International Beverage Academy Policy and Procedures
Complaints and Appeals
What is a complaint?
Dissatisfaction about the standard of service offered by International Beverage Academy and the behavior of our staff in delivering that service.
Who can make a complaint?
Complaints can be made by anyone who has been adversely affected by or has witnessed the cause of dissatisfaction, or someone acting on behalf of the affected stakeholder (referred to as third parties). Third parties submitting a complaint on behalf of the complainant may only do so with written permission to represent the complainant and their interests. This must be presented to and accepted by International Beverage Academy.
How to file a complaint?
International Beverage Academy (IBA) seeks to deliver 100% quality, satisfaction and consistency to every participant enrolled in the courses and certifications offered through the school. With that said, there may be times where participants could require special assistance or a customized response. In such cases, the person with a concern can initiate a complaints procedure as follows:
Please reach out directly to the Course Educator with any concerns, either through direct conversation or via email.
Follow with an email to the Main Contact: Luis Romero as soon as the concern arises, the email address is as follows:
International Beverage Academy
Required information when submitting a formal complaint:
• Complainant’s name, address and contact information
• Details of the complaint i.e. what is the cause for dissatisfaction
• All supporting information i.e. relevant documentation, dates, locations, any witnesses
• Details of any previous attempts to resolve the concern
• What outcome you hope to achieve
Response to the initial email communication will be given no later than 72 hours from receiving the message. Should a physical copy documents or information need to be sent to the school for verification, the participant can mail documentation to:
International Beverage Academy
PO BOX 1582
Orlando, FL 32802
While participants are welcome to mail feedback or concerns via postage, the quickest and most efficient way to obtain a prompt response is by contacting directly via email. Participants are welcome to provide contact information including phone in case they wish to receive follow up in a manner different than written communication via email.
Please note to process any official complaints, a formal written complaint must be emailed or physically sent to the addresses listed above. It is the hope of the institution that any question or concern is addressed promptly, and in accordance with the terms set between the school and the participant prior to a formal complaint.
A prompt resolution will be offered to any communication or concern sent via email within 7 days after receiving communications or up to 14 days for mail submissions. Formal complaints are only required if the participant requires further assistance on the matter after its initial resolution and must be submitted in writing within 14 days after receiving an initial response.
If the student is not satisfied with the response from the APP Main Contact, they may take steps to appeal the response. The first step of action is to contact the International Beverage Academy by email (email@example.com) Attn: Luis Romero, Main Contact.
All appeals will be acknowledged within 5 working days. A full response from the International Beverage Academy will be given the complainant within 30 working days. Great effort will be taken to ensure that the appeal is carefully considered by communicating with all parties involved to decide upon an appropriate resolution.
ALL complaints must be submitted directly to International Beverage Academy. Only when the full Complaints & Appeals Policy has been exhausted without acceptable resolution may the complainant(s) forward their complaints to the WSET’s Quality Assurance Team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Conflict of Interest
What is a Conflict of Interest?
A Conflict of Interest exists where an individual has interests or loyalties that could adversely influence their judgement, objectivity or loyalty to International Beverage Academy when conducting activities associated with WSET qualifications.
Examples of Conflicts of Interest include:
· The undertaking of any moderation of assessment of student by an individual who has a personal interest in the result of the assessment for any or all individuals concerned;
· The tutoring of students by an individual involved in the assessment process;
· The undertaking of a WSET qualification by any individual employed by International Beverage Academy;
· The undertaking of a WSET qualification by any individual employed by WSET;
· The employment by International Beverage Academy of individuals engaged in the delivery of taught programs or in the role of Internal Assessor in another APP;
· The investigation of a non-compliance incident by someone who is unable to act impartially.
Some of these Conflicts of Interest can be managed and are therefore acceptable. For example, the marking of WSET Level 3 tasting assessments by Internal Assessors is verified by WSET to mitigate the risk of a Conflict of Interest. Similarly, where an employee of the WSET undertakes a WSET qualification, measures can be put in place to maintain the integrity of the assessment, provided this has been notified to WSET in advance.
Some Conflicts of Interest cannot be managed and are not acceptable. For example, it would be inappropriate for an individual involved in authoring examination questions or compiling examination papers to teach or coach students.
Identification of Conflicts of Interest
Any student or member of staff who becomes aware of an actual, potential or perceived Conflict of Interest should refer to the Formal Complaint procedure of the Complaints & Appeals Policy for the proper procedure. International Beverage Academy will declare these conflicts to WSET, who will record and provide mitigation to manage them. Please note that any student or member of staff who fails to declare a Conflict of Interest may be in breach of the relevant terms and conditions of engagement with International Beverage Academy and subject to sanctions from WSET.
