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Qualifications Explained: Awarding Bodies

Awarding bodies


Awarding bodies are the organisations that develop qualification units based on the standards set by the regulating body (Ofqual). Training companies then register with the awarding bodies to become qualified to deliver these units to learners. Some awarding bodies are very large and develop units across a wide range of sectors, while others are more specialised and only cover one specific industry.

Here is a list of some popular awarding organisations currently delivering RQF qualifications in the UK & abroad.*

ABC Awards Logo

ABC Awards

  • Established in 1998
  • Works with 900+ training centres in the UK
  • Portfolio of 600+ qualifications
  • Covers 12 industry sectors

AAT (Association of Accounting Technicians)

  • UK's leading body for vocational accountants
  • Awards skill-based accountancy & finance qualifications
  • 125,000 members in 90 countries worldwide
  • Works with 500+ approved training providers

ACCA (Association of Chartered Certified Accountants)

  • Founded in 1904
  • Global body for professional accountants
  • 170,000 members and 436,000 students in 180 countries
  • Offers business-relevant qualifications in accountancy, finance and management

British Institute of Facilities Management logo

BIFM (British Institute of Facilities Management)

  • Founded in 1993
  • Professional body for facilities management (FM)
  • Represents 14,500+ members worldwide
  • Represents thousands more (individuals and organisations) through qualifications and training

British Safety Council logo

British Safety Council

  • Registered Charity founded in 1957
  • Became a government-regulated awarding organisation in 2004
  • Delivers health & safety courses and qualifications at all levels
  • Campaigns for improved health & safety legislation

CIEH logo

Chartered Institute of Environmental Health (CIEH)

  • Registered Charity and membership body
  • Sets standards and accredits courses and qualifications
  • Delivers over 60 certification programmes
  • Covers Food Safety, Health & Safety, First Aid, Fire Safety and Environmental Protection

CIPD logo

Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD)

  • Professional body for HR and people development
  • 130,000+ members worldwide
  • Delivers training via its own learning delivery arm: CIPD Training
  • Accredits externals providers to deliver CIPD qualifications in the UK and abroad

CIPS logo

Chartered Institute of Procurement & Supply (CIPS)

  • Professional body for procurement and supply chain management
  • 103,000 members worldwide
  • Offers qualifications from Level 2 to Level 6
  • Works with 90 approved centres in the UK and 100 internationally

CISI logo

Chartered Institute for Securities and Investment (CISI)

  • Evolved from the London Stock Exchange
  • Largest professional body for securities and investment industry professionals in the UK
  • 40,000 members in 110 countries
  • Delivers qualifications and exams in 4 areas: Wealth/Retail, Compliance/Risk, Operations and Capital Markets

City & Guilds

  • Granted Royal Charter by Queen Victoria in 1900
  • Works with 10,000 training providers
  • Operates in over 80 countries
  • Qualifications span 26 industries

CMI logo

Chartered Management Institute (CMI)

  • UK's only chartered body for management,
  • Approximately 70,000 members worldwide
  • Delivers management and leadership qualifications at all levels
  • Works with 600+ study centres

CACHE logo

Council for Awards in Care, Health and Education (CACHE)

  • Specialist awarding body for the Care & Education Sector
  • Develops qualifications based on workforce development strategies, or designs them jointly with employers
  • Collaborates with 1,000 colleges and training providers to deliver the qualifications in the UK and abroad

Highfield Awarding Body for Compliance

  • Supplier of compliance qualifications in 23 subject areas
  • Strong presence in the Middle East
  • Originally a small, family-owned business
  • Delivers 200+ qualifications

IOE logo

Institute of Export (IOE)

  • Esbalished in 1935, it is a leading authority for businesses trading globally
  • Offers a suite of qualifications as well as short courses
  • Only accredited body delivering training in export, import and international trade in the UK

Institute of Leadership and Management (ILM)

  • Part of the City & Guilds group
  • Membership & awarding body offering management & leadership qualifications
  • Around 25,000 members worldwide
  • Works with 2,500+ training providers

IRRV logo

Institute of Revenues Rating & Valuation (IRRV)

  • Professional membership body, founded in 1882
  • 3,500+ members 
  • Serves professionals in the in the revenues, benefits and valuation field
  • Offers qualifications, CPD training and online courses

ISMM logo

The Institute of Sales & Marketing Management (ISMM)

  • Established in 1911
  • Serves sales and marketing professionals
  • Regulates a range of sales and marketing qualifications, from Level 1 to Level 6

IAB logo

International Association of Book-Keepers (IAB)

  • 10,000+ members in 60 countries
  • Not-for-profit association for professional bookkeepers
  • Offers accredited bookkeeping and business qualifications
  • Contributed to pioneering Payroll qualifications with CIPP

Northern Council for Further Education (NCFE)

  • Established in 1981 from the fusion of two existing bodies
  • Delivers 500+ qualifications
  • Around 340,000 learners each year
  • Covers a range of industries and sectors

NCTJ logo

National Council for the Training of Journalists (NCTJ)

  • Founded in 1951 to run the newspaper industry's training scheme
  • Sets industry standards for accredited journalism
  • Expanding portfolio of qualifications & apprenticeships, as well as short courses

OCR logo

Oxford Cambridge and RSA (OCR)

  • Not-for-profit organisation
  • Offers both general & vocational qualifications at all levels
  • Works with 13,000+ training centres
  • Part of the Cambridge Assessment Group

Pearson logo

Pearson Education Limited

  • The UK's largest awarding organisation
  • Offers both academic and vocational qualifications
  • Covers a broad range of subjects and industries
  • Owns the Edexcel and EDI brands

RSPH logo

Royal Society for Public Health (RSPH)

  • Membership body for over 6,000 public health professionals
  • Works with a network of centres to offer qualifications to 70,000 individuals per year
  • A multi-disciplinary charity dedicated to public health, including medicine, environmental health and food safety

* Please note that this list is not exhaustive. For more information on recgonised awarding bodies, visit the Register of Regulated Qualifications.

Last updated: 25 Nov 2016

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