General terms and conditions
1. Wine & Spirits Academy Bulgaria is the WSET Approved Programme organizer (hereinafter: the Organizer).
2. The right of participation at WSET courses is accorded to all natural and legal persons that have delivered the filled out and certified Application (hereinafter: the Application) and accept the general terms and conditions of WSET Award in Wines & Spirits.
3. The details of Applicants participation are stated in the Application. The Application, signed and certified by the Applicant will be delivered to the Organizer and is considered a written agreement. Online application form is valid without the signature and the seal. The deadline for the submission of the certified Application is written in the application form.
4. Upon the received Application, the Organizer will send the confirmation email and deliver the offer to the Applicant based on the elements contained in the Application.
5. Only with the payment on time that is according to the offer the Applicant ensures the participation at the course.
6. If the Applicant does not pay the offer by the due date, the Organizer has the right to cancel the confirmed Application.
7. The prices listed in the Application are in Bulgarian national currency. Payments are made according to the offer based on the Application.
8. The Application is irrevocable and obliges, all cancellation must be submitted in writing. If the Applicant cancels the participation 15 days before the beginning of course, he will be invoiced 30% of the value of the course. In case of Applicant’s cancellation within 15 days or less from the beginning of the course, he will be invoiced the full price of the course.
9. Possible financial disputes between the Applicant and the Organizer will be settled by arrangements, and if they fail, the Court in Sofia will have jurisdiction.
Any student has the right to file a complain if he or she feels that the standards of the Wine & Spirits Academy Bulgaria as a WSET provider have not been met. WSAB ensures that any form of feedback, both positive and negative, will be acknowledged, an appropriate response given and the overall service provided improved.
A complaint is an expression of dissatisfaction about the standard of service, actions or lack of action by WSAB, a member of its staff or a representative, affecting a stakeholder or group of stakeholders, especially WSET students/candidates.
Dissatisfaction may be associated with the service provided or with the way an individual perceives to have been treated by a WSAB member of staff or representative, which may or may not be justified or associated with professional misconduct.
Complainants are guaranteed confidentiality unless they waiver that right, but should be aware that while WSAB will not divulge their name, the circumstances of the complaint could potentially make them identifiable to other parties involved in the investigation.
Who can make a complaint?
Complaints can be made by an individual stakeholder or group of stakeholders who have been adversely affected by or have witnessed, the cause of dissatisfaction.
Students/candidates wishing to raise dissatisfaction about services provided by WSAB must address their concern directly with WSAB Only when the full complaints procedure has been followed and the complainant continues to remain dissatisfied with the outcome should they contact WSET Awards.
How to file a complaint?
Most individuals who are dissatisfied will want a problem to be addressed as quickly as possible; therefore, an informal approach may be appropriate. The informal approach aims to resolve the concern quickly, keep matters low key and enable mediation between the complainant and the individual to whom the complaint has been directed. Therefore, the complainant should contact WSAB for an informal discussion, in response to which WSAB will aim to resolve the concern by providing an explanation, apology or another desirable outcome.
If a concern cannot be satisfactorily resolved informally, the formal complaints procedure should be followed. It might be necessary to provide further information to ensure the complaint is fully understood, thoroughly investigated and allow for a comprehensive response to be provided.
Formal complaints are submitted in writing at firstname.lastname@example.org
and marked. A Case Officer responsible for the initial investigation is then assigned. When submitting a complaint, the complainant must provide the following:
- Name, address and contact information
- Full details of the complaint i.e. the cause of dissatisfaction with operations, actions or behaviour
- All supporting information i.e. relevant documentation, dates, locations, any witnesses
- Details of any previous attempts to resolve the identified dissatisfaction
- What action or response they seek to resolve the dissatisfaction.
WSAB files the complaint and will acknowledge the complaint in writing within 5 working days of receipt, advising the name of the Case Officer responsible for handling the complaint.
Complaints will be investigated by the Case Officer who may contact the complainant or any other named parties for further information as required. The complainants name will not be mentioned to third parties or their identity otherwise revealed unless permission to do so has been obtained in advance. The Case Officer may ask WSET Awards for advice on resolving complains in the best way possible.