Privacy and data protection are of the upmost importance to everyone, the school (International Beverage Academy) and WSET. For more information on the privacy and data protection policy of the school click here. The school will share some information with WSET in order to create a student record with the institution. Data will be shared for the following reasons:
(a) To register you as a candidate with WSET and enable you to sit exams for WSET qualifications.
(b) To administer and conduct your exam, including making arrangements for reasonable adjustments and/or special considerations.
(c) To issue your exam results and qualification certificate as appropriate.
(d) To provide you with post-results services such as enquiries against results and appeals and solicit feedback from you on WSET qualifications.
(e) To send you information regarding the course for which you are registered.
The data shared includes name(s), date of birth, gender and email address. All data shared with WSET will be handled in accordance with WSET’s Data Protection Policy available here.
What is a reasonable adjustment?
A Reasonable Adjustment is any action that helps to reduce the effect of a disability or difficulty that places the candidate at a substantial disadvantage in the assessment situation. Reasonable adjustments will be submitted by International Beverage Academy (on behalf of the student/candidate) to WSET for approval and will be put in place before the assessment activity takes place.
The use of a reasonable adjustment is not taken into consideration during the assessment of a candidate’s work. Reasonable adjustments must not give unfair advantage over candidates for whom reasonable adjustments are not being made.
Reasonable adjustments will be offered in compliance with the American Disabilities Act (ADA) and all the facilities will follow the law.
Examples of reasonable adjustments include:
Changing standard assessment arrangements, for example allowing candidates extra time to complete the assessment activity.
Adapting assessment materials, such as providing materials in large text format.
Providing access facilitators during assessment, such as a sign language interpreter or reader.
Re-organizing the assessment room, such as removal of visual stimuli for an autistic candidate.
Applying for a reasonable adjustment
Candidates need to notify the school at the time of the candidate’s enrolment of any special needs which may require a reasonable adjustment during the course and/or at the time of the exam. Please contact the Main Contact at International Beverage Academy by email (email@example.com) Attn: Luis Romero. Eligibility will only be considered if accompanied by supporting independent documentation. The school is required to submit any adjustment application at least 4 weeks prior to the exam, thus it is important that candidates notify the school of any special need or adjustment at least five weeks prior to the exam.
The specific arrangements for the exam process itself, or for marking, will be agreed in each case between the School’s Exams Officer and the WSET Exams Manager and will vary according to individual circumstances. WSET reserves the right to seek the advice of independent agencies as appropriate in coming to a decision on specific arrangements.
Candidates should note that the School may not offer reasonable adjustments to any candidate until this has been agreed with WSET.
Candidates and their advisors should be aware that it is not appropriate to make requests for reasonable adjustments where the candidate’s particular difficulty directly affects performance in the attributes that are the focus of the assessment.
The school will keep records of all reasonable adjustment applications thus a written request is required. Any personal data submitted for reasonable adjustments will be handled in accordance with the WSET’s Privacy & Data Protection Policy.
Special Consideration Policy
What is a Special Consideration?
Special consideration is an action taken after an assessment to allow participants who have been disadvantaged by temporary illness, injury, indisposition or adverse circumstances at the time of the assessment to demonstrate attainment.
Special consideration will not give unfair advantage over candidates for whom special consideration is not being applied or alter the assessment demands of the qualification as detailed in the applicable Specification.
A candidate may be eligible for special consideration if:
· Performance in an assessment is affected by circumstances beyond the control of the candidate. This may include recent personal illness, accident, bereavement or exam room conditions.
· Alternative assessment arrangements which were agreed in advance of the assessment proved inappropriate or inadequate.
· The application of special consideration would not mislead the user of the certificate as to the candidate’s attainment.
Candidate’s Guide to Applying for special consideration
The participant must submit a Special Consideration Application Form to Luis Romero, Director of International Beverage Academy at firstname.lastname@example.org within 5 business days of the exam date for which special consideration is being sought. Eligibility will only be considered if accompanied by supporting independent documentation.
In cases of serious disruption during the exam, International Beverage Academy’s Exams Officer will submit a detailed report of the circumstances and candidates affected to WSET. This will be returned with the completed exam papers.
The School will keep records of all applications for special consideration and so a written request is required by the participant. Any personal data submitted for special consideration will be handled in accordance with the WSET’s Privacy & Data Protection Policy.
Diversity and Equality
International Beverage Academy (IBA) prides itself in creating an inclusive and welcoming environment for everyone. It is part of IBA’s mission to make beverage education accessible and thus no discrimination of any kind will be allowed. Participants interacting with other candidates are required to uphold to the same ethics level as the school’s policy requires and there is a zero-tolerance policy for discrimination. Please contact Luis Romero (Main Contact) at email@example.com to address any questions or concerns regarding diversity and equality.
