Open College Network South East Region

The purpose of The Open College Network South East Region (OCNSER) is to make a difference to individuals by supporting widening participation, excellence and success in learning. As a licensed Awarding Body, OCNSER does not run courses itself, but our members do. With them, we strive to create a dynamic and responsive organisation at the forefront of educational development. The benefits of OCNSER participation are:

  • Opportunity for inspired learning
  • Successful effort rewarded with formal recognition
  • Widened provision through supportive networking
  • Access to quality "best practise" learning and assessment methods
  • OCNSER is a registered charity.
Consulting Circles are the only OCN Accredited provider of ITEP/Node Link-Mapping training in the UK.
We have been at the forefront of practitioner workforce development for the past three years, training more than 2000 delegates. This has enabled us to tailor our courses specifically to the health and social care sector. 


The Open College Network South East Region
The Open College Network South East Region (OCNSER) is a group of awarding bodies recognised by the Further Education Funding Council and the Department of Education and Employment. It is the fastest growing of the independent national awarding bodies and is the third largest behind Edexcel (formerly BTEC) and City & Guilds. It consists of a consortium of over thirty training organisations throughout the UK, which provide a standardised approach to recognising learning achievement for students of all ages.

  Successful students are able to build up nationally recognised 'credits' on a range of hundreds of specialised vocational and educational courses that will enable them to access Higher Education.

The Open College Network South East Region is accredited by the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority (QCA) so that courses which result in OCNSER certification not only attract further education funding but have the highest level of recognition. 

The OCNSER system is divided in to four levels:
  • Level One is comparable to GCSE grades D – G
  • Level Two is comparable to GCSE grades A* - C
  • Level Three is comparable to A / AS level
  • Level Four and above is comparable to higher education qualifications such as a first degree through to PhD at level eight.
A specially convened panel rigorously evaluates every course submitted to OCNSER. The panel is composed of members who understand both the OCNSER requirements and the technical detail of the course in question and meets to review the course and its outcomes under an independent panel chairperson. A Quality Management programme is an integral requirement of every course and an independent moderator is appointed by OCNSER to sample and validate the work submitted to make sure that it reaches the standards laid down.

The establishment by OCNSER of the standard 'credit' system has enabled all educational organisations, whether public or private, to measure the work of their students against traditional, national standards. For instance, 3 credits at Level 3 contribute to a pass at A Level standard and is recognised as such by admissions tutors when selecting student for some university education.

Consulting Circles is committed to accrediting all its courses with the Open College Network South East Region. Students who have completed accredited courses may apply for an OCNSER award via an Accreditation of Prior Learning procedure. Current and successful past students can be sent information upon request as to how this can be achieved.

PLEASE NOTE: There is a separate charge made for OCNSER accreditation which is NOT included in our certification fees, the fee currently stands at £20.00 per delegate. (2012 figure)