Once HEA accreditation has been awarded, institutions are responsible for ensuring that their provision operates as explicitly accredited. Institutions may wish to make some revisions to their accredited programmes over the period of the accreditation cycle for a variety of reasons.
To enable institutions to make a change to accredited programmes, the HEA will formally consider, and where appropriate approve, changes proposed through the HEA major/minor change process. When changes to accredited programmes are approved, this will be for the reminder of the current accreditation period.
Any change proposed by an institution, whether ‘major’ or ‘minor’ (see below) must be considered and approved by the HEA in advance of the change being implemented. The institution will be asked to supply information which will be considered by a Change Panel. The Change Panel will feed back on the outcome and, where changes are approved, will make clear the date from which the change will apply.
Applying to make a change
The first step in applying for a change to provision is to complete a ‘Change(s) to accredited provision – initial request form’. This form is available on the HEA website and should be returned to the HEA accreditation mailbox (firstname.lastname@example.org). There are no additional fees due for the ‘change’ process.
The HEA Accreditation team will consider the initial request and will be able to advise the institution about whether the proposed revision constitutes a ‘minor’ or ‘major’ change. The processes by which ‘major’ and ‘minor’ changes are considered are set out in the ‘Changes to accredited provision’ guidance document. As well as the processes, the submission deadlines are also indicated in this guidance document.
Minor/major changes explained
It is difficult to define the nature of a ‘minor’ change as opposed to a ‘major’ change because each institution is different and each programme/scheme is distinctive to suit the context of the institution.
Minor changes are alterations to the any existing accredited provision that does not materially alter the provision or any pathways to recognition within it. These are changes that do not significantly alter:
- the design of the provision
- the participant engagement with the UKPSF
- the evidence on which recognition decisions are made
- the recognition-decision making process.
Minor changes may be made approved and implemented within an academic year to enable any subsequent cohort to benefit from the revised provision.
In contrast, major changes may involve more substantial revisions such as:
- revision to programme/module outcomes that necessitates a concomitant change to the programme’s structure and/or content to maintain UKPSF alignment
- a proposed new site/campus of delivery and/or participant group
- change to the mode of delivery and/or support for participants to engage with the UKPSF
- revision of the evidence on which recognition decisions are made
- changes to procedure/stages in the recognition decision making process.
When approved, major changes can be implemented from two points in the academic year; 1 February and 1 September.
Please contact the accreditation team by email at email@example.com or by phone on 01904 717500 if you have any further queries.