A website for Faith in God's Word School, www.faithingodsword.co.uk, stated "ICCE Advanced Certificate. The Advanced Certificate has been generally recognised by universities and colleges as equivalent to A2 Level. Many students completing this certificate go on to study at degree level".
The complainant, a journalist and campaigner for change to the Accelerated Christian Education (ACE) curriculum and International Certificate of Christian Education (ICCE) qualification, challenged whether the ad was misleading and could be substantiated, because they understood that the ICCE was not recognised in the UK as being equivalent to an A2 Level.
Faith in God's Word School stated that the claim was an inaccurate paraphrase of the findings of a study conducted by UK NARIC on the ICCE curriculum, which considered it to be "comparable" rather than "equivalent" to the A-level standard. Faith in God's Word School stated that they intended in future to advertise in a manner that was factually accurate and were prepared to add reference to the relevant studies on their website.
The ASA noted that the benchmarking study by UK NARIC found that the ICCE general and advanced certificates could be considered to be "comparable" to the overall Cambridge International O- or A-Level standard. It did not however, state that the ICCE could be considered as "equivalent" to the A2 level. Furthermore, we noted that UK NARIC had conducted the study on a qualification that, unlike the A2 level to which it was being compared, was not part of the National Qualifications Framework.
Therefore, we concluded the claim that the qualifications were "equivalent" to each other had not been substantiated and was misleading.
The ad breached CAP Code rules 3.1 3.1 Marketing communications must not materially mislead or be likely to do so. (Misleading Advertising) and 3.7 3.7 Before distributing or submitting a marketing communication for publication, marketers must hold documentary evidence to prove claims that consumers are likely to regard as objective and that are capable of objective substantiation. The ASA may regard claims as misleading in the absence of adequate substantiation. (Substantiation).
The ad must not appear again in its current form. We told Faith in God's Word School that their future advertising must not state or suggest that the ICCE was recognised in the UK as being equivalent to an A- Level standard.