Malpractice and Maladministration
Maladministration, where non-compliance is accidental rather than intentional; and
Malpractice where non-compliance is intentional or the result of negligence.
Examples of Malpractice or maladministration which may be caused by International Beverage Academy and its Staff include:
• Failure to adhere to the terms of Centre Agreement or WSET Policies and Procedures;
• Failure to carry out course or assessment delivery in accordance with WSET requirements;
• Failure to adhere to WSET’s candidate registration and certification procedures;
• Late student registrations;
• Fraudulent claim for certificates/fraudulent use of certificates/reproduction or forgery of certificates;
• Withholding of information from WSET which is critical to maintaining the rigour of quality assurance;
• Insecure storage of assessment materials;
• Breach of confidentiality;
• Failure to disclose a Conflict of Interest;
• Issue of incorrect exam results/failure to issue results to students in a timely manner;
• Unauthorised reading/amendment/copying/distribution of exam papers;
• Failure to report changes in ownership/personnel/location/facilities;
• Denial of access to information, documentation, workforce, facilities;
• Failure to respond to WSET in a timely manner;
• Failure to return exam papers within the specified timeframe or to follow delivery and tracking regulations;
• Infringement of WSET copyright, trademarks, intellectual property rights and brand identity;
• Use of unqualified and/or unregistered educators or internal assessors;
• Misleading advertising/publicity.
Examples of incidences of Malpractice or maladministration which may be caused by students include:
• Submission of false or inaccurate information to gain a qualification;
• Cheating, including the use of unauthorized devices or materials;
• Disruptive behavior in an exam;
• Plagiarism of any nature;
• Impersonation (including forgery of signatures);
• Any action likely to lead to an adverse effect;
In the unlikely case of malpractice or maladministration candidates and staff are required to follow the procedures outlined in the Complaints & Appeals Policy to notify and address any concerns with the school. International Beverage Academy will declare instances of potential malpractice/maladministration to WSET and WSET has procedures in place to further investigate. Please note that WSET may reach out to candidates and/or staff during investigations and, if confirmed, incidents of malpractice or maladministration may result in sanctions including but not limited to:
The student is issued with a written warning that if the offence is repeated within a set period of time then further specified sanctions will be applied.
Exam Result Declared Null and Void
A student’s exam result is disallowed. This may include invalidation and recall of a certificate already issued.
Disqualification from a Qualification
The student is disqualified from participating in the concerned qualification with immediate effect and further excluded from participating in any further WSET qualifications for a period of 12 months. This includes access to WSET materials.
The learner is disqualified from participating in any courses or assessments leading to WSET qualifications. This includes access to WSET materials.
Disqualification from use of WSET certified logos and postnominals
Actions bringing WSET into disrepute may result in the student or graduate being barred from use of WSET postnominals and WSET certified logos.
Staff’s Sanctions Include:
The staff member is giving verbal coaching and warning to prevent further issues and/or their escalation.
The staff member is giving a formal written warning to be filed on their dossier detailing the infraction, steps taking to correct it, and notification of further sanctions if repeated.
Staff is suspended from their duties pending an investigation of any complaint or violation of policy. Upon the results of the investigation, the staff member will be given feedback, and if necessary, sanction or notice of termination.
Staff members found in violation with the standards and policies of International Beverage Academy and WSET will be terminated upon completion of an investigation to determine the infractions and corrective actions taken by the organization
Cancellations and Refunds
Under most circumstances, there are no refunds for courses purchased.
Special circumstances to receive a refund include:
Student requests cancellation of their registration 15 business days (3 weeks) prior to course start date. Students will receive a full refund to their original form of payment in accordance with payment processors terms and conditions for timeframe.
Students are allowed to transfer their enrollment to another course if space is available and request is submitted within 10 business days (2 weeks) prior to course start date. The fee will be transferred to the new enrollment and there will be no refund issued.
Student reaches out to International Beverage Academy and an agreement is reached between the parties.
Candidates acknowledge the refund policy when they sign up for the courses and understand the special circumstances under which refunds can be issued.
Should any special considerations or concerns need to be addressed, they need to be emailed to Main Contact Luis Romero at firstname.lastname@example.org
Cancellations need to be requested via email
All request and concerns are to be submitted prior to the start of the courses and are not immediately eligible for a refund. Any cancellations after the start of the course are considered nonrefundable under the general terms.
In the unlikely event the School has to cancel or reschedule a course. Candidates will be provided a full refund to their original form of payment if they choose not to register for a different date. Students who accept to be registered to a new course will have their fees transferred. Candidates have 10 business days (2 weeks) to reach out to the provider with their reschedule or refund decision. Candidates will be automatically assigned a new course date if no action is taken on the notice of cancellation from the provider.