Due to the rising costs of University validation, in 2013 the Church of England entered into a partnership with Durham University to validate and administer a number of awards common to most of the Anglican theological Colleges and Courses throughout the country. These Common Awards include both undergraduate and postgraduate courses, though not higher research degrees. Ridley participates as a member of the Cambridge Theological Federation (CTF), which is one of seventeen Theological Educational Institutions (TEI) that teach these awards. Extensive information about Common Awards is available on the Durham University website.
Still in its early days, Common Awards brings a greater national coherence in training than was possible previously with multiple validation partners. It provides an outline framework for a modern and well-designed vocational courses of study that integrate theology, ministry and mission. Within that framework the Cambridge Theological Federation has developed its own distinctive matrix of modules and approach to teaching and assessment.