Consultation on draft updated OIA guidance on Delivering learning opportunities with others

The OIA is publishing for consultation an updated version of the Good Practice Framework: Delivering learning opportunities with others.

This section of the Good Practice Framework sets out guidance on handling complaints, academic appeals and other internal processes in the context of delivering learning opportunities with others. It is principles-based and intended to support higher education providers to develop and follow fair processes in this context, and to be a tool to help providers evaluate their processes. It can also be a useful resource for students and those who advise them. 

Arrangements for delivering learning opportunities with others are complex and diverse, and continually evolving. The draft revised section illustrates a range of partnership models and contexts to support providers in considering how to apply the principles in the context of their particular arrangements and the legal and regulatory requirements that apply to them. 

The draft draws on learning from our experience in recent years of complaints and academic appeals arising where learning opportunities are being delivered with others, including where a course or provider has closed.  

Developments proposed in this update include: 

  • More guidance on how overarching good practice principles apply in partnership contexts 
  • Making it clearer that the principles apply to student-focused internal processes such as fitness to practise and disciplinary procedures as well as complaints and academic appeals procedures  
  • Expanded guidance on considering complaints, appeals and other internal processes through the life cycle of a partnership, particularly around key points in partnership relationships and when those might come to an end 
  • Updated case studies reflecting learning from our casework. 

The draft has been informed by valuable feedback from discussion webinars we held earlier this year, the Good Practice Framework Steering Group, and others with relevant expertise. We are grateful to everyone who has contributed. 

We now invite comments on the draft from sector bodies, higher education providers, student representative bodies, students and anyone else with an interest. The closing date for responses to the consultation is 8 December 2023. 

We plan to publish the final updated version of the section in the early part of 2024. 


Notes to Editors

For further information please contact Sarah Liddell, Head of Leadership Office,, 0118 959 9813. 

  1. The Office of the Independent Adjudicator for Higher Education (OIA) is the independent student complaints ombuds for higher education in England and Wales. It is the designated operator of the student complaints’ scheme under the Higher Education Act 2004. 
  2. The consultation will remain open until 8 December 2023. 
  3. The Good Practice Framework provides operational guidance to support higher education providers in England and Wales. It includes key principles, guidance on bias and the perception of bias, and a number of sections: Handling complaints and academic appeals, Supporting disabled students, Disciplinary procedures, Fitness to practise and Requests for additional consideration. The draft updated Delivering learning opportunities with others section should be read in the context of the Framework as a whole. We periodically review and update the different parts of the Framework. 
  4. The Good Practice Framework Steering Group has members from providers, student organisations and other higher education sector bodies. 
  5. The Good Practice Framework is one element of the OIA’s good practice work. We also provide guidance through a range of webinars, workshops and visits