EFQM | Primary Partner

Distance Learning Qualifications

BQF has partnered with global training provider The Skills Network to offer the opportunity to unlock your full potential and enrol on a nationally accredited qualification of your choice for free*.

We are now able to offer a suite of 35 accredited level 2 qualifications to enhance your skill set, further your professional development and enhance your career. The courses include counselling skills, team-leading, customer service, equality and diversity, business administration, understanding mental health problems and more.

These courses are delivered via distance learning methods, either online or using paper-based learning materials, and can be completed within 12-16 weeks. With a dedicated Learner Support Advisor and Subject Specialist Tutor, you are supported through every step of your learning journey.

Free access is also available to your colleagues, family, friends and your wider network. There is no limit to the number of courses you can complete but you can only work on one qualification at a time.

For support and advice on any aspect of your course, please contact The Skills Network Student Support Team via phone on 0845 177 0047 or mobile on 01757 600 915.

Please see our FAQ below if you have further questions. For any other questions you may have please contact us here.

*The courses are funded through the UK Government’s Adult Learning programme. To qualify for funding you must be aged 19 or over as of 31st August 2019, reside in England or Scotland and have been living in the EU for at least the last three years. You cannot enrol onto a course that you have already completed.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I enrol on a course?

Simply click on the link on the right side of this page and you will then be able to choose a course. You will then be guided through a series of questions. You will also need to upload a copy of your passport, driving licence, birth certificate or national identity card. If you are not a UK or EEA National, you will be required to upload your visa documentation covering the last three year. If you currently hold a Tier 4 study visa, unfortunately you will not be eligible for funding.

When you have successfully answered all of the questions, you will be sent a link for your online induction. You will also receive some paperwork in the post a few days later. You will need to complete it to allow the Skills Network to receive the Government funding to cover the cost of your course.

Why are the courses free?

The UK Government provides money for a range of courses to encourage adults to develop their employment skills.

Please note that if you are currently in full time education you are unlikely to be funded for these courses.

What happens if I don’t meet the eligibility criteria for the funding?

In certain circumstances there may be an option to complete the course with funding from a different source. Alternatively you can pay for the course. The prices differ but are approximately £300 each.

How long will the course take?

When you start your course, you will sign an ‘Individual Learning Plan’ which identifies key deadlines and completion dates. Courses normally take between 4 to 20 weeks to complete depending on the qualification. However, as this is a distance learning course, it is possible to complete in a shorter period of time, depending on the time you are able to dedicate to your studies.

What if I have a disability?

We believe that everyone should have an equal opportunity to study. Please contact The Skills Network if you wish to discuss any concerns that you may have about studying.

Additional support can be provided for you if required, for example:

  • Tailored paper for ease of reading
  • Acceptance of software written assessments (such as speech command technology)
  • Remote contact with the tutor around guidance on content of your answers. i.e. emails, telephone calls. Tutorials can be arranged in certain circumstances for resubmission but you must attempt the initial questions first

When will I receive my course materials?

Once you have returned the funding paperwork and completed the online induction, you will be issued with your course materials. If you have opted for a paper-based course, they will be posted to you. For online courses you will be able to access the course through EQUAL, the learning management system.

Can I do more than one course?

You can complete as many of the fully-funded courses as you wish. However, you may only be enrolled on one course at a time. Once you have submitted your final assessment, you will then be able to enrol on the next course.

Please note that if you are currently in full time education you are unlikely to be funded for these courses.

How am I assessed?

You will be assessed throughout your study by a series of assessment questions which are built into the course. Your answers are automatically saved and are available for you to revise and edit at any point before submission. You submit your assessment answers to your Tutor for marking, who will give you feedback on each question.

Do I have to meet with a Tutor or Learning Support Advisor?

No. The communication you have with a Tutor or Learning Support Advisor will be via telephone, email or through The Skills Network’s online system, EQUAL.

What happens if I do not pass an assessment?

If you do not pass an assessment, don’t worry. Once your Tutor has marked your work, you will receive an email instructing you to log into the system. If your result is ‘Refer’ this means your Tutor has highlighted some areas which need more attention in order for you to pass. You will then be able to re-attempt and re-submit the questions you didn’t pass first time round.

Is there a word count for assessments?

No. There are no maximum or minimum word counts for the assessments. It is important that you demonstrate to your Tutor that you have fully understood the question and applied your knowledge to each answer in a logical way. If your Tutor feels that an answer needs a little more detail, they will point this out in your feedback and you will be able to go back to the answer and rework it until you pass.

How long will it take for my certificate to arrive?

Your certificate will take between six and eight weeks to arrive. Once you have completed the course and submitted your final piece of work, your assessments will be marked and your work will go through an external quality assurance process. Once this process is complete, we send your certificate to you as soon as possible.

What happens if I am struggling with deadlines or don’t complete the course?

At the time of your enrolment you will complete an Individual Learning Plan and agree the dates for submitting your assignments for assessment. This is part of your contract with the course provider and forms part of the terms for the funding. Therefore you will be expected to complete the course according to the timeline in your Individual Learning Plan.

If you think you may struggle to meet any deadline you should contact The Skills Network Student Support Team straightaway as they may be able to organise a new deadline with you. This should be used as a last resort, as new deadlines cannot always be made easily.

Whilst every effort will be made to support you if you have a genuine problem, if you do not complete the course you will be charged an administration fee of £100.

How do I contact The Skills Network?

For support and advice on any aspect of your course, please contact The Skills Network Student Support Team on:


Tel: 0845 177 0047 / 01757 600 915


Fax: 01757 708031


Email: [email protected]



The Skills Network

Abbey Court

10–16 Benedict Drive



If I’m a member of BQF, and I enrol onto a Skills Network course, will this affect my allocated places for events and workshops?

If you’re a member, enrolling onto a course will not affect your allocated places, as our distance learning qualifications are separate to our events and workshops and are not included in any membership packages. All of the courses available are free and are for both members and non-members.

Begin your learning journey

Are you ready to explore our suite of 35 accredited level 2 qualifications? Get started by clicking the button below.