What you need to know about your course

As a Higher Education provider we comply with the Consumer Rights Act 2015 set by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA). Our policies and procedures are compliant with the legislation.  Knowing your rights under consumer law will help you get the information you need when choosing a course and provider, and help to protect you if things go wrong.  The Competition and Markets authority (CMA) publish information for undergraduate students to inform you of your rights under consumer law.

For the full guide on your rights as a consumer click  or for an easy 60-second summary click .

Higher Education courses at ߣߣƵ are accredited by the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education, the independent agency in the UK, established to safeguard standards and improve the quality of UK higher education.  

We hope that this information is useful and accessible and that you have sufficient initial knowledge about our Higher Education programme.  Please feel free to contact the HE & Adult Education Office on 0161 6668215 or by email to HEadmissions@asfc.ac.uk should you require any further guidance and clarification in relation to this information.

Higher Education College Agreement

The arrangement set out in the documents below define the basis of the agreement between the student and the college.  These documents will be available here for reference throughout your studies and we recommend that you download and save a copy of the linked documents for future reference.

Below is information about our provision of services and the different policies we have in place outlining rights and responsibilities. Students need to be aware of the types of policy which exist and able to access them as the need arises.  All the documents below are available to download as pdf files or they are hosted on a web page.

Higher Education Learning Agreement

You are strongly advised to read the Learning Agreement documents which summarise the most important elements and has links to relevant policies. 

Academic Regulations

The college operates with 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.  Current Academic Regulations are available here:-

Staffordshire University:

Click  to read the University's policies and regulations, including Academic Appeals, Academic Misconduct and the Student Disciplinary Procedure.

Click here to read Staffordshire University's standard terms and conditions. 

Policies and Procedures

Making a Complaint

The college seeks to continually improve the quality of its services and meet student expectations.  If we have fallen below the standard that a student expects, we would like to know so that we can address the shortcoming.

A complaint arises when an applicant or student feels that an aspect of their learning or a service, facility or site is unsatisfactory and should be investigated.  We aim to deal with all legitimate complaints in a fair, prompt and objective manner.  Complaints will be dealt with without recrimination and students will not be disadvantaged by raising a complaint.  We are unable to accept anonymous complaints, however all information is kept in strict confidence, shared only on a need-to-know basis.

We welcome the opportunity to address any concerns at the earliest opportunity and as such it is best if complainants try to speak to the relevant staff member first.  Experience shows that this is the simplest and most effective way to resolve an issue.  If the issue has not been resolved in this way then a complaint can be submitted.

The College has a set procedure for dealing with complaints and there are three stages, each to be completed before proceeding to the next.

Stage 1: Official Expression of Concern

The college will take Official Expressions of Concern seriously and make every effort to resolve the matter quickly. It may be the case that the provision or clarification of information will resolve the issue.

The complainant should raise the concern as soon as possible with the relevant member of staff, by letter, telephone or email. If the complainant is unclear who to contact or how to contact them, they should contact the college reception on 0161 330 2330, email contact@asfc.ac.uk or contact the Senior Admissions Officer at the Higher & Adult Education Student Services Office.

The college will acknowledge an Expression of Concern within 5 college teaching days, and investigate and provide a response as soon as possible but within 20 college teaching days.

The Official Expression of Concern stage may involve a meeting between the complainant and the relevant Senior Manager, and/or the subject of the complaint, if appropriate.

The majority of concerns will be resolved at this stage, however, should the concern not be resolved, it will be escalated to Stage 2.


Stage 2: Formal

The formal stage involves the complainant putting the complaint to the Vice Principal of Curriculum and Planning and/or the subject of the complaint in a letter or by email.

The complainant should provide details such as relevant dates, times and the names of witnesses of events, alongside copies of any relevant documents. The complainant should also state what they feel would resolve the complaint.

If complainants need assistance raising a formal complaint, they can contact the college reception on 0161 330 2330, email contact@asfc.ac.uk or contact the Senior Admissions Officer.

The Vice Principal (or other Senior Manager appointed by the Vice Principal for this purpose) will then conduct their own investigation. The written conclusion of this investigation will be sent to the complainant as soon as possible but within 20 college teaching days.

If the complainant is not satisfied with the response and wishes to proceed to the next stage of this procedure, they should progress to stage 3 in writing within 10 college teaching days.


Stage 3: Centre Principal

Complaints will be escalated to the Centre Principal if the complainant is not satisfied with the response to the complaint at the second, formal stage.


