Guildford College Group > About The Group > Charter & Policies

Guildford College Charter

The Charter tells you about:

1. Your Rights

  • The quality of the service you may expect
  • What the College expects from you
  • How to tell us if you are unhappy with the service we offer

2. Information available for your use

  • Prospectuses, which provide details of our courses, resources and facilities, support and other information.
  • Step by step information on how to apply and enrol at the College is printed in the prospectuses together with application forms. These are also available from the Information and Advice Centres at Guildford and Merrist Wood College.
  • Course information leaflets give details of course content, dates and times, fees, contact details, entry requirements, assessment methods and other information.
  • Careers guidance is available before, during and towards the end of your course. Careers staff provide individual and group consultations and you will also have access to a careers library and databases. There are two part-time Connexions Advisers, one at each campus.
  • If you have learning difficulties or disabilities the Greenhouse at Guildford College and the Skills Development Service in the Harris Centre at Merrist Wood College can provide support, specialist services and equipment.
  • We aim to provide you with the information you have requested within five working days.
  • A separate fee scale is applicable to students who do not fulfill the residency requirements, although home rates may apply to EU students for some courses. Contact the International Centre for further information.
  • For information about accommodation contact the Accommodation Officer at Guildford College or the Domestic Manager at Merrist Wood College.
  • Annual Report and other performance data as available.
  • Summary of inspection reports and Self Assessment Report summary for the College are available on request from the Learning Resource Centres
  • Information relating to the membership of the College's Corporation is available from this website and from the Clerk to the Corporation. A Register of Interests and a copy of the Statutory Instrument of Government are available for inspection during normal office hours on application to the Clerk, and copies of Corporation papers and minutes are held in the Learning Resource Centres.

3. Documents you will receive at

  • Enquiry: Adult and Employer Guide, 16-19 Course Guide or Higher Education Prospectus plus course specific information leaflets.
  • Interview: Appropriate College map, full information and documentation on the course you have applied for.
  • Pre Enrolment/Enrolment Induction: Joining pack giving date, place and time to meet your tutors plus any specific details of what to bring with you. Comprehensive induction programme and pack containing College and course information and timetable.

4. Getting a Place in College

  • You have the right to expect the College to handle your application fairly and efficiently.
  • Full-time and part-time students on FE programmes aged 16-19 on 31 August in the year of entry, who are ordinarily resident in the EU/EFTA in excess of three years, are entitled to free tuition. There may be a student contribution to other costs.
  • All overseas students will be expected to provide their passport/immigration papers for inspection.
  • If you are over 19 and want to study full-time or part-time, you may have to pay fees.
  • Information on tuition fees and other charges may be obtained from the Finance Office. The Fees Policy is available from the Finance Manager, who is the final authority for tuition fees.
  • You are entitled to take up a place on a particular College course if:
    - You meet its entry requirements
    - There is still availability and there are sufficient students to run the programme - You pay any relevant fees
    - You sign the Learner Agreement and the Student Study Contract.
  • You have the right to look around the College and its facilities and to discuss your requirements before you decide to apply or at your interview. Open Day dates are published on this website, in the prospectus and are available from the Information and Advice Centres.
  • Information on financial help, fee remission or reductions, how to apply for support from the College Access Funds (including residential bursaries) and travel advice are available from the Welfare Administrators in G2 at Guildford College and the Information and Advice Centre at Merrist Wood College.
  • All applications will be acknowledged on receipt and you may expect an interview within 28 days during College term time. At the interview you will be able to discuss the suitability of the programme plus options available to you considering your existing knowledge, skills and experience. Start times and methods of flexible study and assessment will be explained.
  • If you are unsure of the programme you would like to study you can ask for a guidance interview on the application form.
  • Part-time applications can be processed at any time. We aim to offer you a speedy and efficient enrolment process.

5. Equality and Diversity

  • Guildford College aims to ensure that no student receives less favourable treatment, directly or indirectly, on the grounds of age, colour, creed, disability, ethic or national origin, religion or belief, gender, marital or parental status, race or sexual orientation.
  • The College is committed to achieving equality of opportunity for all students studying with the College and celebrates the diversity of the college community
  • Guildford College affirms that minority ethnic individuals are entitled to the same equal rights, responsibilities and opportunities as the majority population. The College strives to ensure that whatever the heritage and origins of the College community, everyone is valued and will treat each other with respect. Our aim is to make promotion of race equality central to the way the College works, including policy making, service delivery, regulation and enforcement and employment practice.
  • The College is committed to ensuring that disabled people, including those with a learning difficulty, are treated fairly. The College welcomes the Special Educational Needs and Disability Act 2001. If you are a disabled person, please ensure that we know what you need so that we can make all reasonable adjustments to help you succeed.
  • If you feel you have been discriminated against, you should raise the matter with your personal tutor/mentor or student advisers.