A response, including explanation and resolution, will be provided within 20 working days of the Case Officer being assigned (i.e. the date of the initial acknowledgement). However, where the complainant wishes their name to be withheld from an investigation, WSAB will not be able to provide information on the outcome other than to inform the complainant that it has been completed.
Exceptionally (e.g. in especially complex or serious complaints, or where a key party is out of contact for a period of time) it may be necessary to extend the duration of the investigation. In that case, the complainant will be notified and given a revised timescale. The outcome will be recorded and incorporated into WSAB’s Continual Improvement Plan.
Following Stage 1, if a complaint remains unresolved, the complainant should notify WSAB in writing that they wish to pursue the complaint to the next stage. The complaint will be referred to a different Case Officer for further investigation. Acknowledgement of further investigation will be provided to the complainant in writing within 5 working days, and the complainant will be notified of the individual responsible for the investigation.
The Case Officer will conduct a further investigation into the cause of dissatisfaction, after which they will communicate directly with the complainant and provide an explanation and resolution. This will be communicated to the complainant within 30 working days of the Stage 2 acknowledgement email. The duration of further investigation will depend on the nature and severity of the complaint and the complexity of the response required. In some cases, the investigation may take longer and in such instances, the complainant will be notified of the revised timescale. The outcome will be recorded and incorporated into WSAB’s Continual Improvement Plan.
Receiving a complaint from an unidentified source potentially limits WSAB’s power to effectively investigate that complaint. However, if an anonymous complaint is received, WSAB will consider if there is enough information in the complaint to enable further investigation.
If the complainant continues to remain dissatisfied with the response provided by the WSAB the next step will be to submit an appeal, in line with the Policy on Appeals against WSAB’s Decisions. All appeals must be received within 10 working days of receipt of the complaint outcome from WSAB.
Conflict of Interest Policy
WSAB ensures that there is no Conflict of Interest regarding the duties that it has as an Approved Program Provider to WSET Awards, including:
- The undertaking of any assessment of candidates by an individual who has a personal interest in the result of the assessment for any or all individuals concerned;
- The undertaking of any moderation of assessment of candidates by an individual who has a personal interest in the result of the assessment for any or all individuals concerned;
- The tutoring of candidates by an individual involved in the assessment ;
- The undertaking of a WSET qualification by any individual employed by an APP;
- The invigilation of a WSET assessment by any individual involved in the delivery of training leading to the assessment;
- The coaching of candidates by any individual involved in the assessment of candidate scripts or the authoring of examination questions;
- The employment by an APP of individuals engaged in the delivery of taught programmes or in the role of Internal Assessor in another APP.
If aware of a Conflict of Interest WSAB ensures to inform the Centres Co-ordination and Quality Assurance Manager (CCQAM) for WSET Awards in writing immediately and seek WSET Awards advice on how to proceed.
Management of Conflicts of Interest
WSAB will take all reasonable steps to prevent actual or perceived conflicts of interest from occurring and promptly notify WSET Awards of any incidents in line with the requirements of the Conflict of Interest policy as set out in the APP Handbook.
Conflicts of Interest will be managed on a case-by-case basis.
Data Protection Policy
All personal information obtained and stored by WSAB is treated in accordance with the Data Protection Act of Republic of Bulgaria dated 01/01/2002 and as of May 25, 2018 with DGPR Regulation (EU) 2016/679. Information may be shared with the Wine & Spirit Education Trust for admission, registration, examination academic and administrative communication purposes. By signing the course application, a student agrees that their personal data will be used for the sole purpose outlined in this policy.
Diversity and Equality Policy
WSAB seeks to apply all WSET Awards standards in policy to the highest standard and is, therefore, committed to upholding the principles of diversity and equality in all areas of its work, treating all students fairly and equally at all times.
WSAB provides open access to WSET qualifications for individuals of legal drinking age (aged 18 and above). WSAB ensures that the content of all specifications, examinations and other materials does not discriminate unlawfully against anyone on the grounds of disability, age, marriage and civil partnership, gender reassignment, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex and sexual orientation.
