Awarding organisations

Understanding awarding organisations (AOs) and Ofqual regulation is a specialist area of law. BWB is one of the few law firms with a dedicated team providing legal services to bodies on Ofqual’s Register of Regulated Qualifications, including several chartered institutes and sports governing bodies. We understand the business behind providing and developing prestigious vocational qualifications. Click here for more information on the Awarding Organisations team. 

As a full service firm, we advise AOs on a broad range of commercial, regulatory, property and litigation issues. Particular specialist advice includes:

  • Ofqual regulation, including obtaining regulatory opinions
  • Centre agreements
  • Business structures
  • Making reasonable adjustments
  • Handling malpractice
  • Responding to whistle blowers
  • Disputes between awarding organisations and centres
  • Regulating qualifications being provided overseas
  • Managing non-compliant centres
  • Funding arrangements
  • Intellectual property issues
  • Merging Ofqual-regulated organisations

We have a close relationship with the Federation of Awarding Bodies (FAB) and have recently spoken at their events on topics such as Ofqual regulation, inequalities and VAT.

Operating overseas

The regulation of qualifications being provided overseas is a very current issue for AOs and Ofqual. BWB has advised a number of AOs on their operations outside of England & Wales and have guided AOs through the dos and don’ts of operating overseas, including which learners are and aren’t regulated.

Examples of recent work for AOs include:

  • Advising the Council for Awards in Care, Health and Education (Cache) on the sale of its business to NCFE
  • Advising an awarding organisation on its application to Ofqual to extend its recognition
  • Advising a sports awarding organisation on restructuring and constitutional matters
  • Advising on issues regarding employment status, for example external moderators
  • Advising on various international agreements in Africa and Asia
  • Advising on data protection issues
  • Advising on exam venue and invigilator contracts
  • Drafting a whistleblowing policy
  • Establishing an awarding organisation and higher education institute

Emma Dowden-Teale is 'someone in whom clients feel complete confidence', standing out for her niche expertise in awarding body regulation
Legal 500 2017