Ofqual Handbook

Section F - Providing qualifications to purchasers

Rules about providing information on qualification fees and feature, packaging qualifications with other products or services, and invoicing

General Conditions of Recognition

Condition F1 - Information on fees and features of a qualification

Making fee information available

  1. F1.1 Where an awarding organisation produces a list of standard fees for the qualifications which it makes available and for any associated services, it must ensure that the list is accessible to potential purchasers, at least by means of –
    1. (a) making the list available on the internet, in particular by means of a hyperlink to it that is placed on the Register, or
    2. (b) providing potential purchasers with a copy of the list.
  1. F1.2 Where an awarding organisation does not produce such a list, it must, on request, provide to a potential purchaser –
    1. (a) information as to its fees for those qualifications and services, or
    2. (b) if it is not possible to determine those fees exactly, a statement of the method by which its fees are calculated or a reasonably detailed estimate of the price that he or she would have to pay.

F1.3 An awarding organisation must ensure that in each case it has in place pricing structures that would be clear to the reasonable purchaser.

F1.4 Where an awarding organisation provides or makes available any information as to its fees or the method by which they are calculated, it must at the same time provide or make available information as to the main features of the qualifications and associated services to which the fees relate, unless this is already clear from the context.

Making fee information available to satisfy the planning requirements of purchasers

F1.5 Where an awarding organisation provides or makes available any information as to its fees or the method by which they are calculated, it must take all reasonable steps to do so sufficiently far in advance of the time at which the qualifications to which those fees relate will be made available to Learners as to satisfy the reasonable planning requirements of potential purchasers.

F1.6 Where such information cannot be provided or made available to this timescale, the awarding organisation must instead provide or make available to potential purchasers information that is sufficient to give a reasonable indication of its likely fees, together with a clear statement to make potential purchasers aware that this information is only indicative.

Condition F2 - Packaging qualifications with other products or services

Packages offered as an option

F2.1 Where an awarding organisation makes available a qualification both in a package with other products or services and separately from those other products or services, it must inform purchasers prior to the time of purchase that the qualification may be purchased separately or in a package.

Packages offered without alternative options

  1. F2.2 An awarding organisation must not make available a qualification in a package together with other products or services unless it also makes available that qualification without other products or services, except where it –
    1. (a) from time to time seeks comments from purchasers on whether the packaging of the qualification with the particular products or services is appropriate, and
    2. (b) reasonably concludes that continuing to make available the package is appropriate.

Condition F3 - Invoicing

Invoicing purchasers

  1. F3.1 An awarding organisation must –
  2. (a) ensure that its invoices in relation to the provision of qualifications are issued in a timely manner, and
  3. (b) provide a breakdown of its fees to a reasonable level of detail following a request from a purchaser.

The written invoicing policy

F3.2 An awarding organisation must establish, maintain, publish and comply with a written policy on invoicing.

F3.3 The policy must specify the processes to be followed by the awarding organisation in relation to the issue, payment and retention of invoices and the content of invoices.


Guidance on how to comply with these rules

Guidance on Condition F2

Examples of ‘positive indicators’ that would suggest an awarding organisation is likely to comply

The awarding organisation:

  • puts in place, and follows, a policy which includes details of how it will consider whether or not it is appropriate to introduce or continue to make a qualification available in a package together with other products and services.

Examples of ‘negative indicators’ that would suggest an awarding organisation is not likely to comply

The awarding organisation:

  • does not put in place a policy which includes details of how it will consider whether or not it is appropriate to introduce or continue to make a qualification available in a package together with other products and services, or does not follow such a policy which it has put in place;
  • considers that it is appropriate to make a qualification available in a package together with other products and services where that package has a negative impact on Learners and/or the purchasers of the qualification.