Update: end date for Applied General Business

Published: Friday 21 Jul 2023

We told schools and colleges in July that our Applied General Business qualification will be coming to an end. We've extended the end date for the Applied General Certificate, so we wanted to update you.

To confirm, the last cohort for first teaching for the Certificate and the Extended Certificate will be in September 2024, and the final certifications will be as follows:

  • The last Applied Generals exams will be in summer 2026.
  • There will be two resit opportunities in January 2027 and June 2027.

This means that if any learners start the Certificate in 2025, they would then certificate in 2026 but would be unable to continue and complete the Extended Certificate.

We appreciate that this may come as a disappointment and want to explain the reasons behind this difficult decision, which was considered very carefully.

Our aim is to ensure that we offer qualifications that meet the current and future needs of most students, and teachers. As an education charity, we also have to ensure we use our resources most effectively.

The Department for Education (DfE) has published its decisions on their review of post-16 qualifications at level 3 in England. The decision confirmed that schools and colleges will no longer receive funding for level 3 qualifications that overlap with A-levels and T Levels, and exam boards have been invited to instead develop an Alternative Academic Qualification (AAQ) for certain subject areas.

Following this decision, we took the opportunity to review these qualifications to make sure we’re still meeting the needs of students, and teachers.

We redeveloped Applied Generals for first teaching in 2016, but despite all the support we’ve received from some schools and colleges, take-up has been much lower than we’d hoped. Without funding for schools and colleges for these qualifications, we understand that these entries will fall even lower.

Such low entries suggest we’re not meeting the needs of most students and teachers. It also makes it more challenging for us to support this qualification, as the additional resource needed is disproportionate to the number of students who take it.

Exam boards have been invited to develop AAQs in certain subjects where there is no overlap, and so this only applicable to our Applied General Science qualification. Sadly, because of the reasons we’ve set out here, we simply can’t justify investing in redeveloping our Applied General Science qualification to become an Alternative Academic Qualification.

We expect funding to be removed in August 2025 so our timelines are based on this.

We’ll of course continue to provide you with any support you need for your students to complete this qualification while it’s still available.

If you have any questions, would like further support or to talk about alternative qualifications, please contact us and our teams will be happy to help.

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