WSAB ensures that candidates with special educational needs, disabilities or temporary injuries can access WSET assessments without changing the demands of the assessment in line with the Reasonable Adjustment and Special Consideration policies.
Reasonable Adjustments Policy
WSAB seeks to assess all candidates in a way that puts them at no disadvantage, or advantage, over other candidates.
Therefore, a reasonable adjustment is defined as 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 are approved by WSET Awards and put in place before the assessment activity takes place; they constitute an arrangement to give the candidate access to the qualification. The use of a reasonable adjustment is not taken into consideration during the assessment of a candidate’s work by WSET Awards. Reasonable adjustments must not give unfair advantage over candidates for whom reasonable adjustments are not being made, or affect the reliability and validity of the assessment outcomes as detailed in the applicable Specification.
The facilities of WSAB courses are on the ground floor providing very easy access for all students. The spaces closer to the speaker can be preserved for people with hearing or visual impairment. A sign language interpreter can be arranged upon request as well as materials in large text format depending on the student’s needs.
If a candidate has requested a Reasonable Adjustment through the booking form at wsab.bg, WSAB can ensure a Reasonable Adjustment is granted to that candidate only after WSET has been informed and approves of the particular adjustment.
Special Consideration Policy
WSAB considers candidates eligible for special consideration. Special consideration is an action taken after an assessment to allow candidates 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 examination 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.
WSAB will submit an application for Special Consideration to WSET Awards within 7 days of the exam date, therefore the request for Special Consideration needs to take place in the first week following the exam. WSAB can ensure a Special Consideration to a candidate only after it has been granted by WSET .
Malpractice and Maladministration Policy
The aim of this policy is to protect the interests of WSET students and safeguard the integrity of WSET qualifications by ensuring compliance with WSET Policies and Procedures. It provides a framework for the identification, reporting and management of any potential malpractice or maladministration and for the application of sanctions.
Non-compliance with WSET Policies and Procedures generally falls into one of two categories:
- Maladministration, where non-compliance is accidental rather than intentional; and
- Malpractice where non-compliance is intentional or the result of negligence.
The boundaries between maladministration and malpractice are not clear-cut. Some incidents may fall into either category depending on the wider context. Some maladministration incidents may become malpractice e.g. through failure to implement corrective measures, repetition of the incident, or subsequent attempt at non-disclosure or misrepresentation. A malpractice incident may be deemed to be maladministration if there are extenuating circumstances. Whether a situation is maladministration or malpractice will be determined by WSET Awards following an investigation.
In line with the above, WSAB implements procedures for preventing and investigating incidents of malpractice or maladministration. Since at this point there are no satellite sites and sub-contractors involved in the APP’s activities, WSAB is solely responsible for complying with WSET Awards’ and taking all reasonable steps to prevent incidents of malpractice or maladministration from occurring and confirm that WSAB will promptly notify WSET Awards of any incidents of malpractice or maladministration in line with the requirements of the malpractice/maladministration policy as set out in the APP Handbook.
WSAB ensures that If a non-compliance incident occurs during a WSET examination, the Examinations Officer will notify WSET Awards by submitting the Notification of Malpractice Form.
All other notifications will be submitted in writing and will include:
- A detailed account of the circumstances surrounding the suspicions and allegations;
- Details of any consequent actions or investigations carried out by the centre;
- Any extenuating circumstances (e.g. medical reports);
- Details of any procedures followed for informing staff/students of consequences of malpractice and maladministration;
- Any unauthorised materials found during assessment;
- Written statements signed and dated by any individuals involved.
Where there are grounds to suspect malpractice or maladministration against a student, certification may be suspended until the investigation has been completed and any sanctions applied.
Sanctions Applicable to Students Sanction Description Written Warning 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. Student Disqualification The learner is disqualified from participating in any courses or assessments leading to WSET qualifications.
Any organisation or individual that wishes to consider appealing against penalties or sanctions imposed by WSET Awards should follow the procedures laid out in the Policy on Appeals against WSET Awards’ Decisions