Changing registration category or fee limit
A registered higher education provider may choose to apply to change its registration category or fee limit.
Changing category of registration
Providers can request to change their registration category at any point.
Providers should contact us at [email protected] at the earliest opportunity to discuss its intention to change category.
A change of registration category requires a new application for registration. This means we will assess the application against all applicable initial conditions of registration.
However, as an already registered provider, we will already hold some of the information needed for this assessment and so will not necessarily require providers to submit the same level of information as for a first application to register with the OfS.
The information required will also vary depending on which fee limit the provider is applying to be subject to.
Following a discussion with us, and once the provider has confirmed that it does wish to apply to change category of registration, we will write to the provider setting out our information requirements for its particular application and with details of how to apply.
In the event the request for a change of registration category is approved, the provider will be voluntarily deregistered from its current category and registered in the new category at the time of decision.
If we approve the requested change of category, we will apply the decision from the date we make the decision.
However, in view of Student Loans Company deadlines, decisions for providers applying to change from the Approved category to the Approved (fee cap) category of registration will need to be made by the OfS before 31 July in order for new fee limits to take effect from 1 August of the relevant academic year.
If it has not been possible for us to confirm a positive decision by this date the provider will remain within the Approved category until such a decision has been made, and once a decision has been made, if positive, the new fee limit would then apply from the following 1 August.
These deadlines also have particular implications for those applications involving an access and participation plan (APP). We will discuss estimated timescales for the application process with each provider. When to submit a plan depends on a provider's admissions cycle. Providers need to confirm tuition fees to students prior to them committing to undertake a course.
APP submissions should be made to the OfS no later than 28 February. The closer to the 28 February deadline a provider submits its APP, the greater the risk that we will not be able to make a decision by 31 July in that year.
Changing fee limit
Providers already in the Approved (fee cap) category can request to change their fee limit at any point.
To change fee limit does not require a change of registration category, and so does not require a new registration application.
Changing from the basic to higher fee limit
If a provider in the Approved (fee cap) category wishes to move from the basic to the higher fee limit it should take the following steps:
- inform [email protected] of its intention to change fee limit as soon as it knows that it wishes to do so.
- submit an access and participation plan according to the deadlines below.
Changing from the higher to basic fee limit
If a provider wishes to change from the higher to the basic fee limit it should contact [email protected] to discuss its intention.
The steps required will depend on the provider's individual circumstances, including its type of provision and the fees currently being charged to students.
In view of Student Loans Company deadlines, final decisions on changes of fee limit will need to be made by the OfS before 31 July in order for the new fee limit to take effect from 1 August of the relevant academic year.
Providers wishing to change from the basic to the higher fee limit therefore need to submit an access and participation plan (APP) as early as possible and should be aware of the relevant deadlines. Providers are strongly encouraged to submit their APPs well in advance of the deadline of 28 February.
Once a provider has submitted its APP, we will take the following steps:
- an assessor from the OfS will review the APP and raise queries with the provider where needed. Regulatory notice 1 sets out what must be included in an access and participation plan and details about how plans are assessed by the OfS.
- Once the assessment process is complete the OfS's Director for Fair Access and Participation will decide whether or not to approve the provider's APP.
- We will then write to the provider to confirm whether the APP has been approved.
If the APP has been approved, and we have approved the requested change of fee limit, we will apply the decision from the date we make the decision, however the new fee limit will only take effect from 1 August.
If the Director for Fair Access and Participation makes a decision that they are minded to refuse an access and participation plan, we will write to the provider confirming this decision and set out how the provider can make representations regarding the decision.
The closer to the 28 February deadline a provider submits its APP, the greater the risk that we will not be able to make a decision by 31 July in that year.
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