Monitoring and intervention

When and how we might take enforcement action

The Higher Education and Research Act 2017 gives the OfS enforcement powers to use if it appears to us that there is or has been a breach of one or more conditions of registration by a provider.

What powers does the OfS have?

We have the power to:

The regulatory framework sets out our general approach to the use of these enforcement powers. The primary purpose of using these powers is to ensure that a provider takes necessary actions to comply with its conditions of registration.

Escalating interventions

We could escalate our enforcement action, as set out in the illustrative example below. This is to ensure that we can act to protect the interests of students while recognising that a number of these interventions would have significant consequences for a provider. Our action therefore needs to be proportionate to the situation.

The graphic below is illustrative only. It is important to note that any action we take will depend on the facts of a specific case and will be targeted to address the issues about which we are concerned.

This means that in some cases we may begin enforcement action further up the pyramid, or may use sanctions in combination.

Illustrative example of escalating interventions where there has been a breach of a condition

Guidance for providers

We have published guidance for providers on our general approach to enforcement action.

We have also published guidance about our approach to calculating monetary penalties.

Published 15 December 2020
Last updated 08 July 2021
08 July 2021
Added link to our approach to calculating monetary penalties.
15 March 2021
Updated to reflect the closure of consultation on publishing information on providers
08 March 2021
Updated to reflect the closure of consultation on monetary penalties

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