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IQ Customised Qualifications

Customised qualifications are created for exclusive use by the proposing centre. No other centre will be allowed to use a customised qualification without prior approval of the lead centre’s agreement. Qualifications may be regulated on the Ofqual framework, or non-regulated dependent upon the nature of the qualification proposed.

Approval Process for Customised Qualifications

Requirement for regulation

All awarding organisations, including IQ, are no longer permitted to award unregulated qualifications where they also fall in to the scope of our regulated qualifications. To make sure we comply with these new requirements, IQ will have to make a judgement about whether the proposed customised qualification falls under the regulated scope. We aim to make this judgement within 5 working days.

Customised qualifications that are not regulated carry “IQ Organisation” in the qualification title, whilst qualifications that are regulated carry the name of the centre and do not carry “Organisation” in the title.

Qualifications are more likely to require regulation if:

  • The qualification has a similar title to a qualification within the IQ regulated qualifications portfolio
  • The subject area falls in to the scope of our regulated activity
  • The qualification will be offered in the UK

General Conditions of Recognition

To find out more about the General Conditions of Recognition that apply to Awarding Organisations such as Industry Qualifications across England please click here.

Qualification Development Time Frames

We will endeavour to work with you to agree and support your development timeline. It can be time consuming for centres to put together a qualification, you should estimate the time it will take you to undertake your required actions.

Validity Period

Customised qualifications are valid for 3 years but are reviewed annually for take up and may be retired if no registrations are recorded within a year.  

An annual maintenance fee is charged at the anniversary of qualification approval which contributes to the work undertaken by IQ on an annual basis to fulfil its regulatory responsibilities to maintain the qualification. A number of free registrations may be included within the annual maintenance cost.

Development Costs

The approval cost is dependent upon whether a centre is already approved and the size, level and amount of development work involved for the qualification.

Centre Approval

Further information on becoming an approved centre can be found here and for details of our prices for becoming an approved centre, click here. 

Qualification Approval

The approval cost is dependent upon whether a qualification is regulated and the size and level of the qualification. The fee for a qualification is based upon the base approval fee plus any additional development work required for the development of larger or more specialised qualifications.

Qualifications usually include the classification Award, Certificate or Diploma in the title, to indicate the size. An award is generally up to 130 hours, a certificate up to 360 hours and a diploma larger than 360 hours. If your qualification is larger than an Award with more than 3 units, above Level 6, or if we decide that your customised qualification falls under the regulatory framework, we will have to provide a customised quote to develop and maintain your qualification for you. The approval and development cost will depend on a wide number of variables, such as:

  • whether the centre is already approved
  • the level of the qualification
  • the subject matter, and whether you are providing subject expert(s)
  • the size of the qualification and the number of units within the qualification
  • the assessment methodology, the number of assessments required, and the manner in which it is quality assured
  • the quality of the qualification submission made to us
  • whether the qualification requires regulation
  • whether the qualification requires a public funding submission
  • whether we are involved in any development activity

The approval fee also assumes that the qualification will be submitted in the appropriate template according to the IQ Customised Qualifications Development Guide for Centre. During the project scoping phase, any additional work required for the development of larger or more specialised qualifications will be identified. Rates will be agreed with the centre prior to the commencement of development.

We aim to provide a fair quote that reflects the level of work required by our team of qualification developers to support the development of your qualification. Our quotes will comprise of an initial development fee, as well as an annual maintenance fee and centre approval fee if required, to maintain the qualification’s regulated status. Fees quoted also exclude travel expenses and other disbursements, which we will identify where required.

We do not charge the approval fee again in full if the submitted qualification has not met the requirement and is sent back to the centre for rework. However, we may quote additional costs arising out of approval on an hourly rate should significant work is required.

More information

For more information, please see: