About Us

The Ascentis Group includes Ascentis Awarding Organisation, International Dyslexia Learning Solutions Limited and Virtual Academy Limited.


Ascentis is an award-winning provider of cutting edge qualifications for education, training and business in the UK and overseas. We’ve been committed to delivering exceptional customer service and creating life changing opportunities for all since 1975.

Ascentis is distinctive in that it is both:

  • An Awarding Organisation, regulated by Ofqual, CCEA and Qualification Wales
  • An Access Validating Agency for Access to Higher Education Diplomas, licensed by the Quality Assurance Agency

We have a portfolio of user-friendly qualifications which include Access to Higher Education Diplomas, Community Interpreting, Construction, Digital Skills, Employability, English & Maths Skills, ESOL, Education & Training and Short Online Qualifications (SOQs).

Ascentis has no shareholders, it is a charity and its sole purpose is to provide the optimal level of service to all of its customers. As a recognised charity we are committed to the provision of clear progression routes that enable learners to climb the 'qualifications ladder' and achieve their lifelong aspirations.

The flexible and learner-friendly ethos of Ascentis has resulted in centres throughout the UK choosing to run their qualifications with us. There are several reasons for choosing Ascentis as your awarding body:

  • Many of our qualifications are eligible for funding under the ESFA and Advanced Learner Loans
  • We have dedicated Customer Support Assistants who will be assigned to you as your named point of contact
  • We offer clear lines of progression to further learning, employment, or Higher Education
  • Our qualifications are competitively priced with no hidden costs
  • We offer free training and support for you and your staff

Ascentis International

Ascentis are experienced in working with organisations around the world to deliver a range of customised qualifications. To find out more about working with Ascentis, please click here.


International Dyslexia Learning (IDL) provides multi-sensory software to primary and secondary schools in the UK and around the world. Their specialist software was developed to support the growing number of young people who are falling through the gaps in Literacy and Numeracy.

IDL Literacy has been for over 40 years and can dramatically increase reading and spelling ages for pupils with dyslexia or low literacy ability. In addition, research has shown it can also have a hugely positive impact on the confidence and self-esteem of those using the programme.

IDL Numeracy has been designed for children with dyscalculia, those struggling with Maths or who are experiencing maths anxiety. It includes a fully graded course to support the National Curriculum for Numeracy, with interactive activities to support pupils and help them progress.

IDL has been part of the Ascentis family since 2013. Ascentis is an educational charity with a mission to enable learners to realise their full potential and achieve their lifelong aspirations.

Find out more about IDLS here.

Watch Our Client Videos

Ascentis helps change the lives of over 170,000 learners each year. Hear about why our staff love working for us, and why our customers love working with us.

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Leicester Adult Skills and Learning Service Speaking about Ascentis English & Maths Stepping Stones

Ascentis has a fantastic suite of English and Maths Stepping Stones qualifications which enable learners to focus on specific skills, build their confidence and progress onto further learning. This testimonial video features Leicester Adult Skills and Learning Service who outline the benefits to them and their learners of using these qualifications.

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The City of Liverpool College Speaking about Ascentis Access to Higher Education

Access to HE with Ascentis - We Make a Difference. Watch our Testimonial and hear how it makes a difference to learners and the opportunities it brings.

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Best Practice People Speaking about Ascentis Short Online Qualifications

The Ascentis Short Online Qualifications are delivered in many centres across the UK and help to support learners’ Personal Development, Behaviour and Welfare. Listen to Ascentis Customer, Best Practice People talk about how effective the Ascentis Short Online Qualifications are and how they successfully aid their NEET learners, improving skills and confidence in turn helping them secure employment.

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What our happy customers say

“We are very pleased that we made the move to Ascentis for all our ESOL exams. The exams are appropriate for our learners, and lecturers find the marking manageable. As an organisation, Ascentis is a pleasure to work with. Our queries are always dealt with quickly and we are extremely well supported by our verifier.”

Waltham Forest

“We have thoroughly enjoyed our first year with Ascentis. There has been support of a high quality throughout the academic year. Support has been provided through a variety of roles including the quality managers, lead EQA’s and subject moderators.”

Bradford College

“We have been delighted with the impact Ascentis Extended Awards in Mathematical Skills (Stepping Stones) have had on our student’s progression towards their functional skills mathematics as well as preparing them for the completion of their GCSE. It has taught them the essential skills in mathematics which enabled them to deal with the practical problems and challenges of life – at home, in education and at work. These skills are valued by employers and further education, and are a platform on which to build other employability skills. We are also very impressed with the level of service and commitment shown by the staff of Ascentis, they are always available to help whenever help is needed.”

Brent Start

“The transparency and support of Ascentis has been refreshing. Our moderation process has been a pleasure and developmental feedback has always been welcomed.”

Kensington & Chelsea College

18th Oct 2024

Quality Assurance Events

6th Nov 2024

Quality Assurance Events

21st Nov 2024

Ascentis Events

  • AELP
  • CPD Certified
  • FAB
  • Cyber Essentials
  • Natecla
  • Access to Higher Education
  • The Parliamentary Review
  • West Yorkshire Learning Providers
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Specification Overviews

Key Documents