Legal, Privacy and Security Information

Terms & Conditions

These Terms and Conditions apply to the provision of The Open College distance learning and eLearning study courses in book and online formats as advertised on our website – and in media publications and also as detailed in our Prospectus.


1. Definitions

For the purposes of these Terms: ‘We’ and or ‘Us’ means The Open College who will provide you with the courses your ordered. ‘You’ means the customer receiving the courses. ‘Enrol’ means the process of enrolling, booking or ordering a course and the term Enrolment shall be construed accordingly. If you order via our website this will involve you completing the relevant Order form on the website, giving us your personal information and submitting the details to us. You can also order by telephone giving us your payment details and agreeing to proceed with purchase.


2. Provision of Courses

Once you have ordered you will receive confirmation of your order and it will be delivered to you as per this confirmation. This confirmation is automatic for online bookings and usually within a few days for all others. You can expect to be commenced on your course within 3 – 5 working days assuming all additional documentation we send you is submitted after the initial order. The Open College reserves the right to deliver course materials in any format. Any requests for printed materials will incur an additional cost of €35 per module.


3. Exam Fees

Where applicable, and as part of the relevant assessment criteria, some modules will require learners to undertake a supervised final examination (duration’s will vary). The Open College can accommodate final examination events in centres located in Dublin and Cork, or alternatively and depending on individual location, arrangements for examinations may be facilitated in an externally nominated centre which is subjected to separate requirements (please contact the college for further information relating to external exams events).

Exam dates will be set as per exam schedule availability and dates are non-transferable. Examinations will be facilitated on a maximum of two occasions only, which will consider a first attempt and a second repeat attempt. For physical attendance exams, there will be a €50.00 fee charged for all first attempt exams and an additional €80.00 fee charged for all second repeat exams. As examination events are subject to maximum numbers it is important that places are confirmed and exam fees are paid in full at least 7 days ahead of the exam event or places may be lost/reallocated and a repeat exam will be necessary.

Repeat exams will be accommodated in the case of any of the following circumstances: No Show or Non-attendance at the first exam sitting, Unanswered or Unacknowledged exam invite requests (learners who do not confirm attendance at the first exam sitting will automatically roll into the next repeat exam event) and Cancellation without notice or reason of the first exam sitting. Repeat exams will also be facilitated in accordance with our “Policy on Repeat and Resubmitted Assessments”, which if not completed in the first instance, will be considered as an ‘Incomplete Assessment – this also applies to any ‘Unsuccessful’ candidates and grades may be effected.

Learners may submit ‘a change of date’ request in writing to the college at least two weeks ahead of the scheduled exam event outlining clearly the reasons for their request – this request must be supported with relevant evidence e.g. medical cert, and may be approved/rejected by the examinations officer. In the case of any rejected applications e.g. omitting supporting evidence, learners may move over to a repeat exam event where additional fees are applicable.


4. QQI Courses – “Preferred Entry Levels” & “Special Requirements”

When students submit their enrolment application form they confirm that they can meet all the relevant “Preferred Entry Levels” & “Special Requirements” as listed on each course. All students will be asked to provide evidence of this after they enrol. Once enrolment has been submitted, no refunds will be provided if students fail to provide evidence of the “Preferred Entry Level” & “Special Requirements” they confirmed during the enrolment on a specific course.


5. QQI Courses – “Work Experience” & “Skills Demonstrations”

Learners need to ensure that courses with Skills Demonstration elements have access to a professional environment to fulfil the assessment requirements of the course – which is at least, and a minimum of 150 hours work experience for Major awards and 30 hours for minor awards.

Learners undertaking Placement or Practice modes of work experience must ensure that the placement setting is suitable and in line with the area of study i.e. Creches for ECCE courses. The minimum hours noted on each course can be made up of current relevant work, paid or unpaid and must be spread over the whole study duration and these hours must be supervised by a qualified mentor. Some specific certificate areas may require learners to undertake a more extensive periods of work experience.

Work Experience or Placement agreements must be in place and ready to start when your course commences.

Our Educo Insurance Policy covers any work placement insurance requirements for all our learners. We are also an approved Garda Vetting centre so we also complete Vetting for all our learners that require it. Please ask for details.


6. PPS Numbers & Foreign Enrolments

All QQI awards issued from QQI require the student to hold an Irish or UK PPS number (Personal Public Service Number). Students are to be advised that if they do not carry a PPS number they will not be eligible to receive an award from QQI as it is a requirement of certification by QQI – the Irish National awarding body for our awards. Students who do not hold this PPS number will only receive a completion certificate from The Open College.


7. Cancellation

Cancellation/Refund conditions/arrangements. Should you decide to cancel your application you may do so provided that you notify the College in writing within 7 days from the original order date and stating the reasons for cancellation. If you cancel your course in accordance with these terms and if no course materials have been issued or Online Access details issued, a refund (less an administrative fee) will be made to you, using the same method as you made your original payment.

