Government Funded Qualifications |Innovate Awarding Body | FAQs


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What is Innovate Awarding?

We are a national Awarding Organisation with a collaborative approach to doing business. We work with employers, Training Providers and FE Colleges of all shapes and sizes to design, develop and award nationally recognised qualifications.  We cover lots of different sectors and offer off-the-shelf, customised and tailored qualifications as well as providing a mapping service for existing training programmes. Visit our About Us page for further information.

What does IAO stand for?

IAO stands for Innovate Awarding Organisation.


How to solve on-screen test issues?

Please check you have a good internet connection, ideally a wired connection, or a strong WiFi connection.

The use of hotspots and other busy internet sources can cause issues with loading the test and could lead to freezing if the connection drops.

You may also want to check with your IT department if your firewalls are restricting access to the test.

Please see our troubleshooting guide which can help with common issues. If you are still having issues, you need to call us on 0117 314 2800 and select option 2. We can pause or re-book the test for you.

How to install SecureClient software and how to take a test on the HTML platform?

Please check this guide to find information on how to install SecureClient software and how to take a test on the HTML platform. If you need further assistance, don't hesitate calling us on 0117 314 2800 or sending us an email at

Mock Assessments

Mock Assessments

Mock tests are available on EPA Pro for all standards. These mocks provide feedback and results and should be delivered through the  Surpass Viewer browser. Running the mocks in alternative browsers will not support these features.

The Surpass Viewer is a specialist web browser designed specifically to run Surpass assessments. This browser will need to be downloaded on the device on which a mock test is due to be taken and we advise that this is done in advance of mock assessments to ensure the user experience is not impacted. Innovate Awarding has developed user guidance and troubleshooting information which can be found here (hyperlink to attachment).

Please note that Surpass Viewer cannot be used on tablet devices.


Who can deliver an Innovate Awarding qualification?

Any FE College or Training Provider must be an Approved Centre to offer Innovate Awarding qualifications, please see Becoming an approved centre for more details. Employers can either use an approved Training Provider or we can help you gain approval, enabling you to undertake training in-house. Please Contact Us for more information

How easy is it to deliver a qualification through Innovate Awarding?

If you apply to become an approved centre we aim to process your application within 5 working days, the rest of the process depends on a number of factors but we aim to complete your approval as quickly and thoroughly as possible. For all our approved centres, we operate a web-based system, all the specifications for qualifications are online and ready to be downloaded and printed at your convenience. We also operate an online registration and certification system for centres to upload every learner registration, review batches of learners and details, and to upload results to claim for certificates.

What qualifications do you offer?

We offer a range of qualifications across a multitude of sectors. We are continually developing new qualifications too; find out what is currently available on our Qualifications Listing. You can stay up to date with our latest news and qualifications by signing up to our regular email updates. We can also tailor and create bespoke qualifications if no suitable ones are available, please contact us.

How are qualifications offered by Innovate Awarding regulated?

All our qualifications are regulated by The Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation (Ofqual), a non-ministerial government department that regulates qualifications, exams and tests in England and vocational qualifications in Northern Ireland. You can find out more by visiting the Ofqual website.

I can't find an existing qualification that is suitable; can Innovate Awarding create a bespoke one?

Yes, we are able to create bespoke qualifications to meet customer's needs. We have done this previously with customers such as Evans Cycles, creating a bespoke qualification that directly suited their needs. If you would like to discuss your options and what you would like out of a qualification please Contact Us.

What is the Regulated Qualifications Framework (RQF)?

The Regulated Qualifications Framework (RQF) is the new way of recognising skills and achievements. It does this by awarding credit for qualifications and units (small steps of learning). Find out more on our frameworks page.

How do Innovate Awarding qualifications compare to those from other awarding organisations?

Innovate Awarding qualifications are all approved by Ofqual so you can be assured they meet the highest standards and comply with all regulatory requirements.

