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Start Your Own Accredited Training Company

with Brooks and Kirk’s Consultancy Service

Which situation applies to you?

Situation One

You understand how the mechanics of running your own business work. It would be wrong for us to offer you advice on the best type of company structure for your accredited training company or your legal responsibilities. If you do need advice in this area is a good place to start.

Situation Two

You already have experience of being a trainer and want to take the next step in starting your own accredited training company. Again if this is not the case, take a look at Assessor Training for help and advice. Training is a very diverse industry that can cover many different skills.

Situation Three

You have already considered all the logistics and practicalities of starting your own accredited training company. There is a lot of different things to consider. If you are unsure we would suggest you take a read of our page about bespoke training; you will find a lot of useful advice there.

Accredited Courses

Accredited Courses

“Accredited courses are also often referred to as regulated courses.”

What are Accredited Courses?

Broadly speaking, accredited courses, also known as regulated courses, are courses that are overseen by awarding bodies who have registered themselves and the qualification with a regulator. This could be either The Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation (Ofqual) for qualifications in England or Northern Ireland, the Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) for qualifications in Scotland or the Department for Children, Education, Lifelong Learning and Skills (DCELLS) for qualifications in Wales.

Once the awarding body and the qualification(s) have been registered with any or all of the governing bodies above, they can then be delivered by colleges or other training providers. However to ensure the consistent quality of these courses, colleges or training providers must first be approved by the awarding body to offer their qualifications.

There are currently about 160 active awarding bodies to choose from. Some of them offer a diverse range of qualifications, whilst others are sector specific. The advice below comes from our experience working with a number of different awarding bodies. Whilst each body has its own requirements, they are broadly the same. Meaning the advice will be valid for all but a very small number of them.

What will I need to offer Accredited Courses?

When you are starting your own accredited training company, all you need to be able to do is offer accredited courses. In order to do that you only need one thing and that is to be an approved centre for an awarding body that offers the courses, you want to deliver. Sadly that is when things start to get a little bit more complicated. In order to become an approved centre, the awarding body has to ensure that the training provider has everything in place to deliver their qualifications in a way that upholds the quality of training that they require.

The application to the awarding body has two stages. Firstly, you complete their application form and pay their fee. This fee can be anything for a few hundred pounds to a few thousand depending on the awarding body. For example, Pearson Edexcel is £400, NCFE £1,100 and City and Guilds £2,500. Secondly, the awarding body will visit your centre to ensure that everything you said on your application is correct and that you have everything in place to start offering their courses. 

What will I need to register with an Awarding Body?


Within the heading of resources, we need to look at two specific areas. Learning delivery and learning administration.

Learning delivery

You will need to demonstrate you have an adequate number of suitably qualified assessors to deliver the course volume you predict. These can be a mix of both employed and freelance assessors, but for each one, you will need;

  • an up to date CV
  • copies of their occupational certificates
  • copies of their assessor certificates
  • an up to date CPD log

The same applies to your internal quality assurance team. They will need everything from the list above and in addition a copy of their IQA certificate. It is worth noting that the assessment team and IQA team can be the same people. It goes without saying though that you must ensure the learner’s assessor and IQA are different people and they are not closely related i.e husband and wife.

Learner Administration

In addition to the people in your accredited training company, you will also need resources to record and monitor your learners and their progress. This could be done using the traditional paper based method with filing cabinets or more likely a digital Learner Management System (LMS). Whichever system you use, there is a raft of different tasks to be performed that we will deal with later.


Every part of your learner’s journey and your staff’s development has to be recorded. To ensure that this is done, we need to have systems in place to deal with every aspect of these processes. As we mentioned before, the system or systems, you use is entirely of your choice. Although, most would now opt for a digital LMS or similar.

Learner Journey System Requirements

The following is a list of the types of activities you will undertake with your learners that will need to be recorded on your system:

  • Initial assessments
  • Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL)
  • Learner induction plans
  • Individual Learning Plans (ILP)
  • The delivery of assessments
  • Internal quality assurance of qualifications
  • Exemptions
  • Appeals
  • Complaints
  • Malpractice
  • Maladministration
  • Reasonable adjustments
  • Special considerations
  • Plagiarism
  • Learner tracking
  • Registration and certification

Staff Team System Requirements

For your staff team, the activities that need to take place and be recorded by your system will include;

  • The induction of staff directly involved with the  assessment and internal quality assurance of qualification
  • Performance management
  • Continually Professional Development (CPD)
  • Standardisation

Whatever system you choose to use to record all this data you must ensure that it is GDPR compliant.  


Within education, we love our policies and procedures. You should already be familiar with some of the policies needed, such as Health and Safety and Equality and diversity. But as you are starting your own accredited training company there are many more that you will need to get just as familiar with, including:

  • Quality assurance
  • Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL)
  • Registration of learners
  • Exemptions
  • Appeals
  • Complaints
  • Malpractice
  • Reasonable adjustments
  • Special considerations
  • Plagiarism

These are a bare minimum and of course, each policy will have to be backed by an operating procedure. If you are serious about starting your own accredited training company, do not be afraid to ask for help with your policies and procedures. For any accredited training company, they are the backbone of everything they do.

Serious about setting up?

Speak to an industry expert to find out how you can get from where you are now, to where you want to be – with our Initial Consultation Service.