International GCSE (IGCSE)


Although not explicitly listed in SASE, International GCSEs (IGCSEs) have always been acceptable within SASE frameworks. However, the requirements relating to their acceptability is complex, with both grade and date achieved criteria needing to be met.


In summary, for the purposes of SASE compliance and Apprenticeship Certification requirements:


  • For Apprentices who started an Apprenticeship prior to the 6th of April 2015, IGCSEs can only be accepted if they meet the SASE specified grade requirements, were achieved before Sept 2012, and also within the 5 years immediately prior to the Apprenticeship start date.



  • For Apprentices who started Apprenticeship on, or after, the 6th of April 2015, IGCSEs can be accepted if they meet the SASE specified grade requirements, irrespective of when they were achieved.

For more information on all forms of acceptable Transferable Skills evidence, please refer to the two guidance documents that are listed at the bottom of this page.


How can an IGCSE be identified?

There are a range of IGCSEs available, which can be studied in over 100 countries worldwide. Whilst most achievement evidence will explicitly refer to the qualification as an IGCSE there are examples where this is not the case. A list of qualifications that are IGCSEs but do not include this specific description in their title can be found here: IGCSE List


The following IGCSEs can be used as acceptable achievement for the mandatory English and Maths requirements of current SASE frameworks and evidence of their achievement can be submitted on ACE:


      • Edexcel/Pearson Level 1/Level 2 Certificate in English Language 
      • Edexcel/Pearson Level 1/Level 2 Certificate in Mathematics
      • Cambridge International Level 1/Level 2 Certificate in Mathematics
      • Cambridge International Level 1/Level 2 Certificate in First Language English
      • AQA Level 1/Level 2 Certificate in English Language
      • WJEC Level 1/Level 2 Certificate in English Language


Examples of Acceptable Evidence

This section has examples of the types of ACCEPTABLE IGCSE qualifications that can be submitted to show full achievement of an IGCSE however, we are aware that the list of examples is not exhaustive. For clarification of the specific type and format of evidence that can be accepted for the individual Awarding Organisation please see their dedicated page within the appropriate section of this guidance.


If you have an example of achievement of an IGCSE, that is not currently included in our guidance, and you are unsure of its acceptability then please send it to us for review and clarification.  All evidence examples are to be sent to the ACE Helpdesk –


We are aware that there are a number of IGCSEs that are achieved in other countries and these are often delivered in conjunction with Cambridge International Examinations (CIE) and, where this is the case, the CIE logo will appear somewhere on the achievement certificate.


We have included some examples of IGCSE certificates from other nations that are acceptable. If you receive an IGCSE certificate from another nation, that you are at all unsure about, then please bring this to our attention.








What formats of evidence are acceptable?

Any evidence that is uploaded to ACE must be good quality with all of the required data present, complete and clearly visible. The following commonly used file formats are all acceptable and are ones that we guarantee can be opened by Certification Bodies:- PDF, JPEG, DOC, TIF, PNG, ZIP.


Other formats can be uploaded to ACE but there could be an issue for Certification Bodies in opening evidence that is in an unusual file format. Please note there is a 3MB file size limit and it may be necessary for files to be compressed prior to being uploaded to ACE.


Any single file that is to be used as evidence for more than one Apprenticeship component should have the correct tick boxes selected when the file is uploaded. This will ensure that a copy will be accessible from each of the selected component placeholders on the ACE Evidence Tab.


NB: For any evidence that contains the achievement details of more than one qualification (e.g. a learner’s PLR), can you please clearly indicate which specific entry, or entries, are being submitted as learner achievement evidence.


Created 01.12.15
Updated 09.02.16
Updated 10.05.17