Arts Award digital certificates: your questions answered!

Arts Award digital certificates: your questions answered!

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BY: Nicola King
28 Mar 2024

Following on from the changes made to Arts Award quality assurance process last December, and the introduction of digital certificates, many of you have got in touch with your questions. In this blog we will try to answer the most common queries we have received about the change to digital certificates.

Why has Arts Award made the change to digital certificates?

The transition to digital certificates for Explore, Bronze, Silver and Gold is driven by our commitment to enhancing the efficiency and security of our certification process.

Trinity’s digital certificates have several benefits: certificates are available as soon as results are released – ready for viewing and sharing, and digital certificates are kinder to the environment.

Additionally digital certificates include verified data to validate the digital credentials, the awarding body and the quality assurance of the qualification. Young people can share this data an unlimited number of times, whether as a link, PDF or QR code, and so will not need to scan or take photographs of paper certificates to prove their skills. Therefore, it will be much easier for young people to demonstrate the validity of their qualifications in real-time, online.

Why do centres need to provide a parent or student email address?

Digital certificates are issued through a platform called Accredible, and the email provided is used to create an account on Accredible, which the young person can use for the rest of their life. In this way digital certificates are intrinsically linked to the email address provided.

The digital certification website is not designed for use by under-18s and so we request that parents’/guardians’ email addresses are supplied for young people under the age of 18 in order to ensure that digital certificates are issued to the correct person who is legally able to act on behalf of the child. Once a young person turns 18 it is possible for the account to be transferred over to them, from their parent. You can find out more about digital certificates, and read our digital certificate FAQ's, here.

How does this effect our GDPR compliance?

As set out in your registered exam centre contract, as part of the exam services provided by centres, each centre is obliged to transfer personal information to Trinity, such as young people’s names and dates of birth, and now email addresses, in a way that complies with data protection legislation. Some centres collect consent from the data subjects, but this is not the only basis for processing personal information and there are other options to explore under data protection law. Further information can be found on the ICO’s website: A guide to lawful basis | ICO or you could speak to the person leading on data protection in your organisation.

If your centre does not ordinarily collect this information, we would encourage you to adapt your policies and procedures as required and ideally collect this information at the start of your Arts Award programme delivery.

If you have any concerns about how Trinity uses, and protects, any personal information provided you can find our data protection policies and privacy statements here.

What if we cannot provide parent/student email addresses?

For those working in the education sector, if it is not possible for your school to provide parent email addresses, we are able to accept the candidates’ individual school email addresses. By providing school email addresses for young people under the age of 18 you are confirming that your school complies with UK data protection law and has measures in place to ensure appropriate parental supervision of such school email address’ account, including age related guidance on the use of such email addresses. You must also ensure that young people have ongoing access to their certificates after they have left your school. You can do this by asking parents/guardians to add their personal email address to their child’s Accredible (digital certificate) account, or by purchasing paper certificates for young people.

Where schools are acting as legal guardian, i.e. 'in loco parentis', it is possible to put a school email for young people, whether the same one for all or various school email addresses – this will usually be in the case of a residential/boarding school.

In cases where it would be inappropriate or impossible for a parent to take on the responsibility of the digital certificate, and there is no suitable legal guardian, centres may apply to receive paper certificates for some or all of the young people in an order with no additional cost. In such cases, please get in touch with our Arts Award Operations team who will support you to find the best solution for the young people you are working with.

What if digital certificates are not suitable for my candidates due to their specific needs?

If you feel a digital certificate may not be accessible to a young person we would encourage you to get in contact with our Arts Award Operations team who will be able to discuss this further. Requests will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Can we buy paper certificates for Arts Award?

It is still possible to buy a paper certificate. Certificates can be ordered directly from our certificate platform; either the young person can buy a certificate for themselves, or if you select the centre tab you can order for them. Payment is currently available by debit or credit card (invoice payment coming in 2024). Purchases can be made once results for the exams are available in the Centre Portal. All you need to make an order is your Trinity Centre Portal username, your centre number and the order number. If you order 5 or more, you get a 20% discount on the costs. 

Why have your costs not gone down due to these changes?

Whilst we have kept our pricing structure below inflation costs for a number of years in recognition of the impact of the pandemic-related and cost of living challenges to our customers, we have witnessed escalating costs and inflation over the past years, which have had a considerable impact on our operations.

The costs of entering for Arts Award does not only cover the cost of the qualification, but also allows us to maintain the high standards of service and support we offer, including our newly introduced monitoring programme that goes alongside moderations, which is essential to ensure the long-term sustainability and continued quality of Arts Award.

We hope you find these answers helpful, if you have any other questions please do not hesitate to get in touch:

For questions relating to booking and entering young people:

For general Arts Award

Request a free support session
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