As a Higher Education provider, LSST has been keen to respond proactively to the compliance advice issued by the Competitions & Markets Authority in March 2015 to the Higher Education sector.
The guidance relates to three specific areas of practice, where the CMA considers providers may need to take action, or modify existing practice in order to comply with the law:
- • Provide students with clear, accurate and timely information to enable them to make an informed decision about what and where to study;
- • Ensure their terms and conditions are fair, for example, so they cannot make surprising changes to the course content, or cost; and
- • Ensure that their complaints handling processes are accessible, clear and fair.
Consumer Rights Act 2015
We have ensured compliance with the Consumer Rights Act 2015 by ensuring our enrolment terms and conditions are, as far as possible, expressed in plain English, and the most significant terms are made obvious and drawn to student’s attention by use of bold text. Our enrolment terms and conditions, and all secondary contracts such as instalment payment plans and DBS checking agreements do not include any potentially unfair terms listed in Schedule 2 to the Act, and are reviewed at least annually. All policies referred to in the enrolment terms and conditions are freely and publicly available on LSST’s website. LSST is aware of the implications of section 50 of the Act regarding information given to applicant and students. As such our strict Public Information quality assurance processes, and a detailed summary of course information provided to students in offer letters, also ensure that we only provide clear and accurate information to inform applicant and student choices.
LSST has a clear and comprehensive Public Information Policy available on our website, and the Connect VLE, which is reviewed annually. This ensures all information made available in policies, publicity, blogs, and on the website and accurate and provide students will all the information necessary to make an informed decision about whether to study with LSST, and if so which cause would be most suitable for them.
Additionally, our application process (including online application forms, offer letters, and admissions staff training) is reviewed at least annually, and in response to any developments in law or industry practise. For example, in addition to annual reviews, the online application forms have been reviewed in 2016 to improve the clarity of information on joint liability for fees for students receiving student finance, and in 2017 to implement the changes required for compliance with GDPR.
Offer letters, which are sent out on submissions of the online application form, contain a statement of the applicant’s cancellation rights, make it clear at what point the student is bound by the terms of the contract (on accepting the offer). They concisely and clearly provide all the information required by the Consumer Contracts Regulations and recommended by the CMA Guidance by, for example, summarising and linking to the policies on complaints handling, and tuition fees.
LSST Terms and Conditions
Please read all sections of our Terms and Conditions. Course information, entry requirements and fees are published on the LSST website. As with our application process, the terms and conditions are reviewed at least annually, and in response to any developments in law or industry practise. In addition to the annual reviews, the Terms and Conditions have also been reviewed in 2015 response to the CMA guidance, and the Consumer Rights Act 2015, and in 2017 to accommodate anticipated change to regulation by the Office for Students, and the coming into effect of the GDPR in May 2018.
For university validated courses, LSST adopts the Academic Regulations as set by our university partners. It is important that students are aware of the Academic Regulations pertaining to their programme of study.
Policies and Procedures
Our policies and procedures are compliant with current consumer legislation, and our reviewed annually by our Quality Unit and legal advisor. Please read our Policies and Procedures.
Complaints and Appeals
Read our Complaints and Academic Appeals procedure here:
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If your complaint hasn’t been resolved at the end of our (or the university partner’s) complaints or appeals process, the Office of the Independent Adjudicator (OIA) provides an independent scheme for the review of complaints of registered LSST students.
Taking your complaint further: