1. Introduction

This document outlines Fitness Education Ireland’s approach to the handling of student records & examinations, malpractice & maladministration, examinations, student attendance & behaviour, and collection of course fees. It clearly sets out the ways in which the above are managed and the responsibilities of the learners to the process.

The purpose of this policy is to outline to students and staff in an unambiguously clear way the policies & procedures that Fitness Education Ireland has in place.

This policy applies to all applicants who apply for a course, and all staff at Fitness Education Ireland.

By enrolling at Fitness Education Ireland you are accepting the terms of the college’s policies & procedures.

Please note that Fitness Education Ireland policies are under constant review and will be updated accordingly.

By coordinating and updating policies and procedures in the College, this document forms a key part of the overall control and compliance structure.

As our college is approved to offer ITEC & VTCT qualifications, we are also in line with their own policies & procedures.

VTCT publishes this policy, procedures and process flowchart on its website and in centre handbooks, to support all parties involved in the handling of all procedures by providing a framework to follow. These can be viewed online on their website.

2. malpractice and maladministration

This policy is aimed at our staff & learners involved in the college who are involved in suspected or actual malpractice/maladministration.  It is also for use by our staff to ensure they deal with all malpractice and maladministration investigations in a consistent manner.

It sets out the steps our college, and learners or other personnel must follow when reporting suspected or actual cases of malpractice/maladministration and our responsibilities in dealing with such cases. It also sets out the procedural steps we will follow when reviewing the cases

We will review the policy annually as part of our annual self-assessment arrangements and quality plan. The policy will be revised as and when necessary in response to customer and learner feedback, changes in our practices, actions from the regulatory authorities or external agencies or changes in legislation or trends identified from previous allegations.

Anybody who identifies or is made aware of suspected or actual cases of malpractice or maladministration at any time must immediately report their findings to the college coordinator. In doing so they should put them in writing/email and enclose appropriate supporting evidence.

Arrangements are in place within the college and all staff are aware of the procedures and policies in place to protect all the individual students within the college.

In the instance of an investigation, our college co-ordinator will investigate and look beyond the immediate reported issues to assure arrangements at the centre are appropriate for all qualifications.

In the event of an investigation, before submitting it formally, we will ensure that

– Staff leading the investigation are independent of the staff/learners/function being investigated.

– Inform those who are suspected of malpractice that they are entitled to know the necessary details of the case and possible outcomes.

– Submit the findings of the investigation to us with your report.

– In all cases we’ll protect the identity of the ‘informant’ in accordance with our duty of confidentiality and/or any other legal duty.

We aim to take action and resolve all stages of the investigation within 20 working days of receipt of the allegation.

It is the aim of Fitness Education Ireland to produce an environment in which students feel safe, secure and respected

3. Payment

This document sets out the guideline procedures of Fitness Education Ireland for the collection of student fees. The scope of this document extends to all fees and charges due to the college by students to include tuition fees for all courses, exam payments and repeat fees.

It is imperative that the business collects all fees owing, and will endeavour to do so in the most efficient manner. However, at the same time the business is aware of the financial strain that is placed on students particularly in difficult economic conditions and therefore will ensure that all processes and procedures are, in so far as possible, sympathetic and understanding of the student’s personal circumstances.

Fitness Education Ireland is committed to implementing a fair, equitable and transparent system for the collection of course fees.

It is the applicant’s responsibility:

    • Ensure that they read and understand this fee refund policy and procedures document. Pay all fees due within the specified timeframe.
    • Ensure that they keep all receipts and documentation as evidence in the case of a dispute.
    • Engage with Fitness Education Ireland when they are experiencing difficulties in relation to paying fees.

Course deposit and payments are non-refundable and non- transferable unless prior agreed with head office,  as you are being enrolled with ITEC, VTCT & Fitness Education Ireland and your enrolment & examination fees are being paid upfront. Extenuating circumstances will be taken into account.

If an agreement has been made with head office to defer to another Fitness Education Ireland course and then that course does not go ahead, all fees paid by student are non-refundable. 

Full payment of the course must be made before the start of the course or other agreed with head office in writing. If for some reason known by head office, you have not finished payments, our head office will be in touch to finalise this as soon as possible. A student with outstanding fees will not be permitted to sit their first exam until payment has been received.

Students with fees owing to the business will not be able to access their results, will not be issued with academic transcripts or any other official credentials and will not be permitted to progress to the next stage of their programme or to graduate.

Fitness Education Ireland reserves the right to not allow a student to sit exams or issue certifications, until all fees are paid.

In all cases the business considers the student to be solely responsible for any financial liability to the business.

Applicants are encouraged to set up a recurring payment plan but may pay in installments.

