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Section A - Governance

Ofqual

February 20
15:04 2020

Condition A1 - Suitability for continuing recognition

Suitability for continuing recognition

A1.1 An awarding organisation must not, by means of any act or omission which has or is likely to have an Adverse Effect, render itself unsuitable to continue to be recognised for the award of a relevant qualification.

  1. A1.2 For these purposes, an act or omission may include in particular one which results in the awarding organisation
    1. (a) being convicted of a criminal offence,
    2. (b) being held by a court or any professional, regulatory, or government body to have breached any provision of Competition Law, Equalities Law, or Data Protection Law,
    3. (c) being held by a court or any professional, regulatory, or government body to have breached a provision of any other legislation or any regulatory obligation to which it is subject, or
    4. (d) becoming insolvent or subject to corporate financial restructuring.

Inactive awarding organisations

  1. A1.3 An awarding organisation must
    1. (a) ensure that, within two years of first being recognised for the award of qualifications, it has submitted to Ofqual for accreditation or directly to the Register a qualification that meets its Conditions of Recognition, and
    2. (b) take all reasonable steps to ensure that, once it has submitted a qualification that meets its Conditions of Recognition, no two-year period passes in which it does not award a qualification in accordance with its Conditions of Recognition.

Ensuring the suitability of Senior Officers

A1.4 An awarding organisation must ensure that each of its Senior Officers is at all times a person suitable to be engaged in that role in an awarding organisation that is recognised for the award of the relevant qualifications.

  1. A1.5 For these purposes, a Senior Officer may in particular be unsuitable for that role by virtue of
    1. (a) any criminal convictions held by him or her,
    2. (b) any finding by a court or any professional, regulatory, or government body that he or she has breached a provision of any legislation or any regulatory obligation to which he or she is subject,
    3. (c) any proceedings in bankruptcy or any individual financial arrangement to which he or she is or has been subject,
    4. (d) any disqualification from holding the directorship of a company or from public office, or
    5. (e) any finding of malpractice or maladministration, in relation to a qualification (whether a regulated qualification or a qualification which is not regulated), to which he or she is or has been subject.

Guidance on Condition A1

Examples of positive indicators that would suggest an awarding organisation is likely to comply

The awarding organisation:

  • is clear about which acts or omissions will have, or are likely to have, an Adverse Effect, and is aware of the type of actions and behaviours that could cause it to happen;
  • makes sure all relevant staff understand which acts or omissions will have, or are likely to have, an Adverse Effect;
  • has considered the behaviours that might be unsuitable for its Senior Officers, taking into account the market in which it operates and the qualifications it provides;
  • uses appropriate information and evidence to make a judgement when it checks the suitability of its Senior Officers, both at the time of appointment and at regular intervals when in post for example as a result of up-to-date voluntary disclosure or other appropriate checks.

Examples of negative indicators that would suggest an awarding organisation is not likely to comply

The awarding organisation:

  • appoints a Senior Officer without knowing, or despite knowing, they were unsuitable for the post;
  • does not ensure that its Senior Officers understand, at the time of appointment and once in post, what is expected of them in order to be suitable;
  • does not identify or address its Senior Officers behaviours that make them unsuitable for the role;
  • does not act promptly and appropriately when a Senior Officer becomes unsuitable for the role.

Condition A2 - Establishment in the EU or the EFTA

  1. A2.1 An awarding organisation must ensure that it at all times
    1. (a) is ordinarily resident in a member state of the European Union or the European Free Trade Association, or
    2. (b) is legally established, or has a substantial presence, in a member state of the European Union or the European Free Trade Association.

There is currently no guidance on complying with this Condition

Condition A3 - Safeguards on change of control

Duty on change of control

  1. A3.1 Where there is a change of control in relation to an awarding organisation, it must
    1. (a) take (and procure that every other relevant person takes) all reasonable steps to ensure that the change of control does not have an

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