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As of 1 June 2015, in order to better reflect the wider learning system and structure, and to harness the internationally recognised brand, YMCA Awards will become the new name for CYQ.

Why rebrand?

Simplicity. Clarity. A stronger brand. That’s the idea behind our new identity.

Market research revealed that the YMCA brand has greater recognition among learners, employers and parents, compared with CYQ, and that a majority of our existing customers and learners already refer to us as ‘YMCA’. ‘YMCA’ is seen as one of the most important organisations in the lives of anyone aspiring to a career in the active leisure sector. After all, YMCA is a unique international organisation and one of the best known brands in the world.

How will this affect my learners?

“I studied Level 2 Fitness Instructing at college. I understood it was a YMCA qualification, but it says CYQ on the certificate”. This is an example of a frequent query we receive from learners. Introducing this change will simplify and clarify our offer for students. Learners will not be adversely affected by the change.

How will learners be informed of the changes?

Centres should inform learners of the change as soon as possible. Further information will be provided for students on our updated website from 1 June 2015. Please direct learners to our website if they require further information.

Are CYQ certificates still valid?

Yes. CYQ certificates are still valid and CYQ learners’ achievements will continue to be recognised by employers and learning providers.

How will this affect my centre?

It will be business as usual for your centre. Our priority during this transition will be to ensure that centres continue to receive a high-quality experience. We will provide you with support and guidance on how to use the new brand and logo. We’re confident that the more recognisable YMCA brand will help centres to attract and retain more learners onto your courses and support engagement activity with employers. Learners using a search engine to find CYQ or YMCA qualifications will automatically be directed to the YMCA Awards website.

Can centres still use CYQ branded resources in teaching?

Yes. There is no requirement for your centre to change your resources, although we ask that you update them in due course with the new branding to provide a consistent experience for learners.

How do centres update promotional materials with the new logo?

If you are an approved centre we will send you an electronic version of our new logo along with usage guidelines. If you have not received the logo via email by 1 June, please get in touch with the customer service team.

What will the qualifications be called on RITS and funding agency databases?

Our qualifications will now have the acronym ‘(YMCA)’.

Why are you called ‘Awards’?

Following consultation, we’ve selected a name that reflects the wider learning and awarding system, beyond qualifications. We’re also listening to the needs of employers, and are aware of the rising demand for recognition of alternative learning journeys, which develop skills and experience, but do not necessarily result in a qualification. That’s why we are looking at other ways of awarding credentials that tell the full story of a learner’s experience and achievements.

Is the rebrand going to cost a lot of money?

No. As a non-profit organisation, we don’t have to distribute profits to investors or shareholders, which means that our surplus can go directly into developing and continuously improving our offer for learning providers and learners. We’re changing the brand name based on market feedback and because we believe that the new brand will better support the aspirations of our centres and learners. As a charity, we have a responsibility to manage our financial position carefully, which is why wherever possible we’ve tied-in rebranding activity with necessary development work to help minimise the cost.

Why are you launching the new brand in June?

Our research told us that most of our centres wanted to update their promotional materials in summer 2015; thus, it is the most convenient time to introduce a change.

Will employers recognise the change?

We are communicating widely with large employers, trade bodies and stakeholders in the active leisure sector to make them fully aware of the change. We are also advertising the change extensively in the trade press.

Can learners who have received a CYQ certificate in the past get a new YMCA Awards certificate?

There is no requirement for learners to change their certificate. However, if learners feel strongly that they would like a certificate with the new brand they can request a replacement. We are offering a 50% discount on certificate re-issue fees up to 1st December 2015. The re-issued certificate will have the new branding.

Isn’t YMCA just for young people?

No. YMCA is, and has always been a diverse, global organisation built on a tradition of inclusiveness and tolerance. Qualifications from YMCA Awards are suitable for everyone, regardless of age, gender or creed.

How are you linked with other Central YMCA operations?

Central YMCA was established in 1844 by a young apprentice, and for more than 170 years we have worked relentlessly to help people build a better future. YMCA Awards, YMCAfit and YMCA Training will remain separate business units. We have a regulatory obligation to ensure that we don’t treat these companies any differently to any other education provider that we work with, or give them (or their learners) an unfair advantage over any of our other centres and learners. YMCA Awards has a robust conflict of interest policy in place to support this, we are regulated by Ofqual and we are independently audited.

How are you linked with the wider YMCA movement?

Today, YMCA is a far-reaching, global organisation recognised for its integrity, inclusiveness and innovation, and for the positive impact we have on the thousands of people we serve. Whether it’s providing 10,000 beds every night to people in the UK in need of warmth and shelter, or being at the forefront of campaigns to change attitudes and influence government policy, or providing life-changing educational opportunities, we’re proud of the many aspects of our organisation and the reach that we have across society.