As a result of the Higher Education (Freedom of Speech) Act 2023, we need to make a change to the OIA Scheme Rules. This is to take account of the legislative provision that we cannot review a complaint about the same matters and from the same person as a complaint that is being or has been considered by the free speech complaints scheme provided by the Office for Students.

We are also taking the opportunity to update our Rules more generally. This includes amendments to be clearer about the meaning of some terms and about some of our processes, to adjust some of the language, and in early preparation for the expansion of our remit in Wales to cover further education complaints (substantive changes relating to that expansion will be the subject of a separate Rules consultation at a later date).

If you have any questions about the consultation, please email

The draft updated guidance that will accompany the Rules is provided for context. Text in blue in the Rules document will be linked to the relevant part of the Guidance in the final version.

The consultation has now closed and we are considering the responses. We plan to bring the updated Rules into effect from 1 August 2024, to align with the start of the OfS free speech complaints scheme.

The date for responses has now passed. If you have any questions about the consultation, please email


Draft updated Rules of the Scheme
January 2024
PDF, 157Kb
Draft Guidance on the updated Rules of the Scheme
January 2024
PDF, 235Kb

related pages

Our Rules

Our Rules set out how our Scheme works, who can complain, what we can and can’t look at, how we review complaints, and what higher education providers should do

Guidance on the Rules

This Guidance Note explains what some of the terms we use in our Rules mean and how we apply our Rules. This note replaces earlier guidance on our Rules

Rules that applied before 1 April 2018

These Rules only apply to complaints that occurred before 1 April 2018