As a registered centre, you’re responsible for ensuring predicted grades and a reference are added to every application.

Predicted grades

If a student is still studying or waiting for results they must list them as ‘pending’ in the education section of Apply. You’ll be able to see pending qualifications from ‘References and predicted grades’. If you have permission to edit the reference, you’ll be able to assign predicted grades.

Key points to note on predicted grades
  • Depending on the qualification structure, you can either select the predicted grade from a menu or use a free text field to type in the grade.
  • To edit the predicted grades of an approved reference, the reference must first be unapproved.
  • If you try to send an application to UCAS without entering predicted grades for all pending qualifications, a warning message will appear to ask if you are sure you want to send it.
  • Your students won’t see their reference or predicted grades. If you return an application to a student to make changes, any predicted grades you have already entered will be automatically removed. Please make sure you re-enter these grades.

If you’re not able to provide a predicted grade, leave this blank and make sure your reason is given in the reference.

To help with predictions, we’ve developed some useful guidance, covering key principles, challenges for advisers, setting internal processes, and more.


Checking qualifications

  • One of the main areas to be checked on an application is the education section.
  • If you fully check the qualifications, tick the qualifications check box located in the ‘education’ section.
  • It is not mandatory to check this box. This tick box is seen by universities and colleges as part of the reference.

Adding a reference

As a UCAS registered centre, it's your responsibility to identify relevant referees and approve references.

The ‘Reference’ section is where you:

  • select the name of the referee to appear on the reference (using the drop-down list of staff added in ‘Reference contact details’ in centre management)
  • write the reference, of up to 4,000 characters – this can be copied and pasted from another document
  • indicate dates when applicants won’t be available, if applicable, to discourage universities and colleges from inviting students to interviews, or contacting referees, during holiday periods
  • mark a reference as complete to approve it (you can save changes to a reference and return to it later, without having to mark it as complete)

Approving a reference

  • When a reference is finished, you need to ‘Mark reference as complete’. This then displays a complete status and give you the option to ‘Approve’ it.
  • An information box will appear, asking you to confirm you want to approve the reference. Once actioned, an information bar is displayed to confirm this is complete.
  • You can ‘Unapprove’ a reference if required. A reference must be unapproved if you want to amend the predicted grades.
  • Both the application and reference need to be approved before an application is ready to be sent to UCAS.

View further advice on writing references


Sending applications to UCAS

When all sections are complete, and the reference and application have been approved, an application is ready to be sent to UCAS.

A quick link to identify applications ‘Ready to send’ is located in ‘Application management’.

It is important to do this in plenty of time, and not leave it to the day of the deadline. 

For more information see our online training focused on Managing your applications pre-submission.