Understanding our qualifications

Policies for centres, learners and employees

Here, you'll find Pearson regulatory policies and guidance for centres, learners and employees on our qualifications and any accompanying procedures. 

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Our regulatory policies are integral to our approach and explain how we meet internal and regulatory requirements. We review them annually to ensure that they remain fit for purpose. 

This is a new policy which clarifies the requirements for approved centres which have more than one physical location; and to control the regulatory and reputational risk to Pearson as an awarding body. This policy applies to general academic and vocational qualifications.

Start date: August 2015

Review date: August 2016

This document addresses the duty upon awarding bodies to make reasonable adjustments and avoid unfavourable treatment towards disabled candidates.

Start date: September 2014

Review date: August 2016

This guidance applies to all Pearson vocational qualifications. 
For further information on malpractice in GCSE, GCE, Project, Principal Learning and vocational qualifications, please refer to the JCQ document, 'Suspected Malpractice in Examinations and Assessments – Policies and Procedures'. Although the JCQ document covers vocational qualifications, this guidance document has been written to help Pearson centres who deliver vocational qualifications develop their own Malpractice Policy and Procedures, which is a requirement of approval.

Start date: February 2016

Review date: February 2017

This policy provides definitions of collaborative arrangements with centres in the UK and internationally. It describes the models of collaborative arrangement and the associated principles, and includes a section defining terms.

Exceptional collaborative arrangements must always be agreed beforehand with Pearson’s Responsible Officer on a case-by-case basis. 

Start date: January 2016

Review date: January 2017

Ofqual’s General Condition A4 requires all awarding organisations to have a Conflict of Interest Policy. This policy provides guidance to relevant individuals, including our centres, on how we deal with possible conflicts of interest that may arise as a result of Pearson Education Limited’s role as an awarding organisation.

Start date: November 2015

This is the SCQF Credit Accumulation and Transfer policy, which we are required to have by regulation. The policy is about our arrangements for credit accumulation and transfer of SCQF credit. It applies to all qualifications and units including those on the Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework.

Start date: January 2016

Review date: January 2017

This policy outlines the minimum requirements that Pearson expects must be met by centres when using Distance Learning and/or Distance Assessment wholly or mainly for the delivery of Pearson qualifications. It applies where centres are delivering programmes of education, learning or training that lead to partial or full completion of Pearson qualifications, through means of Distance Learning and/or Assessment as the entirety or majority of the programme for learners who do not physically attend classes or sessions at given locations and times.

Start date: April 2016

Review date: April 2017

This policy provides guidance on Enquiries and Appeals about Pearson Vocational Qualifications and replaces the previous version dated May 2014. It applies to all Pearson and Edexcel vocational qualifications including BTEC qualifications, National Vocational Qualifications (NVQs), Scottish Vocational Qualifications (SVQs) and Self-Regulated Framework qualifications.

Start date: December 2015

Review date: December 2016

This policy provides information on how Pearson approaches qualification development, assessment and our related services in an inclusive way to ensure all learners have equal opportunity, and that our qualifications are awarded in a way that is fair to every learner. The policy reflects how we ensure our developments, assessment and support materials reflect a diversity of learners.

Start date: January 2016

Review date: January 2017

There is an acknowledged risk when examiners who write question papers are involved in associated activities such as training and writing resources. Where these roles are carried out by the same person the security of exam papers can be compromised.

This policy has been put in place to increase public confidence in the integrity and security of our exam papers.

Start date: May 2016

Review date: April 2017

This policy applies to Pearson Edexcel National Vocational Qualifications (NVQs) and to competence qualifications accredited being delivered outside the territories of England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Pearson Edexcel accredited Scottish Vocational Qualifications (SVQs) are excluded from being delivered outside the territories of the United Kingdom and they are outside the scope of this policy.

Start date: June 2016

Review date: June 2017

Pearson Education Limited (Pearson) has an international reputation as a successful awarding organisation operating in the highly regulated field of qualifications.
Because Pearson endorses resources that are appropriate to support teaching and learning in relation to its Edexcel and BTEC branded qualifications, it's essential that publishers have timely access to information about the new qualifications Pearson approves for development.

