If you’re new to advising, or need a refresh on the essentials, this page contains the essential information about Confirmation and Clearing.

What's on this page?


  • Confirmation of university and college places mostly happens following the release of summer results.
  • From summer 2021, applicants will no longer be presented with an ‘AS12’ Confirmation letter once their place is confirmed. Instead, applicants will receive details of what they need to do, and when, through their Track account, or directly from their university or college. 
  • Confirmation decisions and the CU12 Confirmation letter for UCAS Conservatoires applicants are shown in Track.

While universities and colleges receive grades and make their decisions, we enter into an embargo period…

What is the embargo?

Each year, UCAS and universities and colleges are given early access to results under strict embargo arrangements with the Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) and the Joint Council for Qualifications (JCQ). An embargo period covers the defined period of time where early access to embargoed examination results is given. This allows universities and colleges to prepare and make decisions by the official publication dates of exam results. It also gives you, as teachers, advisers, and exam centres, time to plan for the publication dates.

The embargo periods for 2020 are:

  • SQA results embargo period – 27 July at 18:00 until 4 August at 09:00
  • JCQ results embargo period – 7 August at 14:00 until 13 August at 08:00

During both embargo periods:

  • Track and the adviser portal will not be updated.
  • Universities and colleges cannot discuss any applicant’s individual status with them, or with an adviser.

Different Confirmation decisions

There are a number of decisions universities and colleges can make:

Conditions of offer have been met

Applicants who have met the conditions of their firm choice will be placed there (UF). Track will display confirmation and advise the applicant if they need to take any further action.

Applicants who are placed at their insurance choice (UI) or firm choice (UF) are shown in teh adviser portal under the ‘Final Place Accepted’ status. Use the ‘Search for Applicant’ feature, and choose this status to show you a list of those applicants.

For applicants with SQA and GCE grades, confirmation can be viewed in Track from the day results are published.

Conditions of offer have been met and exceeded

Applicants who meet and exceed the conditions of their conditional firm (CF) choice have the option to try to find an alternative place through Adjustment, while still holding their original confirmed offer. Those who originally applied for one choice and paid £20, need to make the additional payment of £5 if they wish to use Adjustment. This can be done in Track using a debit or credit card.

Conditions of offer have not been met

Applicants who have not met the conditions of their offer:

  • may still be accepted by the university or college, and may need to wait a few days for them to make a final decision. The university or college may be waiting for some information (confirmation of exam results, non-academic information, etc.) to make a final decision
  • may be given a change of course, date of entry, or point of entry offer, which will be shown in Track. Applicants are not obliged to accept this, but must accept or decline the change within five calendar days
Unsuccessful applicants

Applicants who have been unsuccessful will be in Clearing.

Applicants can use Clearing Plus to view a list of courses they've personally been matched to in Track by clicking the 'view matches' button – alongside our search tool, which will still have over 30,000 course options. 

Applicants who are unsuccessful and have paid the full application fee (£25) are eligible for Clearing. Those who originally applied for one choice, paid £20, and are not holding an offer, need to make the additional payment of £5 if they wish to enter Clearing. This can be done in Track using a debit or credit card.

Commitments during Confirmation

Applicants are expected to honour their Confirmation commitments.

However, should an applicant find they no longer wish to take up their confirmed place, they need to contact the university or college to either withdraw from the UCAS application system completely, or release themselves into Clearing using the ‘Decline my place’ button in Track. When they do this, they’ll be asked why they’ve changed their mind.


If your students don’t get the exam grades they hoped for and their places are not confirmed, they can try to find another course through Clearing.

The Clearing process runs from 6 July, and helps students without a confirmed place, and those who apply late, to find courses where there are still places available.

Applicants become eligible for Clearing at different times, and it is available for those who:

  • apply after 30 June 2020
  • haven’t received any offers
  • declined any offers they received

How do applicants use Clearing?

From 6 July, if an applicant is eligible, they can add a Clearing choice in Track.

  • Applicants do not need to contact us to request entry into Clearing.
  • Applicants should wait until they have any pending exam results before contacting universities and colleges about possible vacancies.
  • Applicants should regularly check the status of their application in Track to find out if they are eligible for Clearing.

On SQA results day (4 August), eligible applicants will be able to add choices from 10:00 (UK time).

On A level results day (13 August), eligible applicants will be able to add choices from 15:00 (UK time).

Applicants who have conditional firm (CF) and conditional insurance (CI) choices aren’t eligible for Clearing until both the CF and CI universities/colleges have confirmed they will not offer places. Applicants sometimes know informally that they have been unsuccessful before we receive the official decision. In these circumstances, they should allow a little time for the decision to be processed. If there’s a significant delay, they should contact the universities or colleges directly to discuss this.

There are two ways for students to find places:

Clearing Plus

With Clearing Plus, finding the right match has never been easier:

  • Applicants in Clearing can view a list of courses they've personally been matched to in Track – all they need to do is click the 'View matches' button.
  • They can browse from a list of courses they’ve been matched to based on their application and the students universities and colleges have told us they're looking for.
  • If they find a course they want to be considered for, they should click the 'I'm interested' button and their details will be passed to the university or college.
  • If the university or college still has places, they may reach out to discuss things further and make an offer.
  • If your students receive an offer, all that's left to do is to add it as a Clearing choice so their place can be confirmed.
Searching for courses

Official Clearing course vacancy information is only published by UCAS in our search tool from 6 July. There are over 35,000 courses for students to choose from.

When an applicant finds a course they’re interested in, they should talk to the uni or college – if they share their Clearing number the provider can look up their application. If they then secure a verbal offer, the applicant can then add the choice in Track.

More information is available on our Clearing page.


Adjustment is an optional service for applicants who meet and exceed the conditions of their firm choice. It gives them an opportunity to reconsider where and what to study, without losing their secured place.

Adjustment dates for 2021 will be confirmed later this year.

During this time, applicants can register for Adjustment in Track.

They then have five days to secure an alternative place. If they don’t, they remain accepted at their original confirmed place.

For more information visit our Adjustment page.

A summary of adjustment

  • It is optional.
  • Adjustment allows applicants to seek an alternative course without losing their secured place.
  • An applicant has five calendar days to use Adjustment, from 10 August (date to be confirmed), or the day their status changes from CF to UF.
  • If an applicant registers for Adjustment in error, please advise them not to worry, and not to take any further action.
  • When the five day period is over, their original place will remain unchanged.
  • There are no Adjustment vacancy lists. It is the applicant’s responsibility to contact a university or college to discuss an Adjustment place.
  • To secure an Adjustment place, the applicant must have received an alternative offer through UCAS before the five day period ends.
  • If an applicant does not receive an alternative place, they remain accepted at their current university or college.
  • Single entry applicants need to pay an additional application fee of £6 to use Adjustment.
  • Applicants who are in Adjustment should make it clear when contacting universities or colleges whether they are enquiring or agreeing to accept an offer. If the applicant is 'claimed' in Adjustment, they will not be able to keep their previous UF choice.