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Pupils who were on track to complete Foundation Apprenticeships but couldn’t due to the impact of COVID-19 will have their achievements accepted by all Scottish colleges and universities.

Foundation Apprentices who were on track to complete their course will now receive a Letter of Recognition alongside their other school results acknowledging this.

Universities Scotland and Colleges Scotland have agreed with Skills Development Scotland, who administer Foundation Apprenticeships and qualifications body SQA to accept the Letter of Recognition as being the same as a full Foundation Apprenticeship.

It has also been confirmed by the Scottish Government that schools will receive the full insight tariff for learners who receive the letter of recognition.

Whilst many of Scotland’s universities do not express their entry requirements in UCAS tariff points, the Letter of Recognition will also gain the same UCAS tariff points as full Foundation Apprenticeship where relevant.

Focus to support apprentices

Foundation Apprenticeships can include work-based elements such as placements in the workplace which was impacted by COVID-19. Assessment was also limited by COVID-19 restrictions.

SDS Director of Critical Skills and Occupations, Diane Greenlees, said: “Our collective aim has been to support Foundation Apprentices at this exceptionally difficult time.

“The agreement means that pupils who were on track to complete will not be disadvantaged because of the impact of COVID-19.

“Colleges and universities across Scotland will accept their Letter of Recognition if that is the pathway the young person chooses.”

Committed to delivering results

SQA Chief Executive Fiona Robertson, said: “Everyone at SQA remains committed to delivering results to learners, in as fair a way as possible, allowing them to progress to further learning or work.

“We have worked together with partners to agree an approach that ensures young people undertaking Foundation Apprenticeships get the recognition they need, while maintaining the integrity and credibility of Foundation Apprenticeships.”

Chief Executive of Colleges Scotland, Shona Struthers, said: “The college sector strongly believes that all learners should be treated in the same fair way and that the COVID-19 pandemic should not prevent merited progression onto other college or university courses or into Modern Apprenticeships or employment.

“Foundation Apprenticeships deliver excellent work-based learning opportunities by providing pupils with the chance to learn new skills at college, undertake valuable work experience and gain an industry-recognised qualification while still at school.”

Recognition to support progression

Convener of Universities Scotland, Professor Andrea Nolan: “The pandemic has caused so much disruption to learners, at no fault of their own, and as a result, universities are keen to show as much flexibility as possible in recognising their achievement.

“Our message to Foundation Apprentices is that universities will value your Letter of Recognition in the same way we would if you had been able to complete your qualification as planned.”

SDS has also confirmed that Foundation Apprentices who were on track to complete will be able to progress on to a related Modern Apprenticeship, with learners picking up from where they left off prior to disruption.

Many pupils had already completed all their units and will receive their full Foundation Apprenticeship award as normal.

Pupils on track to complete their Foundation Apprenticeship will receive the Letter of Recognition – which will be accepted for entry by colleges and universities.

All pupils will receive certification for the units they have completed.

More information

Pupils, parents, carers and teachers can gain further guidance by visiting the Frequently Asked Questions area for Foundation Apprenticeships within

Scottish colleges and universities admissions information for Foundation Apprenticeship subjects can be found on

Foundation Apprenticeship to College

Foundation Apprenticeship to University


More information for learning and training providers is available within the COVID-19 provider area of the SDS website.


Find out more about Foundation Apprenticeships and the types available on


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