Embargo agreement 2021

May 2021

This Awarding Body Linkage (ABL) results embargo agreement (the “Agreement”) is a summary of the main obligations under the Terms of Service you have entered into with us, specifically for the purpose of sharing results with you prior to results day. Your Terms of Service with us set out strict contractual obligations in relation to the embargo period and results, which you must comply with.

The following definitions, referred to throughout this Agreement, are taken from the Terms of Service, namely:

  • Applicant means a person who has applied for an undergraduate course (or courses) through us.
  • Embargoed information means any information which you must not release before results day, including applicants’ results and decisions on applications you have received.
  • Results day means the date awarding bodies publish results, or any other date we tell you.

In addition, “Release” includes but is not limited to directly or indirectly confirming an applicant’s status, and/or sending any communications that may directly or indirectly confirm the status of their application (e.g. emails relating to course reading material and student accommodation).

In accordance with the Terms of Service, we have agreed to share results with you under the strict conditions that :

1.  You must only use the embargoed information strictly for the sole purpose of facilitating the Confirmation processes.

2.  You must not (and if you do so you will be in breach of the Terms of Service):

  • release embargoed information to any applicant or other third party before results day;
  • discuss embargoed information with any applicant or other third party before results day; or
  • respond to any request an applicant, journalist or other third party makes in connection with embargoed information before results day.

3.  If you give any third-party provider access to our services or content, you must make sure they keep to these terms. You will be liable to us for anything the third party does in connection with our services or content. We can deny, limit or withdraw a third party’s access to our services and content if you or they break any of these terms.

4.  If you receive any request for embargoed information, you must report this to us immediately at: embargobreach@ucas.ac.uk.

5.  You must (and if you do so you will not be in breach of the Terms of Service):

  • keep to any restrictions relating to embargoed information that are set out in our Admissions Guide or that we tell you about at any time;
  • tell us immediately if you find out that this restriction has been broken;
  • implement, maintain, and regularly review adequate operational, organisational, and technical measures to safeguard against unauthorised access, loss, destruction, theft, or inadvertent disclosure of (i.e. a breach) the embargoed information prior to results day;
  • ensure the security in your IT solutions, and operating procedures implemented by you are sufficiently robust to safeguard against the serious damage that may be suffered by an applicant and us as a result of a breach; and
  • ensure that all relevant staff, third party agents and contractors (such as call centres, cloud managed IT Partners and marketing agencies) with access to or an ability to access (either with express permission or otherwise) successfully complete the 2021 training module. Further support, guidance, and the UCAS embargo training module can be found on the 2021 results embargo page

Early access to the embargoed information is a privilege and providers are responsible for maintaining the confidentiality, security, and integrity of embargoed information. Considering the ongoing concerns expressed by the awarding organisations, we continue to develop and deliver a results embargo strategy designed to embed a stronger compliance culture and to enable a zero breach position.

In the event that you, your employees, third party agents or contractors you engage, release embargoed information in any way prior to results day, whether intentionally or not, we can suspend or withdraw your access to the embargoed information, or apply any appropriate restriction.

You must notify us immediately if a breach has occurred by contacting the Embargo team.

In addition, if the breach involves Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) results, you must also immediately contact SQA.


You should retain a signed copy of this Agreement to remind you of your obligations. If you have any questions about this Agreement or any of your obligations, please contact awardingbodylinkage@ucas.ac.uk.

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