Core Content

Centres Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

You can find answers below to some of our frequently asked questions from our Customer Experience and Exams teams. These FAQs are for EAL centres. If you can't find the answer you need, leave us some feedback at the foot of the page or use the contact information in the sidebar to get in touch.

Customer Experience Questions

How do I login to Online Services or Smarter Touch?

Under the navigation bar on our Home Page, select Services then either Online Services or Smarter Touch.

How do I find the latest EAL price list?

You will need access to Smarter Touch to obtain the price list however once logged in, the price list is available to download under the documents tab.

Why does it say password locked or authentication failed when I try to login to Online Services?

Authentication failed and password locked means that you have entered your password too many times. A Centre Coordinator account will automatically unlock after two (2) hours and a sub-user account will unlock in twenty (20) minutes.

How can I obtain an electronic certificate?

We offer an e-Certificate service to all EAL recognised centres. For more information on this please read about e-certificates.

Where do I locate paper-based registration and certification forms?

All learner registrations and certifications are processed via our Online Services system however in circumstances where we require a paper-based form you can download these from our Document Library.

How do I provide feedback?

Our Feedback and Complaints form can be downloaded from our Document Library.

How do I validate a learner certificate?

You can validate an EAL certificate by using our online tool please see the following link Certificate Checker.

How do I download unit publications for EAL qualifications?

You will need access to Online Services to obtain EAL publications. However once logged in, the qualification materials can be downloaded from the 'Publication' tab.

How does my qualification compare with other UK qualifications?

We have developed a UK Qualification Comparison chart, if you have any further questions; please contact our Customer Experience team.

How does my qualification compare overseas?

In order to compare worldwide qualifications not completed through EAL please contact The National Recognition Information Centre for the United Kingdom (NARIC) using the details below:

Phone: +44 (0)871 330 7033
Email: info@naric.org.uk

How do I apply for a record search?

We hold records for EAL, Engineering Industry Training Board (EITB) and Engineering Manufacturing Training Association (EMTA) therefore if you have completed your qualifications through one of the aforementioned organisations then we may be able to locate your records. Please be aware that we retain records of achievement for 7 years and although we will respond as accurately as we can any achievements prior to this cannot be guaranteed to be confirmed. If you require confirmation of your records and do not have a certificate number, please complete an application for a Record Search.

How do I apply for a replacement certificate?

If you have a certificate number, you will need to complete an application for a Replacement Certificate. If you do not have a certificate number, please complete an application for a Record Search.

How do I amend my personal details on a certificate?

View our Certificate Policy for further details.

How do I find an EAL approved centre near me?

Visit our Find a Centre page for further details.

How do I find a password for a locked assessment?

You will need to be approved to deliver the qualification in order to obtain a password. Once approved, please contact us with your centre number and we will be able to assist you further.

Unable to find the answer to your question?

Please contact us.

Exams Questions

I am trying to schedule a candidate for an online exam but they are not showing in the available candidate list

Check that your candidate has been registered at least 24 hours in advance and for the appropriate qualification. If you are still experiencing problems, contact exams@eal.org.uk.

How do I schedule an exam?

There is guidance in the 'Exam System User Guide' and our video tutorials, both of which can be found on our online services and the home page of SecureAssess.

My centre is not showing when I try to schedule an exam

Please contact exams@eal.org.uk

I am trying to schedule an online exam but the date I want is greyed out

Exams can only be booked up to 42 days in advance. If you're experiencing difficulties scheduling an exam, contact exams@eal.org.uk.

I would like to edit the time or date of my scheduled exams

If the exam status shows as 'Editable', click 'Edit Exam'. If it is showing as 'Locked' you will need to find the exam on the Invigilation tab and void it. You can then reschedule it for the correct time/date.

I want to set a PIN for an exam that I have scheduled but the exam is not showing in the Invigilation tab of SecureAssess

PINs can only be added 5 days before the date of the exam, and can only be added from the invigilation screen. Practice exams do not require a pin number.

Where can I find your Reasonable Adjustments & Special Considerations Policy?

This is available in the 'Documents' section of SmarterTouch.

I've had a reasonable adjustment approved for extra time, how do I apply this?

You will need to contact the EAL Exams Team with the relevant exam information and Smarter Touch form number for this to be implemented. Contact exams@eal.org.uk.

