Endorsed Learning Programmes (ELP)Programme Approval Guidance

Endorsed Learning Programmes (ELP) is our recognition of your own courses and training programmes. The endorsement helps your training stand out from the rest bringing the prestige of OTHM with them. The availability of such endorsement gives learners, employers and wider businesses and industries confidence that the programmes are developed around best practice and they are working towards globally recognised standards.

An endorsed programme means that it is unique to your organisation as you own the programme and provides confidence that it meets your own requirements and that of any local need. It is also an effective way of providing certification for your own in-house programmes too such as study days, seminars and short courses.

Annual quality assurance carried out by OTHM is also a feature of the programme and ensures it meets OTHM standards and provides confidence to learners in the achievement of your programme.

All OTHM certificates come with a transcript of study to provide clarity to learners along their career pathway.

Programme size

  • Award: 1 – 12 credits
  • Certificate: 13 – 36 credits
  • Diploma: 37 credits and above

Programme level

Foundation Level

The level 3 qualifications improve subject knowledge and study skills and prepare learners for undergraduate course at UK universities.


The level 4, 5 and 6 diploma qualifications are equivalent to Year 1, 2 and 3 (Final year) respectively of a three-year UK bachelor’s degree. Each level consists of 120 credits. Completing any of the level 4, 5 and 6 qualifications will enable learners a progression to the next level of higher education at UK universities.


Postgraduate diplomas are taught courses at level 7 on the Regulated Qualifications Framework (RQF) - the same level as Master degrees. However, they are shorter (120 credits) and learners will have to proceed to the dissertation stage (60 credits) with university to achieve a full Master or MBA.

Programme structure

Programme structure (including units or modules that make up the programme).

Unit title Level Credit GLH


Guided Learning Hours (GLH) is defined as the hours that a teacher, lecturer or other member of staff is available to provide immediate teaching support or supervision to a student working towards a qualification.

Total Qualification Time (TQT) is the number of notional hours which represents an estimate of the total amount of time that could reasonably be expected to be required in order for a Learner to achieve and demonstrate the achievement of the level of attainment necessary for the award of a qualification.

Total Qualification Time (TQT) is comprised of the following two elements –

  • the number of hours which an awarding organisation has assigned to a qualification for Guided Learning, and
  • an estimate of the number of hours a Learner will reasonably be likely to spend in preparation, study or any other form of participation in education or training, including assessment, which takes place as directed by – but, unlike Guided Learning, not under the Immediate Guidance or Supervision of – a lecturer, supervisor, tutor or other appropriate provider of education or training.

(Ofqual 15/5775 September 2015)

Credit is defined as being the number of credits that may be awarded to a Learner for the successful achievement of the learning outcomes of a unit. One credit is equal to 10 hours of TQT.

The European Credit Transfer System (ECTS) is a tool of the European Higher Education Area (EHEA) for to bring transparency, competitiveness and mobility to higher education across Europe. ECTS is adopted as the national credit system in most countries of the EHEA and also used in many institutions across the world.

For reference 2 UK credits = 1 ECTS credit.

Number of units (modules) per programme

Level 4 – 6 programmes

  • 6 units at each level and must be 120 credits in order to have wider progression opportunities with universities

Level 7 programmes

  • between 6 – 8 units