Who can take a qualification?

Anyone can undertake a qualification so long as they meet the entry requirements of the course set out by the FE College or Training Provider.

How does Innovate Awarding maintain the quality assurance of qualifications?

We use a team of External Quality Advisors (EQAs) who ensure that our Centres meet all requirements to deliver and assess the Innovate Awarding qualifications which they offer. This includes Centre approval, qualification approval, Centre visits and sampling of Learner's portfolios and other quality assurance activities.

What are credits?

The credit value represents the estimated time and effort it takes to complete a unit. One credit is equal to approximately ten hours' learning time.

What do the different Levels mean, eg Level 2, Level 3 etc?

Levels are a level of demand that qualifications are developed towards, based on the challenge of difficulty for a learner. Entry level qualifications are the lowest level, although qualifications can be development to include Entry level 1-3. More information is available here.

What is an Award?

This is the size of the qualification. Awards are made up of 1 to 12 credits (10 and 120 hours' learning). To find out more about credits please see our qualifications explained page

What is a Certificate?

This is the size of the qualification. Certificates are made up of 13 to 36 credits (130 to 360 hours' learning). To find out more about credits please see our qualifications explained page.

What is a Diploma?

This is the size of the qualification. Diplomas are made up of 37 credits (370 or more hours' learning). To find out more about credits please see our qualifications explained page

Become an approved centre

How do I become an Innovate Awarding approved centre?

After completing the Centre Approval Application Form we aim to process your application within 5 working days. Our approval process is underpinned by a unique risk management system, which evaluates each centre's ability to meet regulatory requirements. Please Contact Us to find out more.

Who do I contact for help in becoming an Innovate Awarding approved centre?

We are always ready to answer your questions, simply Contact Us with your query.

What costs are involved?

Depending on the qualification and size there is a sliding cost scale, however some are supported by funding. The breakdown of costs is outlined in our Fees List but you can contact us to discuss this further.

What timescales do qualifications run to?

Each qualification is different, and on our qualifications listing, we outline the GLH (guided learning hours) for each qualification. One credit is equal to approximately ten hours' learning time.


How do I update/amend my Centre details?

Please email Contact Us to inform Innovate Awarding of any updates to your Centre or Staff.

How do I amend Learner details?

Our customer support team can assist you with amendments required. Supporting information such as proof of Learner identity may be requested before an amendment is completed. Please telephone 0117 314 2800 or email Contact Us.

How long does it take for a Centre to receive certificates?

Certificate turn-around is 2 days from the point of submission of results by the Centre via our online registration and certification system. Claims for certification will be processed within two working days and dispatched to the Quality Assurance Manager at the College or Centre.

Can I get a replacement certificates?

Yes, simply Contact Us to request a replacement certificate (replacement certificates incur an administration charge of £30).

What is the online registration and certification system?

Innovate Awarding operates a web-based online registration and certification system for Centres to upload every Learner registration, review batches of Learners and details, and to upload results to claim for certificates.


What support does Innovate Awarding offer Employers?

We work with employers to help find the best way they can up-skill or retrain their workforce. We can support you in accessing qualifications and apprenticeships whether it is in gaining approval to deliver in-house or in partnership with an external training provider. Other services include mapping of staff training to recognised standards and accredited qualifications, development of accredited qualifications specific to the training needs of your organisation and external certification of your own bespoke training programmes. See the employer homepage for further details of our services to employers.


Do Innovate Awarding deal directly with Learners regarding queries, certificates and administration?

If you are a Learner and have a query regarding a Innovate Awarding qualification which you are undertaking, please contact your College or Centre in the first instance who will then contact Innovate Awarding on your behalf.

How do I make a complaint?

If we do get things wrong, we'll make every effort to resolve your issues quickly and efficiently. If you'd like to raise a formal complaint please contact us. Learners should in the first instance exhaust the complaints and appeals processes of their Centre prior to contacting us.