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The UWS Route to becoming Credit Rated

The UWS Credit Rating Centre is here to support you explore and achieve credit rated status.

We provide a step-by-step guide through the credit rating process with information for each key step.

You will be able to access the documents and supporting information you need for each stage of your application, as well as information about potential timescales.

We also provide assistance on how to sustain your credit rated status and advice on how to get that all important value from your credit rating approval.

What is Credit Rating?

Through the process of external credit rating, UWS awards credit to external courses which are not part of an award bearing programme within UWS or at another Higher Education Institution. The courses considered for credit rating include those delivered by or on behalf of professional bodies or employers.

The approach used by UWS has been informed by the Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework (SCQF) Handbook which outlines a clear methodology for third party credit rating.

At UWS, this is called Credit Rating of External Provision. This process allows learning which has been assessed to be recognised within the SCQF.

The SCQF Level Descriptors (level 7-11) describe in broad terms what learners should be able to do or demonstrate at a particular level. Within an integrated framework, these level descriptors provide a common vocabulary to assist with the comparison of qualifications and learning programmes. The University will only approve applications for external credit rating at level 7 of the SCQF or above.

Academic credit rating activities ensure all courses are appropriately aligned to the SCQF and will allow all learners to identify clearly where their learning sits within the nationally recognised framework.

Contact us

If you are considering credit rating and wish to speak to someone, we’d love to help!

You can contact us by either calling 0141 848 3810 or emailing

Your UWS Credit Rating Route

The UWS Credit Rating Route below is a helpful guide to take you step by step through the mix of processes required to achieve credit rating. You won’t need to know all of this as some of these steps are internal to UWS; it hopefully helps to explain what is going on behind the scenes.

Initial Contact

The external provider will contact UWS via Head of QuEST:

Process Overview

QuEST will outline the process and share the guidance and appropriate forms for you to complete to support the application.

Receipt of Application

Completed application is submitted to QuEST; at this point, 50% of the overall application fee is due.

UWS Academic School Engagement

QuEST will liaise with the relevant UWS Dean of School (depending upon the particular subject area of your application) and an Internal Subject Expert (UWS) will be identified.

Credit Rating of External Provision Group (CREPG)

Head of QuEST will form the CREPG.

Link Person

CREPG will identify a UWS Link Person to support the External Provider in order to assist the completion of the application.

External Expert Report

A report is issued, via the applicant, from an external subject expert who has participated in overseeing the course and provided quality assurance based comments.

Internal Expert Report

The application and supporting documentation is passed to the Internal Subject Expert for consideration. The Internal Subject Expert will the provide a report for CREPG.

Consideration by CREPG

CREPG will meet to consider the application for the Award of General Credit form, Credit Levelling Questionnaire, Internal & External Subject Expert Reports.

Role of CREPG

It is the role of CREPG to review the application and determine whether the External Provider has levelled the course appropriately and whether the volume of credit is accurate.

CREPG Outcomes

  • To credit-rate unconditionally
  • To credit-rate conditionally
  • To defer a decision on credit rating (subject to completed amendments)
  • To decline to credit rate

CREPG Recommendation

CREPG will make a recommendation on the application to the UWS Education Advisory Committee via a report.

Approval Period

Approval will be for a maximum of 5 years after which the External Provider will be required to submit a re-approval application. There will be a fee for this service.


QuEST will provide a formal letter to the External Provider confirming the outcome of the accreditation application.

Receipt of UWS Credit Rating logo

Upon receipt of the remaining application fee, UWS will supply its Credit Rating logo to the external provider; the sole use of the logo is for the accredited provision.

Successful Applications

If the External Provider is successful in their application, the credit rating details will be added to UWS's CREPG Database (maintained by QuEST).

Scottish Credit & Qualification Framework (SCQF) Notification

If the credit rating has been approved, details of the course will be formally entered into the SCQF Database.

Annual Review

The External Provider will be required to produce an annual report for scrutiny by UWS's Academic Quality Committee. Any significant changes to the course may require a resubmission.

How To Apply

Applying is easy! We require some information about your organisation, the key individuals who will be overseeing the accredited course, and some detail about the course itself and how it maps to the SCQF framework. The application form along with further information on what UWS requires, can be found by in Chapter 8 of the UWS Quality Handbook:

UWS QUality Handbook (pdf)

How Long Does Credit Rating Last?

Normally, a credit rating decision will be in place for 5 years, with annual ‘health’ checks. We understand that things change, therefore if the learning outcomes of the course change at any point during the 5 years the credit rating will require refreshing, and we can support you with that. However please note this will accrue additional fees.

Maintaining and Extending Your Credit Rating

During the period of credit rating UWS will meet with you annually, either in person or by video conference, to review the status of the credit rating provision and to offer any support or guidance. At the end of the 5 year cycle there will be an opportunity to refresh the credit rating status. Of course, the team at the UWS Credit Rating Centre will be here to assist you at any point during your credit rating process.

Last updated: 16/07/2020