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Tertiary Education and Research (Wales) Act 2022

Registration conditions
Section 27: Initial registration conditions

95.A provider applying to register with the Commission must satisfy initial registration conditions. This section sets out four mandatory initial registration conditions, which apply to all registration categories. The Commission must be satisfied as to—

  • the quality of education provided by the applicant tertiary education provider, or provided on its behalf,

  • the effectiveness of the governance and management of the applicant,

  • the financial sustainability of the applicant,

  • the effectiveness of the applicant provider’s arrangements for supporting and promoting the welfare of students and staff, and

  • where applicable, the effectiveness of arrangements in place to satisfy the applicant provider of the quality of education delivered by an external provider under a validation arrangement.

96.For further information regarding the Commission’s functions in respect of quality assessment and assurance, see Chapter 2 of this Part.

97.The standard required for providers to satisfy initial registration conditions, and the information required to demonstrate this, will be determined by the Commission. The Commission is required to publish a document specifying the requirements for satisfying such conditions (subsection (2)). The Commission is enabled to revise these requirements and if it does so it must publish an updated document (subsection (4)). Before publishing either an initial or a revised document, the Commission is under a duty, if it appears appropriate to do so, to consult such persons as it considers appropriate (subsection (5)), for example tertiary education providers who may wish to make a registration application.

98.The Welsh Ministers may, by regulations, specify further initial registration conditions and different conditions may be specified for different categories of registration. The list provided in subsection (7)(b) indicates the kind of conditions that may be specified in these regulations, but it is not an exhaustive list and not all of these categories may be appropriate initial conditions of registration for all categories of the register.

Section 28: General ongoing registration conditions

99.As stated in section 25(9), a registered provider must continue to satisfy ongoing registration conditions in order to maintain its registration. A general ongoing registration condition is a condition determined by the Commission, which applies to one or more categories of registration.

100.The Commission must publish the general ongoing conditions and any revisions to those conditions. Before determining or revising the general ongoing conditions, the Commission is under a duty, if it appears appropriate to do so, to consult such persons as it considers appropriate, for example those registered providers which will be subject to the registration conditions.

101.The Commission may determine different conditions for different categories or descriptions of registered provider (subsection (2)). Under subsection (8), the Commission may decide that a general ongoing registration condition is not applicable to a particular registered provider. In such instances, the Commission may dis-apply the condition in relation to that provider and must inform the provider of its decision (subsection (9)).

Section 29: Specific ongoing registration conditions

102.This section sets out when the Commission can impose, vary, or remove an ongoing registration condition that applies to a specific registered provider, as opposed to all registered providers or a category of providers.

103.Before imposing, varying or removing a specific ongoing registration condition, the Commission must notify the governing body of the provider affected (subsection (3)). The notice must inform the provider of the Commission’s reasons for proposing the specific ongoing registration condition and of the provider’s right to make representations about the proposal within a specific period (subsection (4)).

104.The Commission must have regard to any representations made by the governing body of the provider in deciding whether to impose, vary, or remove the specific ongoing registration condition (subsection (6)), and must notify the provider of its decision (subsection (7)).

105.A notice relating to the imposition or variation of a specific ongoing registration condition must set out the grounds of the decision and be accompanied with information as to the right of review (subsection (9)). The new specific ongoing registration condition cannot have effect until the period of review has passed. In addition, the new specific ongoing registration condition cannot have effect while an application for review has been made and, until any review conducted is concluded. The Commission must subsequently determine a date on which the specific ongoing registration condition will take effect, at which point the notice must be published.

Section 30: Proportionate conditions etc.

106.This section requires the Commission to ensure that its ongoing registration conditions, and the requirements published regarding satisfaction of initial registration conditions (see section 27), are proportionate to its assessment of any risks posed. These may include, for example, risks to safeguarding of public funds, students’ interests, and any other risks related to the Commission’s functions in respect of tertiary education providers.

107.In order that registration conditions and requirements continue to be proportionate, the Commission is required to keep its ongoing registration conditions under review.

Section 31: Mandatory ongoing registration conditions for each registered provider

108.In addition to any other general ongoing registration conditions determined by the Commission under section 28, the Commission must ensure that all providers registered in each category of the register are subject to the conditions listed in this section. These may be imposed as part of the general ongoing registration conditions or by way of a specific ongoing registration condition.

Section 32: Mandatory ongoing registration condition on fee limits

109.This section requires the Commission to ensure that each provider registered in a category specified by the Welsh Ministers in regulations is subject to a fee limit condition. A fee limit condition requires the provider to have an approved fee limit statement and to ensure that regulated course fees do not exceed the applicable fee limit. More information on the fee limit statement is outlined in sections 46 to 48.

110.A “qualifying course” is a course described in regulations made by the Welsh Ministers, subject to the conditions set out in subsection (5). “Regulated course fees” are fees payable by a qualifying person to a provider in order to undertake a qualifying course (subsections (6) and (7)). Subsection (8) provides that a “qualifying person” is a person described in regulations made by the Welsh Ministers who is not an international student within the meaning of subsection (9).

111.Subsection (10) also allows the Welsh Ministers to make regulations specifying when fees paid for a course at an external provider (i.e. on behalf of a registered provider) are to be treated as regulated course fees and therefore subject to a fee limit.

Section 33: Mandatory ongoing registration conditions on equal opportunity

112.The Commission is under a duty to ensure that a mandatory ongoing registration condition relating to equal opportunity is applied to each registered tertiary education provider.

113.Conditions on equal opportunity require the registered provider to demonstrate delivery of measurable outcomes which further the aims listed in subsection (2). These aims relate to increasing participation, improving retention, reducing attainment gaps, and improving employment and further study outcomes for students from under-represented groups.

114.Under-represented groups are defined in subsection (3) as groups of students that are under-represented in relevant tertiary education in Wales as a result of social, cultural, economic or organisational factors. Relevant tertiary education is defined as tertiary education courses provided wholly or mainly in Wales of a kind that relates to the category of the register in which the provider is registered. This means that registered providers will be concerned with delivering equality of opportunity outcomes in respect of the kind of tertiary education which relates to their registration category.

Section 34: Power to provide for further mandatory ongoing registration conditions

115.In addition to the mandatory ongoing registration conditions provided for in sections 31, 32 and 33, the Welsh Ministers may specify in regulations further mandatory ongoing registration conditions that the Commission must apply to one or more categories of registration.

Section 35: Commission duty to give guidance about ongoing registration conditions

116.This section requires the Commission to publish guidance for registered providers concerning the ongoing registration conditions.

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