This policy sets out RLSS UK and/or RLSS UK Qualifications approach as a charity and a regulated awarding organisation to imposing penalties and sanctions. 

It sets out the range of sanctions that RLSS UK and/or RLSS UK Qualifications may apply to all those involved with the participation, design, delivery and awarding of our qualifications or awards, that are suspected or have been proven to have not adhered to RLSS UK and/or RLSS UK Qualifications terms, conditions, policies, and procedures. 

This policy outlines the sanctions that may be imposed if an individual or organisation fails to meet the standards we set. 

It is also for use by RLSS UK staff to ensure they apply any sanctions in a consistent manner.

Aims and Approach to Sanctions 

Sanctions are restrictive measures that can be placed upon an individual or organisation, which limits their level of activity. 

RLSS UK and/or RLSS UK Qualifications reserves the right to place sanctions upon an individual or organisation, to safeguard the awarding of its qualifications and awards, and to protect its interests and those of candidates. Sanctions may also be applied to candidates. 

RLSS UK and RLSS UK Qualifications aim to ensure that the application of sanctions is a last resort and will ensure where there is a need for sanctions to be applied, they will be imposed in a graduated, proportional, and consistent manner as outlined in this policy. 

The aim of applying sanctions is to: 

  • Protect and minimise the risk to the integrity of qualifications and/or the quality assurance process.
  • Protect all aspects of RLSS UK and/or RLSS UK Qualifications, awarding of results and certificates.
  • Allow RLSS UK and/or RLSS UK Qualifications to investigate suspected maladministration/malpractice while maintaining the integrity of the qualification(s) involved.
  • Protect the interests of candidates.
  • Protect public confidence in RLSS UK and/or RLSS UK Qualifications, qualifications and awards.

Level of Sanctions 

RLSS UK and/or RLSS UK Qualifications can impose a range of sanctions depending upon the seriousness of the situation, the level and track record of non-compliance, the risk to the interests of the candidates, the integrity of the qualifications and the effect on public confidence. 

The level of sanction imposed will depend on the nature of the non-compliance. If a previously imposed sanction is not acted upon within agreed timeframes, or if actions requiring sanctions have been made repeatedly, a higher level of sanction may be applied. 

Where sanctions involve any additional visits following the External Quality Assurance visit or an initial observation visit, we may pass these costs on to the individual or organisation involved. The fees are non-refundable.

To ensure we impose sanctions consistently, this policy provides examples of circumstances and situations that may lead to a sanction and indicates the level of sanction that could be imposed. We will review each potential case on an individual basis; therefore, this is not an exhaustive list: 

  • Outstanding actions.
  • Poor records to confirm assessment decisions.
  • Not having the relevant Approved Training Centre/Provider personnel in place.
  • Persistent poor marking of assessments.
  • Suspected or proven cases of maladministration/malpractice.
  • Fraudulent certification claims.
  • An increased likelihood of an adverse effect occurring.
  • Refusing RLSS UK and/or RLSS UK Qualifications access to premises and/or course and assessment records.
  • Breached any requirement contained in the Approved Training Centre/Provider Recognition scheme.
  • Failure to pay any associated fees within the allotted timeframe.

Sanctions that may be Imposed 

Sanctions that may be imposed include, but are not limited to: 

  • Removal of Direct Claims Status for some or all qualifications.  
  • Removal of approval to register candidates for a qualification(s).
  • Removal of approval to request candidate certificates for a qualification(s).
  • Removal from our Approved Training Centre/Provider Recognition scheme.
  • Suspension of an individual’s status with RLSS UK.
  • Withdrawal of a qualification.

These sanctions could be applied in relation to: 

  •  A single qualification.
  • An entire qualification sector.
  • An entire qualification type.
  • All qualifications.
  • An individual.

RLSS UK and/or RLSS UK Qualifications expects that it would never impose the immediate withdrawal of approval for a qualification or range of qualifications without: 

  • The individual or organisation being given an opportunity to address the area(s) of non-compliance.
  • There being evidence that the non-compliance poses a significant threat to the interests of candidates or the integrity of the qualifications. 

Should an Approved Training Centre/Provider have its approval for a qualification/suite of qualifications removed, RLSS UK and/or RLSS UK Qualifications will take all reasonable steps to protect the interests of any candidate currently registered on the qualification(s). For example, we will either certificate them for any achievements to date and/or seek to transfer them. 

How we will Notify you of the Sanction 

When a sanction has been imposed, RLSS UK and/or RLSS UK Qualifications will communicate the decision via email within 7 working days, providing an explanation of the type of sanction that has been applied and the reason why. 

If a sanction has been imposed because an individual or organisation are not responding to communications or correspondence from us, we will take reasonable steps to inform them of the sanction. All attempts to contact the individual or organisation will be retained as evidence to support the application of the sanction.

If we require an individual or organisation to take any action, we will outline what is required to resolve the matter and the deadline in which it must be completed. Any sanction imposed will remain in place until we are reassured that there has been satisfactory resolution, and any potential or adverse effect has been mitigated. RLSS UK and/or RLSS UK Qualifications has a duty of care to protect the interests of its candidates and, when imposing a sanction, we consider the impact of this action carefully and, where necessary, will take steps to ensure that candidates are supported during the period a sanction is imposed. 

Where an individual representing RLSS UK is found to have breached any of its policies and procedures the RLSS UK Disciplinary policy will be initiated to determine the sanctions imposed. 

Contact Details

Contact Details

Last updated: September 2023