I am getting the message "Invalid Keycode"

Check the Keycode is being entered correctly. If it is please check your proxy server, firewall and antivirus settings to ensure the SecureClient software isn't being blocked.

I am getting the message "Exam locked by Invigilator"

The invigilator will need to go online to the Invigilation tab and click 'Unlock' to start the exam.

When trying to access the exams system in Online Services I am getting the message "User validation failed"

When becoming a new centre or changing your password, it may take up to 24 hours to update the exams system.

My candidate has raised a query about an exam question, how do I let EAL know?

Please make a note of the candidate name and number and question number on the Supervision Report. Please send this, with the Attendance Register and an explanation of the query to the Exams Team, contact exams@eal.org.uk.

Please do not note the question or take pictures.

When entering the Keycode I am getting the message “Invalid Keycode: OFFLINE – There was an error validating the Keycode"

Please check you have a connection to the internet. A bandwidth of 2mb/s or greater is recommended.

If you can't find the answer you are looking for contact our Customer Experience team on 01923 652400 or email customer.experience@eal.org.uk.


Take the pain out of EPA administration with our new end to end learner management system.

Built With You in Mind

From our conversations with you, the same elements continue to crop up time and time again, especially around EPA registrations, tracking and visibility from the employer's and provider's perspective. The administration is a burden, tracking apprentices is problematic, and keeping everyone engaged in the process takes time and effort. We all know it is something we have to do, but now we can make it simpler, easier!

Continue Reading

With the EAL Seal of Approval, Course Confidence Is Assured

Acknowledge Your Exceptional Training with the Industry Standard in Course Accreditation from the Engineering and Manufacturing Specialists

Clear Advantages

Give your training the recognition it deserves with the added assurance of independent accreditation from EAL

Gain the competitive edge and increase your opportunity to grow skills and revenue with the highest-quality training. Reward and recognise the hard work of your trainees, improve staff motivation, satisfaction and increase retention. 

Realise all these benefits and more when you validate your in-house training programme with our Course Accreditation Approval – The EAL Seal of Approval.

The EAL Seal – Industry’s Standout Standard

The EAL Seal is the kitemark of quality for those employers and training providers striving to exceed expectations and stand apart from the competition. Courses that bear the EAL Seal are evaluated against and meet the same quality standards you would expect from EAL’s regulated qualifications. 

Course Confidence Guaranteed

EAL has been the UK's specialist awarding organisation for the engineering and manufacturing sector since 1992. As global leaders in engineering skills, our expertise is extensive and our reputation well established. This is why no comparable industry certification comes close to conferring so much trust. Which means peace of mind for you and your customers – both internal and external.

Find out more

To find out more about how EAL Course Accreditation Approval can help you and your business, get in touch with one of our friendly advisors today.

Learning Content Competition

Can we put our money where your mouth is?win-500

Calling all Training Managers, Teachers, Tutors and Practitioners... Every day you support students in gaining the knowledge and understanding they need to realise their potential and to move the industry and country forward. 

You do this with hard work, ingenuity, and often not enough recognition. We would like to recognise all of those things. 

  • We are looking for the best examples of learning material in the sector.
  • You know the type of thing we mean. Those YouTube videos that your students love.
  • The quiz you designed that makes learning fun, or the workbook that just nails the subject in a way that everyone gets.

Competition Rules

  • It must be in a digital format
  • It must be free for everyone to use
  • It must be accurate and current 

To read the full competition terms and conditions click here

To share learning content contact customercare@eal.org.uk or 01923 652 400. Closing date 31 August 2018. 

Coming Soon

Unique combined online platform to enable educators and employers to attract, screen, assess and place the best emerging talent. 

Lifelong learning through the curation and delivery of digital learning content supported by the provision of tools for tracking time spent in learning. 

Understanding your organisational skills needs

Successful companies are those who embrace change through technology, process efficiency and a sufficiently skilled, focused and agile workforce.

Here at the Enginuity Group we are always seeking ways to support business growth, improve productivity and develop long lasting skills solutions. With this in mind, we are pleased to launch our Organisational Needs Analysis tool.

What is the Organisational Needs Analysis tool?EAL ONA Graphics-v1A

The Enginuity Group Organisational Needs Analysis (ONA) platform is a free, quick and easy to use solution to help your business to develop a strategic skills plan. By using this tool you're taking the first step towards a more skilled, more prosperous future for your workplace.

