disappointed i have only just started my course so they must have known this was happening we should have been told. i have never heard of ABC and i think we should have both certificates. Let me know how you get on when you phone them, but they are basically saying the NCFE will mean nothing soon. Not happy :-(
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Annabelle Abdulaty, Champion

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To be honest, when I read the link Stonebridge gave to NCFE's website which explains why it is "withdrawing their liQ from certain sectors" it says that this is because there has been confusion by employers over which courses are regulated and which are un-regulated (although still endorsed by the NCFE). It seems that Stonebridge's courses aren't actually regulated, but have (or had) NCFE's stamp of approval.

Link: http://www.ncfe.org.uk/accreditation-services/investing-in-quality-%28iiq%29
(read the "Mandatory Documents" section)

If this is so, I think working to try and get an NCFE certificate before September 2014 may be doubly important... at least you can convince employers with NCFE. I don't think that's possible with ABC.


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sharon

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to be honest i think its just a waste of time and money now no employer will recognise ABC. I am not at all happy about this and think we should an option to cancel our course
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Annabelle Abdulaty, Champion

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Ok, so I called Stonebridge and they were very happy to keep me registered on the NCFE route to certificate (I started my course in September 2013, so don't know if that had anything to do with it.)

If you want to have the ABC certificate as well as the NCFE certificate the charge is £20.

If you want to receive the NCFE certificate instead of ABC then you will need to complete your course before September 2014, and give the College a ring NOW to let them know. The staff were friendly enough and insisted it is the students' decision at the end of the day as to what certificate they want. They also said if you don't manage to complete your course before September 2014, then you will not forfeit the ABC certificate, so essentially you will have a certificate in either case.

Sharon, I suggest you give them a call and let them know you want the NCFE certificate, I don't think there should be any problem.
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Bobby Thomson

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Really ?

I was told £25.

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Annabelle Abdulaty, Champion

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I was told £20. I literally wrote this comment as soon as I got off the phone to the College 2 months ago.
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Bobby Thomson

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Thanks Annabelle, I won't forget to mention that when I'm paying them.
Thank you.

Bobby.
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sharon

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thanks for information. I do want the NFCE certificate but i only signed up for the course 4 weeks ago, ive completed first test on my second now but it would meant i would only have 5 months to complete 11 assignmnents. I am annoyed because they obviously known this was about to happen so i should ve been told when i enrolled, feel a bit misled. I will give them a ring tomorrow see what they say,
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Annabelle Abdulaty, Champion

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Good luck, let me know how it goes.

I actually still have 15 assignments left to do! But I have set myself the challenge and I will be doing at least one a week to get it finished in time! Best wishes with everything.
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sharon

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will let you know how i get on.

good luck to you too x

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Stonebridge Student Support Team, Official Rep

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Hi everyone. We see that there
is some confusion here about our switch to ABC Awards and we’d like to clear
things up.

First, we understand why you are
concerned with the dates in Sharon’s post above. We must apologise for this
concern as the dates we sent her are INCORRECT by one year. Please see the
actual correct dates and information below.

At the end of March 2014 NCFE
announced that it will soon cease to endorse courses through their IIQ
licensing programme. A change in awarding body occurs once every decade or so
in the distance learning industry as awarding bodies shift to meet their own
business objectives and NCFE’s action affects all distance learning providers
currently working with them, including Stonebridge.

Following NCFE’s announcement we
have been approached by several other awarding bodies wishing to take up the
important regulatory function on our behalf. After extensive research, careful
attention, and a critical quality assurance assessment, we are proud to
announce that we have been accepted into partnership with ABC Awards, a highly
respected, Ofqual approved, national awarding organisation with a
long-established reputation for developing and awarding high quality vocational
qualifications.

What does this mean for you? As
of 31st July, 2014, our courses will be converted to ABC Awards and
those students who successfully complete an ABC accredited course will receive
the new ABC Awards Certificate of Achievement. Students will also receive a
full Learner Unit Summary to accompany your certificate, which can be used as
evidence towards Recognition of Prior Learning if you wish to progress your
studies in this sector. This is one of the major new benefits for our learners
studying ABC accredited courses, as this has not previously been given to
students.


Please read the following
information carefully and take note of the important dates (which have been
corrected from Sarah Parnell’s original email quoted in this thread):

1)     
All students who
successfully complete their course prior to 31st July, 2014, will
automatically receive the NCFE Award Certificate of Achievement.


2)     
All students who
successfully complete their course after 31st July, 2014, will
automatically benefit from receiving the ABC Awards Certificate of Achievement
and Learner Unit Summary.


3)     
Those students who
are due to complete their course prior to 31st July, 2014, and wish
to upgrade to the ABC Awards Certificate of Achievement and Learner Unit
Summary will need to contact us to request this.


4)     
If you wish to
receive the NCFE Award Certificate of Achievement after 31st July,
2014, you MUST:


         a.      Contact us directly by phone on +44 (0) 1288 356300 prior
to 31st July, 2014, to let us know.


         b.      Additionally, you will be required by NCFE to
successfully complete your course no later than 31st August, 2015.
 


In summary, our partnership with
ABC Awards is a significant improvement for the college in terms of quality
assurance and recognition. For more information on this partnership, please
visit www.stonebridge.uk.com/abc-awards.

We are also more than happy to
discuss these changes with all students on an individual basis. Please either
call us on +44 (0) 1288 356300 or email us your contact number for a call back and
we will be happy to explain the change to you and clear up any questions or
concerns you may have.

Stonebridge Team

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Annabelle Abdulaty, Champion

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Correct me if I'm wrong, but I am sure the NCFE Certificate of Achievement comes with a Learner Unit Summary sheet as well.
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Barbara Ashford

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ABC are a regulated awarding body just like NCFE, City & Guilds, Pearson Edexcel and many others. Just because you may not have heard of it doesn’t mean to say they are any better or worse than another one. In fact they are all regulated for quality in the same way and qualifications are award in the same way. Understanding awarding bodies is a difficult one for those who don’t work with qualifications or in the FE sector, so I'm not surprised you are both confused but I agree with Stonebridge....... don’t worry about it. In fact its good news at least they have found another awarding body and not just pacifying you a Stonebridge certificate. I think Stonebridge have done a good job of this and been very informative about the transition. I work in an FE college and doing a course with them for my CPD. I know full well how awarding bodies can drop things on you at short notice, it happens often so you have not been duped or misled. If only there was a crystal ball to foresee everything ......... I can assure you ABC is just as good as any of the others and doesn’t affect the quality or credibility of the certificate.

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sharon

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Hi Annabelle,

Spoke to Stonebridge this morning and they admitted their mistake over the dates had been very confusing. They have posted their response with the correct dates now. They were very helpful on the phone, i am still going for the NCFE certificate and will have plenty of time to complete it. I would prefer to stick to a awarding body that most employers have heard of.

Good luck with your course x

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