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.
Applying to become a Safety Training Awards (STA) Approved Training Centre (ATC) is an easy process.
Centres simply need to have a named point of accountability that will become the dedicated Centre Co-ordinator and they must provide evidence that they have the resources, policies and procedures in place to ensure continuous adherence to the relevant regulations and requirements. This is assessed by the Centre Management Team and the Compliance and Assurance Team throughout the centre application process.
Each centre wishing to offer Safety Training Awards qualifications must first familiarise themselves with the approval criteria and ensure that the resources and requirements of Safety Training Awards can be met by the organisation.
Please feel free to contact the Centre Management Team for advice and support at this stage. Once the prospective centre is satisfied that they are able to meet the approval criteria an ATC application must be completed.
This can be done by contacting the Centre Management Team who will take some basic details from you to start the application process. Shortly after you will receive an email detailing what is required to continue with the application process, the ATC application form and supporting information will be included.
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 EQA monitoring visits can vary, please refer to the ‘External Quality Assurance Fees’ for more information. The total cost is determined on the risk rating of the centre. For lower risk-rated ATCs, the EQA activity may be conducted remotely via desk-based activities rather than a face to face 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).
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, 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 the Synergy record, by adding them to your centre staff. Please follow Synergy’s guidance for more information or speak to your Centre Administrator at Safety Training Awards.
You must issue the ATC Tutor and Assessor Agreement to all STA Tutors and Assessors operating in the ATC, as well as declaring any actual or perceived conflicts of interest, to support the ATC approval criteria. This can be done by completing a ‘Conflict of Interest Disclosure Form’ via the ATCs Synergy homepage.
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
- 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 and assessment strategies
- Implement and maintain internal quality assurance activities in line with Safety Training Awards requirements
- 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. The ATC must ensure they have an IQA agreement in place with the IQA to ensure the centres documentation is kept confidential and all policies and procedures are adhered to. The Centre Co-ordinator must complete a ‘Conflict of Interest Disclosure Form’ via the ATCs Synergy record to declare any perceived or actual conflicts of interest.
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.
The centre approval process may take up to a maximum of twelve weeks from submission to approval. This is due to the appropriate validation checks being completed to ensure the centre has achieved the approval criteria and will continue to meet the requirements set out by us. As part of the application process the prospective centre will have a pre-approval visit from a member of the Compliance and Assurance Team and the Centre Management Team, the purpose of the visit is to discuss Safety Training Awards requirements and expectations of an ATC.
We aim to process the application and complete the pre-approval visit in a timely manner, this will be dependant upon the Centre Co-ordinator providing us with the relevant information when requested and working with us to arrange a suitable date and time for the visit to be completed.
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 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, please ensure the ‘IQA’ tab is selected when running the search.
We would highly recommend that the Centre Co-ordinator ensures the appropriate agreements are put in place between the IQA and the ATC and they must complete a ‘Conflict of Interest Disclosure Form’ via the ATCs Synergy record to declare any perceived or actual conflicts of interest.
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 qualification. We encourage all to complete the full Level 4 IQA qualification as this may become a mandatory national standard in the near future.
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 ATC as long as neither of you are tutoring or assessing the course. It is recommended that an additional, independent IQA carries out monitoring activities on occasions if two centres are working together to maintain a level of transparency.
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 email@example.com
and we will review this on a case-by-case basis to make a decision.
External Quality Assurance Processes
The fee for EQA monitoring visits can vary, please refer to the ‘External Quality Assurance Fees’ for more information. The total cost is determined on the risk rating of the centre. For lower risk-rated ATCs, the EQA activity may be conducted remotely via desk-based activities rather than a face to face 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.