UAS has been offered by AQA as a recording of achievement scheme for  over 30 years .  It is a tried and tested means by which learners, no matter what their age or ability, can have their achievement formally recognised.

UAS can help learners with progression to

  • further study
  • training
  • employment
  • independent living
  • more active involvement in society.

UAS is shown to motivate, encourage, engage, support and raise self esteem and can reward achievement which might otherwise go unrecognised, eg small steps or non-mainstream subjects.

Many different organisations use UAS from mainstream and special schools and colleges, to youth services, pupil referral services, prisons, charities, training organisations and housing associations, to name a few.

How does UAS work?

  • Every centre must have a trained Co-ordinator who runs and is responsible for UAS.
  • Each UAS unit clearly sets out what the student has to do to achieve and the evidence needed.
  • There is a huge bank of units for you to use or amend, or you can write your own.
  • A responsible adult teaches the unit.
  • AQA monitors evidence by checking this against the unit.


  • Each time a unit is achieved, a Unit Award Certificate is issued.
  • This lists all the outcomes, ie all the knowledge, skills and/or experiences completed as detailed on the unit.
  • Certificates are usually issued promptly within 10 working days.
  • They don't show a level - UAS is not a qualification - but instead show the detail of what the student has achieved in completing the unit.
  • They provide a great talking point for the learner about what they've done, eg during an interview for a college place or employment.

Links with AQA qualifications

  • You can use UAS to accredit individual units in AQA's English, maths and science ELCs specifications.
  • Furthermore, individual units which comprised the ELCs no longer offered by AQA (in subjects like PE, RE, Geography, History, Art & Design, MFL etc.) remain available for use through UAS.
  • UAS can help motivate learners, by using UAS as a stepping stone towards achieving a full qualification.
  • It can also accredit work completed by students who haven't managed to complete enough units to gain the overall qualification.