6. Student Study Contract

  • At Guildford College we aim to provide an appropriate and supportive learning environment for all our students. The Student Study Contract is designed to help you understand your entitlements and your obligations. It will be found in your course or programme handbook.
  • You will be expected to sign this Contract. A copy of this will be held by your personal tutor/mentor on your personal file

Guildford College aims to provide you with:

  • Effective, suitably qualified and experienced lecturers and support staff.
  • Advice, guidance and support through the Information and Advice Centres and the Careers Office and personal tutors at both Campuses.
  • A personal tutor/mentor to support your learning and personal development.
  • A systematic induction into the College, its facilities and your programme of learning, including a detailed programme handbook.
  • A wide range of learning experiences including access to appropriate working environment, facilities and equipment plus recognition of previous experience and learning wherever possible.
  • Opportunities to comment on the courses and other facilities through the College programme monitoring and evaluation system.
  • Nationally recognised qualifications in an agreed sound and logical programme of study including an individual action plan to support your progression and career development.
  • Opportunities for recording achievement including periodic reviews with annual written reports for all full-time students.
  • Assessed and marked work returned within an agreed time.
  • Suitable and appropriate work placements arranged as required, as available.
  • Assessed and recorded achievements at the end of your programme.
  • Equal opportunities in any dealings with the College.
  • Support for any individual learning needs within existing resources.

Guildford College expects you as a student to:

  • Share in the responsibility for creating the environment in which everyone can learn and enjoy the social life of the College.
  • Abide by the College policies and procedures and pay all tuition fees and other charges on enrolment.
  • To abide by the College's Equal Opportunities Statement (Section 5).
  • Accept responsibility for your learning, develop an individual action plan and review your progress regularly with your tutor.
  • Inform the College if you leave the programme early, giving the reason.
  • Submit work of a satisfactory standard to meet deadlines as agreed with your lecturers.
  • Ensure work submitted is your own and not copied from other people or sources without being acknowledged.
  • Attend all elements of your programme of study and to account for any absences.
  • Make active use of the learning opportunities and support services offered. 
  • Act in a responsible, mature and orderly fashion and to maintain good standards of behaviour whilst engaged in College activities both on and off College premises.
  • Adhere to the College Health and Safety Policy, codes of practice and fire evacuation procedures. If there are special safety requirements in your area of work, you must keep to them.
  • Inform the College of any medical condition you have which might affect others. 
  • Respect the College environment by adhering to the College 'No Smoking' policy, eating and drinking in designated areas only and depositing litter in litterbins.
  • Carry your College identification card at all times and take responsibility for your own property.
  • Never bring or use alcohol, illegal substances or weapons nor gamble on College premises.
  • Never encourage, or join in, any threatening violent or aggressive behaviour.
  • Accept any reasonable action taken by Guildford College, which results from non-fulfilment of these requirements. See Student Disciplinary Procedure and Code of Conduct, which can be obtained from your personal tutor/mentor. 

7. Teaching, Learning and Guidance

  • Your Course or Programme Handbook will set down clearly the coursework expected from you and how assignments are to be assessed, including their frequency. It will include a calendar of key events/commitments and will be given to you within the first two weeks of your programme. 
  • You will be allocated a personal tutor/mentor to support your learning and personal development and to assist you with any concerns.
  • You can expect that the qualification for which you are studying will be recognised nationally and that the assessment requirements are appropriate to that qualification.
  • You can expect guidance from your lecturer/tutor that individual units produce a sound and logical programme of study.
  • If you have a work placement as part of your programme, this will be suitable for the qualification and programme of study, subject to availability from work experience providers. The College will attempt to ensure that the work placement will be well prepared and available at the right time, and provide the necessary assessment and other feedback. 
  • Full-time students will receive at least one written progress report each year. Reports will be sent to parents/guardians of students aged 16-18 years.
  • Timetables will be displayed on central notice boards. 
  • Parents' Evenings will be held at least once per year for full-time students aged 16-18 years.
  • Advice is available if you wish to change your programme of study and careers staff will be able to give advice on further study or employment.
  • Academic and awarding body appeals procedures are available from your personal mentor/tutor. 
  • An initial assessment of the support you may need will be carried out within three weeks of you starting your course. Support will be provided in the basic skills of literacy and numeracy and for the learners for whom English is spoken as a second language, as appropriate. Additional Support is available for students requiring help with their studies due to a learning difficulty and/or disability i.e. sensory impairment, physical disability or dyslexia.

8. The Student Union

All students enrolled on any course shall be entitled to membership of the Student Union with voting rights.

  • You have the right to opt out of full membership of the Student Union, which you exercise by writing to the Student Union for an 'opt out' registration form.
  • Students who opt out of membership will not be discriminated against in the provision of services which are funded by the Student Union, or any clubs and societies organised by the Student Union.
  • Any group of students may apply to the Student Union for an allocation of funds to support a club or society. 