4. Attendance & Code of Behaviour

Attendance is a key component in student retention, progression, achievement and employability. Attendance is taken very seriously and will be taken for each class. As a very hands-on practical course with important theory, attendance is a non negotiable. We create professional trainers so expect professionalism from all of our students, especially when it comes to attendance.

Fitness Education Ireland expects all of our students to have full attendance in order to successfully complete their course. Attendance which falls below 80%, where there are no extenuating circumstances, is not acceptable. Absence for reasons covered by a medical certificate fall outside minimum attendance requirements. The course requires a commitment to attend all parts of the programme on offer fully and punctually.

Where a student’s attendance is unsatisfactory and falls below the required amount, college staff will contact the student to seek an explanation for their unsatisfactory attendance and may result in expulsion from the course.

Fitness Education Ireland encourages each learner to take personal responsibility for their own learning, application to studies and educational achievements.

Students are expected to ;

  • Treat everyone at the college including educators, staff, examiners and fellow students with care and respect at all times,
  • Conduct themselves in an attentive, courteous and studious manner.
  • Treat college premises, property and equipment with respect.
  • Comply with all health and safety policies and procedures.
  • Conform to acceptable standards of personal presentation and hygiene

Anyone who suspects any form of malpractice in line with the above will inform the Course Coordinator and Class Tutor. Any student accused of any allegation of malpractice will be informed and an investigation will be carried out.

Disciplinary action will depend on how serious the malpractice appears to the investigators.

The actions taken by the College, if they believe from the evidence you have done something wrong will result in a formal written warning or in the event of a serious case of academic misconduct will result in expulsion from the course.

5.Examinations

All students’ records will be kept on file and details of all results will be available to the individual student and examiners on request.

Any Learner affected by a failure will be given the opportunity to resit their exam on a future date.

For a resit due to a failed exam, the fee is deemed payable by the student. The cost of a student’s first resit is €30.

We as a college act responsibly and abide by the relevant conditions from OFqual’s general conditions of recognition.

As a college working beside our governing body VTCT and ITEC we recognise that appeals may be taken by individual students. This will be supported by the college and we will guide students throughout the course.

All internal appeal arrangements are in place within the college.

Where the regulators notify us of failures that have been discovered in the assessment process of the another awarding organisation, we will review whether or not a similar failure could affect our own assessment processes and arrangement

For an enquiry about results, VTCT charges the appellant a fee of €12.50 per learner.

If a candidate chooses to appeal a decision they will give consent to our college coordinator who will process the appeals application for the individual with a signed application from the student.

6. Complaints

Fitness Education Ireland is committed to providing high quality education and other services to its students. Our aim is to provide a supportive environment and to be responsive to concerns when they are raised. Feedback is welcomed as part of the College’s approach to the development and enhancement of the quality of its services.

The following procedures are intended to deal with circumstances in which a student has a complaint concerning the provision of services or facilities in the College, and other course-related issues relating to a student’s time in the College.

There is a separate appeals procedure for academic assessment.

Most difficulties can be resolved at an early stage by talking with the individual(s) most concerned with the issue at the local level and informally.

All complaints proceeding to the formal stage will be dealt with on the basis of written submissions.

This written complaint should be submitted to the class tutor. The course co-ordinator will then initiate a thorough investigation of the matter and will make a recommendation, in writing, in due course. If the complainant is dissatisfied with this recommendation, it is then open to him/her to make an appeal, in writing, to the Board of Management of the College.

The effectiveness of the Complaints Procedure will also be kept under review and where appropriate, changes will be made.

7. Data Protection Policy

This document outlines the steps which all members of Fitness Education Ireland must take to ensure that the College complies with the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) and supplementary enacting Data Protection legislation.

The College is committed to being transparent about how it collects and processes the personal data of its learners, & employees to meet its data protection obligations. This policy sets out the College’s commitment to data protection, and individual rights and obligations in relation to personal data.

All members of the College have a duty to ensure compliance with the GDPR.

The College takes the security of all personal data seriously. The College has internal policies and controls in place to protect personal data against loss, accidental destruction, misuse or disclosure, and to ensure that data is not accessed, except by employees in the proper performance of their duties.

All staff are responsible for

– Ensuring that any personal data that they hold is kept securely; Personal information is not disclosed either orally, in writing or digitally or by any other means, accidentally or otherwise, to any unauthorised third party.

– Staff should note that unauthorised disclosure will usually be a disciplinary matter, and may be considered gross misconduct in some cases.

– Personal information, whether electronic or paper based, should be stored securely and in keeping with College procedures for document retention. Information should only be removed from its storage location when operationally necessary and with appropriate security measures in place.

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