Our conditions of registration – see condition C1 – require providers to have due regard to relevant guidance on how to comply with consumer protection law. Our regulatory framework defines ‘relevant guidance’ as guidance published by the Competition and Markets Authority.
We only make judgements about breaches of consumer protection law where they affect compliance with our regulatory requirements. If, for example, we had evidence that a provider had breached the law by publishing inaccurate or misleading information on their website, we would be likely to consider it a breach of condition C1.
Only a court can decide whether a breach of the law has occurred for wider purposes.
We cannot offer legal advice about a provider’s approach to consumer protection – we can only set out what would cause us regulatory concerns. We don’t intend to approve providers’ approaches and they will need to obtain their own legal advice on these matters.
As set out in our guidance, we are not likely to have regulatory concerns if:
- a provider’s actions resulted from the pandemic
- they can show their actions were reasonable
- they kept students well informed with clear and timely information.