The Student Union will consider such applications in accordance with the terms of its constitution. It will take into account:

  • The number of students benefiting from the activity of the club or group
  • The contribution it makes to student life in recreational, social, welfare or educational term The relative cost of providing the activity concerned 

In order that the Student Union's charitable status is not jeopardised, the following principles will be followed in relation to political activities:

  • The Student Union cannot be seen to be biased towards any one political party, including providing proforma letters for students to send to Members of Parliament or campaigning using biased or inaccurate material 
  • Any form of financing of a political party whether direct or indirect is strictly prohibited.
  • The Student Union can lobby Members of Parliament through reasoned argument on any legislative matter or can advocate or oppose change in the law if it believes such a change might be beneficial or harmful to its charitable purposes.
  • Any research must be properly conducted, unbiased and objective and the results must not be manipulated to present a political view.
  • The College endorses the principle of freedom of thought and expression within the law. 
  • In the event of the Student Union receiving a complaint from a member or group of members, the Student Union will establish a committee to investigate the complaint which will operate in accordance with the College policy for dealing with complaints.
  • Any student may request a copy of the Student Union Constitution from the Student Union Office. 

9. Employers, Sponsors and the Local Community

  • As an employer, sponsor or other member of the local community, you will be transferred to the most appropriate person to discuss a College programme, such as Guildford Corporate Services. Your enquiry will be handled quickly, efficiently and impartially.
  • As an employer, sponsor or other member of the local community, you have a right to make known to the College your views about any service provided by writing to the Principal. You can expect an acknowledgement by return and a courteous and efficient response within 10 working days. 
  • Employers and sponsors have a right to expect clear and concise information about what a student applying for a job is likely to know and understand and the skills they are able to perform.
  • Employers and sponsors who send employees/trainees on College programmes and companies for whom the College has set up an individually designed programme, have the right to expect clear and accurate information about: 
  • The programme and options - the fees and charges
    - the time to be devoted to study
    - the nature of the teaching and other managed learning
    - the assessment and qualifications to be awarded
    - the progress employees/trainees are making
    - the attendance of employees/trainees 

As an employer offering a work placement to a College student/trainee you have the right to expect:

  • A clear statement of the intended learning outcomes of the placement, and of your responsibilities and those of the College for making assessments and supervising students 

- That students will come well prepared and make a useful contribution to their time with you
 - That your comments on their performance will be taken into account when the students are assessed

  • Unemployed members of the community will be offered support in finding employment/training opportunities through schemes which are jointly managed by the College and employment services. 
  • The College has designated members of staff who are responsible for liaising with the local business community. They are to be found within Guildford Corporate Services.
  • Copies of the College prospectus are available in local libraries and from this website. 

10. Student Records

  • The College is registered with the Data Protection Office within the terms of relevant legislation and complies with all of the provisions of that legislation in relation to all student data held under the Data Protection Act 1998.

11. Compliments and Complaints

  • The College is committed to providing high quality services and continuous improvement. Comments, concerns, complaints and compliments are an important source of information to enable us to improve our service to you.
  • The College has a Complaints and Compliments Procedure to inform you what to do if you wish to make a complaint. The procedure is available from this website and from Go!.
  • Please raise any concern with staff at the time to allow them the opportunity of responding. If they are unable to assist they will direct your complaint to a College manager.
  • If, after following the procedure, you are dissatisfied with the outcome of your complaint you may appeal to the Executive Team and then the Principal for a final decision. If, after full consideration of your complaint by the College, you are still dissatisfied, refer to the Funding Body or relevant Government Agency.
  • Where a compliment, comment, concern or complaint is submitted in writing, please send to Customer Services Manager, Guildford College Group, Stoke Park, Guildford, Surrey GU1 1EZ.

12. Parent Charter

This section of the Charter relates to parents of dependent students. We welcome and encourage parents to:

  • Discuss the course or programme with programme tutors
  • Discuss careers, welfare (access fund support, residential, travel, Education Maintenance Award etc.) with members of the Student Services teams
  • Attend Open Days
  • Attend interviews
  • Request information regarding provision and College results 

We provide you with:

  • A named contact who will usually be the personal or programme tutor/mentor
  • Invitations to Parents' Evenings
  • Reports at least once a year
  • Information on programme workload and a copy of the timetable if requested 

You are encouraged to:

  • Contact us if you have any concerns
  • When your son/daughter leaves College you can expect them to receive: Post examination advice and guidance regarding future career plans Support and advice on progressing to higher education or employment

13. General Points

  • All students are expected to accept and sign their Learning Agreement and Study Contract at the beginning of their programmes. 
  • If services cannot be provided, the College accepts responsibility. The maximum liability is limited to the refund of any fees or charges already paid to the College.
  • This Charter replaces any previous Charter and becomes operative from July 2004 and can only be applied to College literature produced after that date. 

14. Other Documents

The following documents are available from your personal tutor/mentor or the Student Union:

  • Course/Programme Handbook
  • Student Survival Guide
  • Student Union Constitution (Student Union) Student Code of Conduct
  • Student Safety Code 
  • The Student Grievance Procedure
  • The Student Disciplinary Procedure
  • Procedure for Withholding Access to Assessment, Results, Awards and Registration 
  • Student Assessment and Qualification Appeals Procedure
  • Student Academic Appeals Procedure
  • Drug and Substance Misuse Policy 
  • Racial Equality
  • Policy Policy for Child Protection and Vulnerable Adults
  • Anti-Bullying and Harassment Policy