Start date: August 2016

Review date: August 2017

This policy applies to organisations that have gained or are seeking to gain Pearson Assured status. Pearson Assured is an independent quality measure for third-party organisations that have education or training programmes they have designed, delivered, quality assured and/or assessed.

Start date: October 2015
Review date: October 2016

This policy applies to all qualifications on Pearson’s Self-Regulated Framework, designed to meet the needs of a wide range of learners and stakeholders. The policy provides the criteria for developing customised qualifications for this framework.

Start date: January 2016

Review date: January 2017

This policy sets out our commitment to protect the security and integrity of our qualifications. The changes made in this revision allow Pearson to provide an improved customer experience by removing some restrictions voluntarily adopted by Pearson in the past and not adopted by other Awarding Bodies whilst ensuring we comply with Ofqual and other regulatory requirements. 

This policy was revised in February 2015 


Start date: June 2014

Review date: June 2015

​This policy concerns the removal of centre and/or programme approval.

It applies to all UK and International centres offering Pearson vocational and general qualifications. The decision to remove centre or programme approval will generally be taken by the Centre Management or Business Improvement and Regulation teams, and approved by the Responsible Officer in each case.

Start date: February 2016

Review date: February 2017

​This policy is about publisher attendance at Pearson qualification marketing events. This document replaces the previous policy 'Publisher attendance at Pearson events, 2014'.

Start date: May 2015

Review date: May 2016

This policy is about prior learning and recommends ways a learner can meet any requirements while avoiding repetition of learning and assessment.

Start date: October 2015

Review date: October 2016

This guidance is about the fair and equal recruitment of learners onto all Pearson qualifications. Qualifications that are not in scope are those which are restricted for legal reasons, such as serving alcohol or using firearms. There may be other restrictions, such as funding.

This document replaces the previous 'Age of learners guide' (2014).

Start date: April 2016

Review date: April 2017

This policy is about safeguarding children and vulnerable adults with whom Pearson, or those acting on our behalf, come into contact.

In several of our activities, particularly relating to education, Pearson may come into contact with those who are vulnerable, perhaps because of their age, physical or mental ability or ill health. We are responsible for ensuring that children and other vulnerable adults are not harmed in any way through contact with Pearson. We have a legal duty to act prudently and this means that we will take all reasonable steps within our power to ensure that this does not happen.

Start date: November 2015

Pearson delivers examinations that are taken by students in many countries around the world across many different time-zones. The content of our examinations must remain confidential before the exams are taken, to ensure they are a fair and accurate measure of each student’s knowledge and skills.

This policy sets out the approach Pearson takes when scheduling the start times of exams taken by centres outside of the UK.

Start date: November 2015

This guidance applies to all Pearson vocational internally assessed units.

For information on access arrangements and special considerations relating to GCSE, GCE, Project and Principal Learning qualifications, plus all external assessments within vocational qualifications, see Access Arrangements, Reasonable Adjustments and Special Consideration for General and Vocational qualifications - JCQ Regulations and Guidance’.

Start date: January 2015

Review date: January 2016

This policy is intended for heads of centres, examinations officers and others involved in managing the delivery of qualifications that are certificated by awarding bodies which are members of the Joint Council for Qualifications. It has been drawn up in accordance with Joint Council agreements dealing with malpractice and breaches of security.

Please visit the The Joint Council for Qualifications website for further supporting information and links to forms M1, M2a and M2b.

Start date: 1 September 2015

Review date: 31 August 2016

This policy is about the endorsement of resources supporting Pearson qualifications and replaces the 2014 policy. This policy should be read in conjunction with:
Endorsement statement 2015
Endorsement criteria guidance 2015
Agreed Code of Practice

This policy applies to all publishers seeking to have their publications endorsed by Pearson.

Start date: May 2015

Review date: May 2016

This policy provides guidance on the use of language in specifications, assessment and support materials where a learner wishes to undertake a qualification in a language other than English. This document replaces the previous 'Use of languages in qualifications policy' (2013).

Start date: March 2014

Review date: March 2015

This policy provides guidance on the withholding of results and certificates from candidates or learners by Pearson centres. It applies to all centres approved to offer Pearson qualifications, including UK and international centres. The policy has been updated to clarify that Pearson will not withhold results or certificates, and does not permit centres to do so, on financial grounds.

Start date: June 2016

Review date: June 2017

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