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Becoming a City & Guilds centre

Become a City & Guilds centre

The process of becoming a centre 

To become a centre, you will need to undergo our 5-step application process, which includes an evaluation by our Business Development and Quality Assurance departments. Our dedicated teams will assist you to make your journey through the process as smooth as possible.

Once you have completed the process, you will be able to offer our international qualifications and benefit from our services aimed at developing your business.

The 5 steps of gaining approval are as follows:

    You can find a description of our detailed procedure in the City & Guilds International Centre Guide document

    Step 1: Preparation and pre-approval advice

    The initial contact with City & Guilds will be to check if you meet our conditions for becoming a centre. Please get in touch with our local representative office in your country or region to discuss the criteria with our Business Development team.

    At this stage, you will need to provide information about:

    1. Your learners – providers wishing to become centres must enrol a certain number of learners per course per year.
    2. Your resources – you must have appropriate facilities, fully trained staff, and robust management and quality assurance systems in place.

    Once we have established that you meet our conditions and have explained what kind of support documents we need from you, we will invite you to apply to become a City & Guilds centre, and will send you the application for Centre Approval form.

    You can find contact details for your local office here.

    Step 2: Submission of application

    The next step is the submission of your application; please follow these steps:

    1. Complete & Authorise your form – please complete your application for Centre Approval. Your application must be authorised by a person with sufficient authority to take business and financial decisions in your centre.
    2. Submit your form – send your form and supporting documentation by email to our City & Guilds office in your country or region, and arrange payment of the appropriate fee.


    Step 3: Pre-approval checks and External Verifier visit

    After receiving your email, our Quality Assurance (QA) team will check your submitted documents and send you an acknowledgement receipt by email. They will then arrange for an External Verifier to visit you.

    This visit involves an External Verifier checking your premises and procedures, to make sure you are able to become a centre and offer our qualifications. The External Verifier’s role is to make a report, not to make the final decision – this is done by the QA team.

    During their visit, the External Verifier will discuss their findings and recommendations with you.

    Step 4: Approval decision

    If you need to make changes in order to gain centre status, the External Verifier will create an action plan and agree a timeframe with you to implement the changes. Depending on the changes needed, they may visit you again before the approval decision is made.

    Step 5: Confirmation of approval

    Once our Quality Assurance team has established that you meet all of our conditions for approval, we will notify you by email. We will send you a certificate of approval, together with additional documentation and materials. We will also allocate you a centre number, which you will need to use when communicating with us.

    What happens after we approve you as a centre?

    Once approved, you will be able to start marketing & delivering the qualifications that you were approved for.

    Free resources

    These are the types of resources you will receive free of charge with our courses:

    • Qualification handbooks
    • Assessment packs
    • Assessment support
    • Exemplar assignments
    • Practice question papers
    • Sample schemes of work
    • Further reading/links
    • Equipment lists
    • Recognitions lists
    • Access to Walled Garden, our administration tool

    Extra resource available for improved efficiency

    You may also benefit from SmartScreen, our online teaching and learning resource portal.

    SmartScreen is an extra resource that helps you save time and money, as well making the delivery of our courses even easier, so that your learners have the best possible experience.

    It contains all the necessary teaching and learning support material, which includes tutor forums, lesson plans, presentations, handouts, worksheets and equipment lists. Practice question papers are also available through SmartScreen to help learners prepare for assessment.

    Login details are available on request via Walled Garden, our free online administration service. Walled Garden is fast and efficient, performing a multitude of functions from enrolling learners to submitting their results.

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    Frequently asked questions

    Q: How much does it cost to become a centre?

    A: This depends on the region where you operate. City & Guilds trades in different currencies across the world, and the costs vary in each region.

    Q: How long does it take to become a centre?

    A: Our Service Level Agreement specifies that the approval process should take no longer than 30 days, depending on our Quality Assurance team receiving the necessary documentation and fees from you.

    Q: How can City & Guilds help me to meet their criteria of becoming a centre?

    A: You can request an advisory visit before applying to become a centre and/or provide our qualifications. Advisory visits provide general advice about meeting our conditions, help identify issues that need attention and allow staff to ask questions.

    Q: Who is an External Verifier?

    A: External Verifiers are appointed by City & Guilds to make approval visits and recommendations where necessary, to confirm that organisations can satisfy our centre and qualification approval criteria. External Verifiers are qualification subject-matter experts and are also experts in Quality Assurance.

    Q: What can I do if my application has been rejected?

    A: An application would only be rejected if the applicant did not address the feedback from the Quality Assurance team  or the action plan from the External Verifier. Every effort will be made during the approval process to explain to you any areas requiring improvement, to ensure the success of the application.

    Q: Can I appeal if my application has been rejected?

    A: If an application for approval is refused prior to approved status being granted, there is no right of appeal.

    Q: Are there alternative ways for me to offer City & Guilds qualifications?

    A: You cannot offer City & Guilds qualifications without formal centre and qualification approval.

    Q: Do I have to renew my approved centre status?

    A: Yes, centre approval is valid for two years, subject to ongoing compliance with our approval criteria. After this period, you will need to re-apply for centre approval.

    Q: Do I need to apply for qualification approval when applying for renewal of centre status?

    A: Yes, unless you want to provide examinations only. If you wish to continue offering qualifications, you will need to send at least one application for qualification approval along with your submission for centre approval.

    Q: What do I do if I am an established centre and I need to:

    • change my details?
    • change a candidate’s details?
    • issue replacement certificates to learners?
    • obtain SmartScreen user guides?
    • get help with Walled Garden?
    • use the City & Guilds logo?
    • provide feedback?

    A: Contact the customer support team in the managing office in your country/region


    If you have any other questions about becoming a centre, please contact the City & Guilds representative office in your country or region.


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