Using the tool is intuitive. It reviews key aspects of the business and provides a summary of results, which can inform the development of a tailored strategic skills plan. There are two ways you can use this assessment:

  1. Company-wide survey - For a more comprehensive report, you can request a company survey link that will allow members of your wider team to provide input as well. Not only will you be able to access your individual summary, but the company will be able to access a collated report that shows responses from across the organisation.

    This is recommended for the majority of businesses. 

  2. Individual survey on behalf of the organisation - This approach allows you to complete the survey on behalf of your organisation. By selecting this option you will be taken directly to the survey. At the end of the survey, you will be sent a link to a report that summarises the results.

SSD2628 Enginuity ONA-ONA Tool Buttons-v2

So don't delay – it will only take five minutes, but could change your workplace's future. Don't let your organisation be left behind by the rise of new technologies like artificial intelligence and automation – use our system now and start future-proofing your skills today!

Why should I complete it?

Research has shown that employers who carry out a training needs analysis are less likely to have skills gaps in their workforces. They can also enjoy a 24% higher profit margin* than workplaces which don't invest enough in training.

What happens next?

Once you have completed the survey you will receive a personalised report that summarises your results. If required, one of our skills experts can then work with you to develop a tailored strategic plan to address any identified skills gaps and shortages. This may include a range of solutions, for example:

  • Apprenticeships
  • Upskilling
  • Continuous Professional Development (CPD)
  • Other training methods

What are the benefits to my business?

Our experts are on hand to work with you to find and implement the right solutions to meet your skills needs. We're already seeing great results – employers we work with are seeing immediate benefits such as:

  • Improved productivity
  • Efficiency savings
  • Reduced training costs

For more information contact our Customer Experience Team on 01923 645 400 or email customercare@eal.org.uk


Year of Engineering

Year of Engineering 500x200EAL is teaming up with government and hundreds of industry partners to launch the Year of Engineering – a national campaign to inspire the next generation of engineers and widen the pool of young people who join the profession.

Throughout 2018, young people and their parents will have the chance to take a closer look at engineering, with thousands of inspiring experiences of engineering on offer throughout the country.

Keep up to date with our Year of Engineering activity here:

  • Read our first IAC guest blog from BAE Systems Apprentice Ryan Carey here

To find out more about the Year of Engineering, visit the website or follow the campaign on Twitter.

Apprenticeship Levy FAQs

  • 1.What is the apprenticeship levy?

    The apprenticeship levy is a tax on businesses that was introduced from April 2017 to help support the government’s target of 3 million apprenticeship starts by 2020. It is designed to make apprenticeship funding sustainable.

  • 2.Who will have to pay the levy?

    Employers with an annual payroll over £3 million and operating in the UK (including private, public sector and voluntary sector organisations) have to pay the levy.

  • 3.How much will employers pay?

    0.5% of an employer’s total payroll, with a £15,000 allowance to offset the overall cost.

  • 4.How can you get more back than you pay in?

    The government applies a 10% top-up to monthly funds entering levy paying employers' online apprenticeship accounts for apprenticeship training in England. All funds entering a levy payer’s account are increased, so every £1 will be increased to £1.10 in value.

    The amount an employer will receive each month is:-

    Monthly levy paid to HMRC


    The fraction of the employer’s pay bill paid to their workforce resident in England


    A 10% top-up on that amount.  Registration for the apprenticeship service is open to all levy paying employers.

  • 5.How will it work?

    The levy is paid to HM Revenue and Customs through the Pay As You Earn (PAYE) scheme and applies to employers across the UK.  Access to levy funds is through a digital account via an online apprenticeship service.  Levy funds collected one month appear on the online system the following month and can be exchanged for vouchers to spend on training with an approved training provider. The Enginuity Group (which EAL is part of) can help at every stage, the diagram below shows how it works:


  • 6.What happens to the money once it's paid?

    The money is collected by HMRC.  Individual employers’ funding for apprenticeship training in England is then be made available to them via their apprenticeship service account.  Employers can use this to pay for training for apprentices and will have 24 months to spend it from the moment it hits their accounts.  The service will also support employers to identify a training provider, choose an apprenticeship training course and find a candidate.
  • 7.What can the levy be spent on?

