The process for submitting entries for vocational and general qualifications differs in several ways, so do read through the process before making your submissions.

General qualifications

Entry types

Preliminary entries

We collect preliminary entries for a small number of qualifications, where in-course teaching guides and question papers are required at a very early stage of the teaching process.

You will be sent a preliminary entry form during the first term of the academic year for candidates beginning a two-year course, who will be completing examinations in the June series at the end of their programme of study.  The entry form will list all qualifications that require preliminary entries. It is important to return your preliminary entry form by the date shown on the form so that we can send you the required materials. 

Submitting preliminary entries does not replace the need to make estimated entries or final entries.

Estimated entries

Estimated entries are your centre's best projection of the number of candidates that will be entered for a unit or option in a particular series. 

If you do not make estimated entries, you will not receive despatches of early examination materials (for example, instructions for practical examinations and pre-release materials) when you require them. 

Estimated entries can only be submitted through OCR Interchange. Just log on to Interchange, hover over Entries in the left-hand menu and click on 'Submit estimated entries'. 

Estimated entries are free and do not commit your centre in any way.

Final entries

Final entries provide OCR with detailed data for each candidate, showing each assessment to be taken:

There are two methods of submitting final entries:

  • OCR Interchange - OCR's secure extranet.
  • EDI (Electronic Data Interchange) via A2C – An electronic method of transmitting entry and results data to and from OCR using EDI files without using a third party carrier. To download basedata for creating electronic entry files, please see our basedata page.

For details of what entry information is required and for information about resit entries, terminal rules and submission methods, please see the Admin Guide. Entry codes, availability and rules of combination can be found in the Admin Guide.

Entry amendments and withdrawals

It is possible to amend or withdraw candidates’ entries via either Interchange or A2C, if they are made by the dates given in the Admin Guide.

Hard copy amendments will not be accepted.

More information

There are two main types of entry for vocational qualifications:
  1. Full award entry
    For candidates who are intending to complete the whole qualification rather than just individual units. 
  2. Unit entry
    For candidates building up their qualification unit by unit.

Entry routes

There are two main routes for making entries, though for some qualifications only one is available:
  • Named entry (preferred)
    The materials we supply are personalised, requiring less manual work later. 
  • unnamed entry
    The flexible option if you want to order a number of units or qualifications in bulk, without specifying who will be taking them.

How to make entries

There are two main methods of making entries, though for some qualifications only one is available:

If you would like to make a test entry please see the relevant Admin Guides.

For the majority of qualifications it is possible to make full award or unit entries via named or unnamed routes. For some qualifications not all entry types and routes are available:

Qualification Entry type Entry route Make entries via
CPC Unit test entry Named Interchange
Creative iMedia Full award/unit Unnamed Interchange
Essential Skills Wales Full award Named EDI or Interchange
NVQ (non-QCF) Full award Named Interchange (candidates must be entered 10 weeks before their first certification claim)
Retail Skills (QCF) Full award Named Interchange (use the NVQ heading)
Text Processing (Business Professional) Unit Unnamed Interchange
Functional Skills Unit Named/unnamed A2C or Interchange

For details of what entry information is required, please see the individual Admin Guides.

Entry amendments and withdrawals

If you need to update personal details such as a candidate’s name or date of birth, you can make the changes via Interchange. If you wish to change a candidate's whole name - rather than correct a spelling mistake - you will also need to send proof of the candidate's name change to OCR Operations in Coventry.

The A2C Data Exchange Project is designed to bring significant improvement to the way operational data is shared between awarding bodies and all schools, colleges, and other examination centres using what is currently known as Electronic Data Interchange (EDI). Note that awarding bodies will still continue to offer extranet services.

Who is involved?

A2C is led by the Joint Council for Qualifications (JCQ) awarding bodies in England and Wales, of which we are one. The JCQ is working closely with partners across the industry, including management information system (MIS) suppliers to synchronise developments and ensure solutions are fit for purpose. 

Will moving to A2C cost us any money?

The JCQ awarding bodies are covering all the costs associated with their development work and will not pass any of this onto centres and we will not charge centres to use the JCQ migration tool. Speak to your MIS supplier to discuss their charges.

What are the benefits of A2C

The aim is to bring the exchange of exam information into the 21st century. For the first time, centres will be able to use one standard for all qualifications, both general and vocational, across all JCQ awarding bodies. There is also the potential for FAB awarding bodies to come on board in the future as the standard will be designed to be open. Streamlining the way data is transferred and improving the content of data itself will give users greater flexibility and transparency, and lead to cost savings.

More information

For detailed information about the project for exams officers, teachers, senior managers and MIS suppliers please visit the dedicated website

You can also get in touch with our Customer Contact Centre.