However, please note, the administrative fee of €150 which will not be refunded in the event of any cancellation.  No refunds will be provided after the 7 day period or if course materials have being issued or if an online course has been accessed or if the above Points 5 & 6 requirements are not met after enrolment. All refund credits will take 30 days from date of written request and accepted refund.

Easy Payment Plan Cancellations: In addition to the above, if you decide to cancel your enrolment you can do so if you confirm this in writing to the College within 7 days of your enrolment date.  You will, however, have the administrative fee of €150 deducted from your first payment. If you decide to cancel after the 7 days, you may do so but you will be legally bound to pay the full outstanding balance on the course fees and failure to do so within 30 days will result in court proceedings being instigated against you with the likelihood of you being responsible for additional costs.


8. Transferring

Provided payment has being made in full you are allowed transfer to another topic of your choice provided such requests are made in writing within 7 days of ordering and no course access has taken place. There is an additional charge of €100 to cover additional documentation & administration in addition to any difference that would have to be paid if the new programme is more expensive than the first one. You are not allowed to transfer to another person.


9. Course Study Time-frame

The time allowed to complete each course is detailed on this website. Extension to this time may be requested but are allowed at the sole discretion of the college. There will be additional charges for time extensions. All students who do not complete courses in the time-frame listed on this website, they may be completely removed from the Active student list if no formal extension is requested. If you have been removed from the Active student list then you may be liable for complete re-enrolment and full course payments again upon reactivation.


10. Quality

We will provide the courses in accordance to each course description as detailed on our website and Prospectus. All representations, warranties and / or commitments not expressly set out in these Terms and Conditions (whether implied by law, conduct, statute or otherwise) are hereby excluded to the maximum extent permissible at law. We reserve the right to reformat any course material and website information at any time.


11. Payment by you of the Course Fee

  • You agree to pay us the course fee. If you are liable to pay us the Course Fee in full and you pay the Course Fee by credit or debit card, we will debit your credit or debit card on or after the day of your Enrolment.
  • Students who withdraw from their programme remain liable for full course fees.
  • The Open College reserves the right to withhold applications for certification for students with an outstanding balance of fees
  • The current course fee for any course at any given time will be displayed on the Website.
  • In the unlikely event that due to a technical error, the amount of the Course Fee is incorrect, we will notify you as soon as we reasonably can. You will then be entitled to choose between receiving a refund of the monies that you have paid to us (in which case you will not be enrolled on the course) or to pay the balance of the Course Fee to us.
  • The time allowed to complete each course is detailed on this website. Extension to this time may be requested but are allowed at the sole discretion of the college. There may be an additional charge for this.
  • Easy Payment arrangements are not available for overseas students, sponsors or employers. Easy Payment fees will be collected on the agreed dates in the instalment plan. If the college is unable to collect instalment payments, the students access to the course and tuition will be suspended, unless satisfactory payment arrangements are made. The entire course fee remains payable even if the student withdraws from the course. For further information regarding refunds please see Section 6.


12. Complaints

In the event you are not satisfied with any aspect of your purchase please contact us in writing stating in what respects you are not satisfied and where you feel the content did not match the published contents as displayed on our website and in our Prospectus.

Stage (1) all requests must be submitted in writing to the college by post or email and if unsatisfied with the outcome of Stage (1) will be given an opportunity to escalate the nature of their complaint to Stage (2) for consideration by the CEO.


13. Our Obligations to You

The exclusions and limitations of liability contained in these Terms and Conditions do not apply to: Any loss or damage resulting from death or personal injury caused by our negligence; Loss or damage arising from fraudulent misrepresentation; or Any other losses which may not be excluded or limited by law. In the event of a Postal Dispute or other such events which are beyond our reasonable control we shall make every reasonable efforts to get your course to you as soon as is practical. In no event shall we be responsible to you for any loss of profits, loss of earnings, loss of anticipated savings, loss of revenue or loss of goodwill that you may suffer. Further, in no event shall we be liable to you for indirect or consequential losses that you might suffer. Our maximum aggregate liability to you for any claim is limited to the amount of the course fee paid.


14. Your obligations to Us

  • In accordance with Copyright Law you are not permitted to reproduce or modify any part of a course, store it in a retrieval system or transmit it in any form by any means – electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise without the prior written permission of The Open College.
  • Learners must make efforts to fully participate on the programme which will be delivered in accordance to our agreed policy schedule as outlined in our current QA manual which is subject to continuous review, monitoring and updating.


