COVID-19 notice – Accredited Programmes

Some of our accredited programmes have contacted us about contingency plans for the impact of coronavirus. AfN understands that the impact of measures to control the spread of COVID-19 may impact on our accredited programmes, particularly if universities are closed or severe limits are placed on travel and attendance.

We recognise that programmes are committed to providing students with appropriate learning opportunities and assessments, and will find ways to do this within the constraints of the current and unfolding situation. As the regulator, our concern is to ensure that graduates from accredited programmes meet all of the competencies required for registration.

During this extraordinary situation we expect that some programmes will need to make changes to the ways in which they manage both the learning and assessment of core competencies. Where these changes are about mode of delivery, but the content of the learning and assessment remains the same, programme leaders should review the arrangements to ensure that all core competencies will be covered.  Changes should be noted at the next annual monitoring but no other action is necessary.

If the situation becomes more serious and a university is required to close for an extended period of time, then programme leads should assess whether there is a risk to the ability of the programme to delivery core competencies to students. Where the programme lead identifies this risk, the programme should consider what extraordinary arrangements it may need to put in place. If extraordinary arrangements are considered major (that is, they impact on more that 25% of the delivery and
assessment of the programme) then the programme should inform AfN in writing of the changed arrangements.

If a student becomes ill and is unable to complete one or more assessments in the usual way then the programme should follow its usual procedures for sickness. Programmes are reminded that under our criteria for accreditation compensation of required modules is not permitted. Students with compensated modules should not be included on the institutional pass list. However, we are supportive of programmes providing opportunities for students to undertake assessments at a later date (even if this is after graduation). Therefore, if a student graduates with compensation for some required modules, but later (and within 3 years of graduation) retakes and successfully passes the previously compensated modules, we will treat them as if they hold an accredited degree for registration purposes provided that we have confirmation from the programme that all of the required modules have been assessed and passed.

Programmes which have questions about their contingency arrangements for coronavirus are able to email these to us on

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