    Employers can spend their levy funds on the costs of an apprentice’s training, assessment and certification. This includes either existing staff or new recruits, as long as the training meets an approved standard or framework and the individual meets the apprentice eligibility criteria. Employers will also be able to fund qualifications through the levy as long as they are included within approved apprenticeship standards and frameworks, although qualifications are not mandatory.

    Employers cannot use levy funds to cover all the costs associated with taking on an apprentice. For example, overheads, supervision costs and apprentices’ wages cannot be funded by the levy.

    Employers can fund apprenticeships at the same level or a lower level than an individual’s highest existing qualification, so long as the individual will acquire ‘substantively’ new skills through doing the apprenticeship. Apprenticeships can be used to up-skill and re-skill existing employees as well as new recruits.
  • 8.Who will provide the training?

    Employers can only spend their levy funds on apprenticeship training delivered by an approved provider. This could be through buying in training from an approved provider or delivering the training themselves.  To deliver training the employer will need to register as an approved provider and be subject to Education Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) quality arrangements and Ofsted inspection. The government has guidance for employers on how to register as an approved training provider and employers can choose a provider from the register of apprenticeship training providers (RoATP).
  • 9.What will employers be able to claim for each apprenticeship?

    The government publishes funding bands for apprenticeships. Although they are called bands, they do not have a lower spending limit, just an upper one. There are fifteen bands, up to a maximum value of £27,000.

    Employers pay month to month for the apprenticeship training and 20% of the total training is held back and taken from the apprenticeship service account at the end of the apprenticeship, as apprenticeship standards include an end-point assessment.  The full lists of bands for frameworks and approved standards is here.
  • 10.What  about employers who don’t pay the levy?

    The government estimates that 98% of employers won’t pay the levy.

    All non-levy funded apprenticeships - offered by both levy payers which have run out of levy funds and non-levy payers - are funded based on a 9:1 ratio of government to employer funding. This is known as ‘co-investment’.

    Small employers with fewer than 50 employees can train 16-18 year old apprentices at zero cost, with the government covering 100% of the cost.
  • 11.What if an employer doesn't spent all the money in their apprenticeship service account?

    Employers have 24 months to spend all digital vouchers in their apprenticeship service account, on a ‘use it or lose it’ basis.  They can transfer up to 10% of their total digital vouchers for a year to another employer which uses the apprenticeship service.
  • 12. What about Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland?

    The government collects the levy from all UK-based employers but the new funding system only applies in England.

    The government has devolved Scotland’s, Wales’ and Northern Ireland’s proportion of the apprenticeship levy, calculated through a formula, as part of the block grants to those nations.  Those nations' own devolved governments decide how to spend the money - the Scottish Government, for example, will spend about half of its levy funds on apprenticeships and the rest on wider training and skills investment.

  • 13. What is the Institute for Apprenticeships?

    A new independent body established by government and led by employers to regulate the quality of apprenticeships within the context of reaching 3 million starts in 2020.

    The Institute’s role is to advise on setting funding caps, approve apprenticeship standards and assessment plans. From 2018, the Institute will expand its remit to also cover technical education.

Apprenticeship Levy Resources

Other Apprenticeship Levy Resources

You may find the following guidance documents useful:

Guidance - Apprenticeship funding: how it will work

Guidance - For employers on paying the levy

For Levy Support Get in touch

EAL can work with you to help you understand the levy and its implications for your business. For more information contact our Customer Experience Team on +44 (0)1923 652400 or email customer.experience@eal.org.uk

View Levy Frequently Asked Questions

Changes to qualifications

Qualification Withdrawals

If you intend to register any learners on the qualifications listed in our downloadable table, you must do so before the registration end date indicated. After this date, the qualification will no longer be available, and we will be unable to accept registrations.

EAL will of course continue to support and assess the qualifications up to the final date for certification for these qualifications.

Learners who have been registered before the qualification's registration end date will have until the certification end date to complete their course and claim certificates. This includes learners who have a credit certificate and who want to complete the full qualification and claim a full certificate.

We cannot accept or process any claims after the final date for certification. 

If you have any questions about this please contact our Customer Experience Team on +44(0)1923 652400 or email Customer.Experience@eal.org.uk

Click below to download the list of qualifications that are being withdrawn and view their registration and certification end dates: 

Download qualifications being withdrawn