15. Protection for Learners for courses of more than 3 months duration

As a course provider our policy on the protection for learners is subject to Qualifications and Quality Assurance (Education and Training) Act 2012 Part 6. This means that if, for whatever reason, we cease to provide the programme that is over 3 months in duration which you enrolled for, we have specific and legally binding arrangements in place to finish out that programme for you at no extra cost. All Major Award course fees for programmes over 3 months in duration are fully protected and secured by a Bank Guarantee.

If we cease trading those learners who have not finished their programme will be fully protected by this Bank Guarantee which will be automatically triggered and the fund that covers all Fees paid by learners will be transferred to QQI by our Bank to enable QQI provide further study options for these leaners or the refund of fees most recently paid so that they can complete their programme and all of this will be at no extra cost to the learners affected.

For programmes under 3 months duration Protection for Learners is not required under Qualifications and Quality Assurance (Education and Training) Act 2012. All our Programmes clearly state the time-frame they are to be completed by and all have ample time provided.


16. General

These terms and governed by and shall be construed in accordance with Irish Law. Any dispute arising between us under or in connection with these Terms shall be subject to the non – exclusive jurisdiction of the Irish courts. These Terms constitute the entire agreement between us in relation to the provision by us to you of a course and they replace and supersede any prior arrangements between us in relation to the publication. You acknowledge that you are not relying on any statement made by us or any of our representatives with regard to the course other than those expressly set out in these Terms.


17. Voucher Promotions/Offers

  • Vouchers valid for stated period only.
  • Only One voucher can be redeemed per course.
  • To claim voucher value for Online Enrolments, vouchers must be returned to the college with the Learner profile. Your account will be credited the value of the voucher once presented.
  • For Postal Bookings the value of the voucher can be deducted from the course price (excluding registration Fee) and voucher must be returned with the Enrolment Form.
  • Vouchers are only valid at time of Enrolment.


18. Additional Terms and Conditions relating to Attendance / Blended Learning courses

All notices re cancellation of courses must be made in writing to the Open College.

  • When written notice of cancellation of a course is received more than 10 days before commencement date of course applicants will get a 100% refund of fees paid less the registration charge which is non refundable.
  • When written notice of cancellation of a course is received within 10 days of commencement date of course applicants will not get any refund of  fees paid.
  • When the College has to change the commencement date of a course students will be started with the distance learning aspects of the course and new dates for face-to face and the delivery of scheduled topics will be arranged.


Copyright Information

All text, graphics, user interfaces, visual interfaces, photographs, trademarks, logos, sounds, music, artwork and computer code (collectively, “content”), including but not limited to the design, structure, selection, coordination, expression, “look and feel” and arrangement of such content, contained on the Site is owned, controlled or licensed by or to © The Open College 2000-2018.

Except as expressly provided in these Terms of Use, no part of the Site and no content may be copied, reproduced, republished, uploaded, posted, publicly displayed, encoded, translated, transmitted or distributed in any way (including “mirroring”) to any other computer, server, Web site or other medium for publication or distribution or for any commercial enterprise, without The Open College express prior written consent.

You may use information on The Open College website (such as course information) purposely made available by The Open College, provided that you (1) not remove any proprietary notice language in all copies of such documents, (2) use such information only for your personal, non-commercial informational purpose and do not copy or post such information on any networked computer or broadcast it in any media, (3) make no modifications to any such information, and (4) not make any additional representations or warranties relating to such documents.

You may not forge headers or otherwise manipulate identifiers in order to disguise the origin of any message or transmittal you send to The Open College on or through the Site or any service offered on or through the Site. You may not pretend that you are, or that you represent, someone else, or impersonate any other individual or entity.

You may not use the Site or any content for any purpose that is unlawful or prohibited by these Terms of Use, or to solicit the performance of any illegal activity or other activity, which infringes the rights of The Open College or others.


Privacy Policy

The Open College will not collect any personal information on this website without your explicit consent. We will let you know when we are doing so that you can decide whether to provide information. Any information which is provided by you will be treated with accordance with the terms of the current EU GDPR Legislation. The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) seeks to protect and enhance the rights of data subjects. Click here for more information on our Privacy Statements.


Retention of Learner Information

The Open College maintains Learner files for a maximum two-year period. After 2 years all learner information is securely destroyed using Secured Shredding and Recycling companies regardless of status.

Learner files for all participants who have successfully Completed and Certified on their programme/s will be destroyed immediately after the release of certificates to learners with no records maintained.

Learner information for both existing and new students will be securely maintained in a learner database for a period that the college deems appropriate and in line with the above.  Soft copies of registration documents and copies of certificates will be maintained for all learners and archived for accessing as when/if needed.

No Financial Information is stored either hard or soft copy in any of the cases above.


Security Information

To ensure the highest level of security of information passing between our customers and our servers, The Open College uses what is known as SSL. This is an encryption method that scrambles information while it is moving from one source to another to prevent the information being viewed or tampered with.


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