Stage 4: Review Panel

Complaints will be escalated to the Company Secretary if the complainant is not satisfied with the response to the complaint at the third, formal stage.

The Company Secretary will then appoint a panel on behalf of the Academy Trust which must consist of at least 3 people who were not directly involved in the matters detailed in the complaint. At least 1 panel member must be independent of the management and running of the college. The panel cannot be made up solely of governing board members, as they are not independent of the management and running of the college.

The panel will have access to the existing record of the complaint’s progress.

The complainant must have reasonable notice of the date of the review panel; however, the review panel reserves the right to convene at their convenience rather than that of the complainant. At the review panel meeting, the complainant and representatives from the college, as appropriate, will be present. Each will have an opportunity to set out written or oral submissions prior to the meeting.

The complainant must be allowed to attend the panel hearing and be accompanied if they wish.

At the meeting, each individual will have the opportunity to give statements and present their evidence, and witnesses will be called, as appropriate, to present their evidence.

The panel, the complainant and the college representative(s) will be given the chance to ask and reply to questions. Once the complainant and college representative(s) have presented their cases, they will be asked to leave and evidence will then be considered.

The panel will then put together its findings and recommendations from the case. The panel will also provide copies of the minutes of the hearing and the findings and recommendations to the complainant and, where relevant, the individual who is the subject of the complaint, and make a copy available for inspection by the Academy Trust and Centre Principal.

The college will inform those involved of the decision in writing within 10 college teaching days.

Completion Procedure

A Completion of Procedures letter, together with information regarding the Office of the Independent Adjudicator for Higher Education (the OIA) for Higher Education students, will normally be sent within 10 working days of the final response being sent to the complainant.

Once the College’s processes have been exhausted, a student may complain to the relevant partner university using their complaints policy if the matter is related to an area of responsibility held by the University or in cases where individual issues cannot be resolved in line with the College procedures. If the College hands over a formal concern or complaint to the University having exhausted its own investigations or attempts to resolve the matter, the student will receive a Completion of Procedures letter from the College and the College will provide all necessary evidence and details pertaining to the complaint to the university as appropriate.

Applicants and students also have recourse to advice from the Citizens Advice (England, Wales and Scotland) consumer helpline on 03454 04 05 06 or to other services e.g. dispute resolution services, legal advice, Trading Standards Services, Competition and Markets Authority (CMA).

Taking your complaint further

If your complaint hasn’t been resolved, the  provides an independent scheme for the review of complaints of registered college students.  On completion of internal procedures you will be provided with a ‘Completion of Procedures Letter’ which you will need to forward to the OIA with a scheme application form.  Applications must be made within twelve months of completion of internal procedures.

Further information is available from the OIA:

Second Floor, Abbey Wharf, 57 – 75 Kings Road, Reading, RG1 3AB.

Telephone - 0118 959 9813

Wider Information about Higher Education 

ߣߣƵ is committed to making it easier for students and the wider public to access to information about our Higher Education provision and courses. We have made documents publicly available for students and the wider public. The links below will point you in the direction of information which we hope you will find useful.

The aims of the WIS are to:

  • Inform the public about the quality of HE, and in particular, help provide potential students with information that will help them make a choice about what and where to study
  • Help provide evidence to contribute to quality assurance processes in institutions (specifically review by the QAA)
  • Help provide information that institutions can use to enhance the quality of their HE provision.

There are categories within the WIS:

Franchise provision – academic regulations which govern the delivery of awards the College delivers on behalf of partner institutions can be found here:

• The College has one university partner who validates our provision, Staffordshire University. The programmes that are delivered with our partner, and the benefits for students are outlined in the University Course Guide.

• The College offers programmes in partnership with awarding bodies. Information on our awarding bodies can be found in our University Course Guide and course information packs.

• Our Higher Education Student Engagement Strategy is available

• Programme Approval, Monitoring and Review procedures.

• External Examining Procedures.

• Policies for student complaints, appeals and representations.

The above documentation is available internally. It is detailed on the College intranet (moodle) and/or in student handbooks.

• The Higher Education Student Submission document is available 

• The Higher Education Self Assessment document is available 

The Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA)

The Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA) has confirmed the quality and standards of provision at ߣߣƵ following its review in October 2014. Click to read our press release.

The full report is available on the QAA website. Click . 

Click here to read our response to the Higher Education Review by the QAA in October 2014. 

Those external to the organisation can request this information by contacting Jo Fletcher-Saxon, Assistant Principal, Higher and Adult Education and Practitioner Research Lead by email on jo.fletcher-saxon@asfc.ac.uk giving the reason for the request.

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