ATC Frequently Asked Questions

Please find below frequently asked questions about the Approved Training Centre (ATC) model.

Still have a question? We’re happy to support businesses/organisations that wish to become an ATC or that are undergoing the application process. Please contact us if you have any questions about the ATC model or the application process.

ATC applications have to go through an approval process to allow us to review that the centre approval criteria has been met prior to approval being granted.

We aim to provide you with an approval decision within 15 working days following submission of the completed application and supporting evidence being received. However, if we are missing relevant information, this may delay the process until all the required evidence has been received and processed.

You will not be able to organise, deliver and assess Safety Training Awards qualifications until centre approval has been granted.

If you wish to apply to become an ATC, please contact our dedicated Centre Management team who will take some basic details from you and send you an account activation email for an online system named ‘Synergy’.

Synergy is Safety Training Awards’ centre administration system, which ATCs must use to communicate with Safety Training Awards and carry out any administration tasks, including completing your ATC agreement (application). Synergy is free to use, and a guidance handbook is available for users to support them in using the system.

About the ATC Model

There are no costs to become an ATC or any annual fees, but costs will apply for external quality assurance (EQA) activities. The fee for an EQA visit is £250, however the total cost is determined based on the risk rating of the centre. For lower risk-rated ATCs, the EQA activity can be conducted remotely via desk-based activities rather than a visit, which may reduce the cost. Higher risk centres may need additional EQA activities so may be subject to additional costs (more information on this can be found in the ATC manual within the ATC manual).
Yes, everyone who wishes to organise, deliver and assess Safety Training Awards qualifications must apply to become an ATC.
Becoming an ATC with Safety Training Awards will allow you to implement a robust model of internal and external quality assurance on the qualifications you deliver which will ensure they remain at the highest standards, gaining public confidence in the courses your centre delivers.
Yes, you can fulfil more than one role as long as the job roles and workloads are managed in accordance with Safety Training Awards approval criteria. For example, the centre co-ordinator can tutor and assess qualifications but is unable to complete internal quality assurance activities on their own delivery and assessment, this must be an independent person.
Yes, they can. If you have not declared this on the ATC agreement initially, then you may register additional tutors and assessors under your ATC through your Synergy account, by adding them to your centre personnel. Please follow Synergy’s guidance for more information, or speak to your Centre Administrator at Safety Training Awards.

You must issue the new ATC tutor agreement to all STA tutors and assessors, as well as declare any conflicts of interest, to support the ATC approval criteria.

This list is not exhaustive, here are a few examples:

  • You must meet Safety Training Awards’ approval criteria
  • Meet Safety Training Awards’ requirements to deliver and assess regulated qualifications
  • To provide adequate training facilities and equipment to learners
  • Issue all pre-course information to learners and support them throughout the learner journey
  • Deliver and assess all qualifications in accordance with Safety Training Awards’ qualification specifications
  • Maintain accurate records to meet Safety Training Awards’ and legislative data retention requirements.
The person who organises the delivery of Safety Training Awards qualifications would apply to become the ATC and venues will be added as sites. In this instance, the council would apply to become an ATC and the centre personnel will be listed within the application.
The IQA would follow the policies that have been implemented by the centre they are completing IQA monitoring activities for.
It is the ATC that will incur the EQA fee. The EQA will look at a variety of disciplines but not necessarily during a visit, as this can also be done remotely.

There may be a minimum of one annual EQA visit per ATC, depending on the risk rating—if the ATC has a high risk rating due to concerns with delivery and assessment, then additional visits may apply and the ATC may incur additional costs. Please refer to the ATC manual for more information.

Unfortunately, Safety Training Awards as an awarding organisation is not in a position to provide information and advice about insurance and would advise you to seek professional advice.
Yes, everyone who wishes to organise, deliver and assess Safety Training Awards qualifications must apply to become an ATC.
We have designed the ATC model to accommodate the needs and capabilities of business of all sizes, whether they be larger businesses or smaller ones. The ATC model is not aimed specifically at larger businesses, and Safety Training Awards is happy to support those smaller businesses which may require advice or have any concerns about the model.

As an alternative option, you could also look into the feasibility of teaming up with other businesses to become one larger ATC together, or remain as your own ATC.

You can both work for the same ATC. However, if there is a potential conflict of interest, you will need to refer to the Conflict of Interest Policy and submit a disclosure form through Synergy along with your ATC agreement.

About the Application Process

The approval criteria are linked to the regulatory requirements, condition C2 of the General Conditions of Recognition. Please refer to the ATC manual and ATC agreement for more information.

To meet the ATC approval criteria, you must have sufficient resources, systems, policies and procedures in place to ensure there is no negative impact on any learner journey.

We have produced guidance for businesses, organisations and tutors in developing the required policies and procedures for the ATC application. Please contact the Centre Management team, who will be happy to provide you with any necessary support.
We will support you throughout the application process to correct any issues as soon as possible. However, you will not be able to organise, deliver and assess Safety Training Awards qualifications until approval has been granted.
If you do not have a permanent site address, this information can be uploaded through your Synergy account prior to registering courses. This may take up to two working days to be reflected on your STA Online account when registering courses.
We aim to provide you with an approval decision within 15 working days following submission of the application. However, if we are missing relevant information from you this may delay the process until all requirements are met.

Internal Quality Assurance Processes

The IQA must be an independent person and does not have to be an STA tutor.
You can have more than one IQA assigned within your ATC. For example, you can have two IQAs who are also tutors, and then swap their roles depending on who is tutoring/assessing the course. This will ensure independence from the delivery and assessment of the qualifications.
The ATC’s centre co-ordinator is responsible for assigning an IQA. You can use the tutor search facility within the Resources section of your STA Online account to find IQAs near to you (select ‘IQA’ when running your search).
You can become an IQA through any training provider who offers the qualification. You will need to complete the Level 4 Award in Internal Quality Assurance of Assessment Processes and Practice qualification and have occupational competence in the discipline for which you will be conducting quality assurance activities for.

As an STA tutor, you may have attended STA’s roadshows throughout 2018 to gain a CPD to IQA STA courses. We must stress that this IQA CPD is not a full qualification and is not transferrable to other organisations. We encourage all to complete the full Level 4 IQA qualification as this may become mandatory in national standards in the near future.

Once appointed, the IQA is responsible for creating a sampling plan for all registered or future STA courses, detailing the assessment evidence that will be scrutinised as part of the quality assurance activity. There are three methods the IQA can use to assure the quality of assessment:

  • Sampling assessment evidence
  • Observation of delivery and assessment practice
  • Feedback from learners.

It is not necessary for the IQA to use all of these techniques during each activity, but all techniques must be completed by the IQA during each twelve-month period.

To meet Safety Training Awards’ ATC requirements, please ensure a method of IQA monitoring activity takes place on each STA regulated course delivered within your ATC. Please note that this does not have to be a face-to-face observation; please refer to the methods above that may be used.

The exact frequency of each activity (as above) will depend on the number of courses that an assessor is delivering, and the risk posed to the delivery and assessment process. Those tutors and assessors who are assessed as being high risk will require additional observations and larger samples of assessment evidence scrutinised. For more information please refer to the internal quality assurance guide for ATCs.

IQAs cannot conduct quality assurance activities on a family member as this is a conflict of interest; the IQA must be an independent person.
You can be the IQA for another centre as long as neither of you are tutoring or assessing on the course. It is recommended that an additional, independent IQA carries out monitoring activities if two centres are working together.
If you have evidence that you hold the pre-requisites for the Level 4 Award in Internal Quality Assurance of Assessment Processes and Practice qualification and that you are working towards this, please forward this to atc@safetytrainingawards.co.uk and we will review this on a case-by-case basis to make a decision.

External Quality Assurance Processes

The fee for an EQA visit is £250, however the amount is determined based on the risk rating of the centre. For lower risk-rated ATCs, the EQA activity can be conducted remotely via desk-based activities rather than a visit, which may reduce the cost. Higher risk centres may need additional EQA activities so may be subject to additional costs (more information on this can be found in the ATC manual).
No. The Centre Management team (previously known as the Courses department) provide assistance to ATCs in the organisation, delivery and assessment of Safety Training Awards qualifications, by acting as a point of contact between the ATC and the awarding organisation. Each ATC is assigned a member of the team to act as that point of contact in order to ensure efficiency and continuity of service to the ATC.

The external quality assurer is an experienced, independent individual who is assigned to the ATC to conduct EQA activities by Safety Training Awards’ Quality Assurance team.

An EQA would visit an ATC annually as a minimum, unless additional support visits have been requested by the centre co-ordinator. If the ATC has a high risk rating there may be additional visits by the EQA, which may be subject to additional costs.
Safety Training Awards will assign the EQA and they will contact you to make arrangements prior to any visits being conducted.
We will review any ATCs outside of the UK on a case-by-case basis to determine the frequency and method used to carry out EQA monitoring activities.
The duration of a visit will depend upon what the EQA has planned to see, rather than the length of the course. They will give you notice of the schedule prior to a visit.
An EQA visit would be at one site, but they may choose to do follow-up remote sampling for courses delivered at other sites within the ATC.
Anyone who meets the pre-requisites for the Level 4 EQA qualification can complete this, however that will not allow them to conduct EQA activities within their ATC.

Safety Training Awards will recruit and assign experienced EQAs to carry out external quality assurance activities within its ATCs.