Academic Regulations

(for Spainwise's Trinity CertTESOL Courses)

There are nine sections to the Academic Regulations for Spainwise’s Trinity CertTESOL Courses:

  • A. Introduction
  • B. Scope of These Regulations
  • C. Pass and Fail Criteria for the Spainwise Trinity CertTESOL Course
  • D. Referral (Resubmission) of Assessments
  • E. Absence from the Course
  • F. Code of Conduct
  • G. Conduct Panel
  • H. Process for Appeals by Trainees
  • I. Process for Complaints by Trainees

    A. Introduction

    1. Spainwise Teacher Training is part of Spainwise SLU.

    2. Teacher training takes place at the Spainwise teacher training centre in Cordoba (Spain) and / or online.

    3. The ‘customer’ is referred to as ‘the applicant’ and ‘the trainee’ in this document.

    4. This document makes reference to, but is not the same as the Terms & Conditions for Spainwise courses.

    5. This document contains the internal academic regulations (referred to as ‘the regulations’) for Cert TESOL courses at the Spainwise teacher training centre.

    6. The regulations contain details of pass and fail criteria for the Spainwise Trinity Cert TESOL Course, referral (resubmission) of assessments, absence from the course, the internal code of conduct for trainees , the Conduct Panel, the process for appeals by trainees and the process for complaints by trainees.

    7. Any query about the academic regulations should be raised with the Course Manager for Spainwise Teacher Training, Mr Aidan O’Toole (

    B. Scope of These Regulations

    1. The following documents have been taken into account when drafting these regulations:

    (i) The Trinity Cert TESOL Syllabus (from January 2016)
    (ii) The Trinity Cert TESOL Validation Requirements (from January 2016)
    (iii) The Trinity College London Academic Investigations and Appeals Policy
    (iv) The Trinity College London Complaints Policy

    2. These regulations formed part of Spainwise Teacher Training’s original course proposal documentation. As such, they are subject to review by Trinity College London on the moderation day at the end of each Spainwise Cert TESOL course.

    3. If in any instance these regulations conflict with any of Trinity College London’s policies with respect to Cert TESOL courses, direction will be taken from the latter over the former.

    C. Pass and Fail Criteria for the Spainwise Trinity Cert TESOL Course

    1. The Cert TESOL is an accredited, certified qualification at level 5 on the UK’s National Qualifications Framework. The awarding body is Trinity College London, and the qualification is regulated by Ofqual.

    2. Trainees must do the following to pass the Cert TESOL:

    (i) Pass at least 5 out of 6 observed lessons (Unit 1: Teaching Skills)
    (ii) Complete the Observation Journal satisfactorily (Unit 1: Teaching Skills)
    (iii) Complete the Teaching Practice Portfolio satisfactorily (Unit 1: Teaching Skills)
    (iv) Get 60% or more in the Language Awareness & Phonology Test (Unit 2: Language Awareness)
    (v) Complete the Learner Profile Journal satisfactorily (Unit 3: Learner Profile)
    (vi) Complete the Materials Assignment satisfactorily (Unit 4: Materials Assignment)
    (vii) Pass a 10-minute oral assessment with a Trinity Moderator at the end of the course (Unit 4: Materials Assignment)
    (viii) Complete the Unknown Language Journal satisfactorily (Unit 5: Unknown Language)
    (ix) Attend / Complete at least 90% of the training sessions (requirement for all 5 units)

    3. Trainees are supplied with the criteria which Spainwise Teacher Training uses to assess completion of requirements. These requirements are also explained during training sessions and tutorials.

    4. Assessment for (i), (ii), (iii), (iv), (v), (viii) and (ix) is internal (by Spainwise Teacher Training).

    5. Preparation for (vi) and (vii) is extensive (including dedicated training sessions, tutorial and group practice) but final assessment is external (by Trinity College London’s moderator at the end of the course).

    6. Successful trainees can expect to receive their certificate from Trinity College London (via Spainwise Teacher Training) approximately 4 weeks after a result/decision has been confirmed by Trinity College London.

    7. Exceeding Trinity College London’s maximum referral allowance (see section D below) will result in course failure.

    8. If an assessment is still below pass standard after the referral process, this will result in course failure as Trinity College London does not allow a referred assessment to be referred more than once.

    9. If a trainee is unable to pass at least 4 out of the 6 observed lessons, this will result in automatic course failure as referral on the observed lessons is only permitted to support passing a fifth lesson (see section D below).

    10. A decision of the Conduct Panel may result in immediate course failure, or suspension (and exclusion) from the course until a decision by Trinity College London is received (see sections F and G below).

    11. Unauthorised absence (see section C.1 (ix) and section E will be referred to the Conduct Panel and can, therefore, also result in course failure (see section C.2 (ix) and section E below).

    12. Decisions to re-enrol trainees after failing a Cert TESOL course are exceptional, and will be made on an individual, case-by-case basis. If re-enrolled, the re-enrolled trainee will need to pay the full fees applicable to that course at the time of application, and complete all requirements of the Cert TESOL, given in section C.2, as if for the first time. If the Course Director at Spainwise decides to offer re-enrolment, this will be communicated in writing. There will be no obligation to give reason, written or otherwise, why a trainee would not be re-enrolled having failed the Cert TESOL.

    13. A reference letter from Spainwise Teacher Training will usually be offered only to trainees who have passed the Cert TESOL course.

    D. Referral (Resubmission) of Assessments

    1. Referral is the process of resubmission of assessed work, after the trainee’s course has officially ended. The process is administered and the referred work is assessed by Trinity College London and not by Spainwise Teacher Training.

    2. Any requirement / assessment given in section 2(i)-(viii) that has not reached pass standard by the final deadline day will be referred.

    3. The final deadline for full-time (4-week or 6-week) courses will be the evening of the second last day of the course. For part-time courses (from October to June), it will be the morning of the last day of the second last week of the course.

    4. Trinity College London allows for trainees to be referred on a maximum of TWO of the requirements listed in C. (i)-(viii).

    5. Although listed as separate requirements, C.2 (i), (ii) and (iii) are part of the same unit (Unit 1). Referrals technically apply to whole units (not their sub-components). Non-completion of C.2 (i), (ii) AND (iii) (or any two of the three components) will result in only one, single referral.

    6. Similarly, although listed as separate requirements, C.2 (vi) and (vii) are part of the same unit (Unit 4) and, as referrals technically apply to whole units (not their sub-components), non-completion of C.2 (vi) AND (vii) will result in only one, single referral.

    7. A third referral will be allowed by Trinity College London if it is for Unit 4 (i.e. C.2 (vi) and/or C.2 (vii), the externally-assessed components). 8. For requirements C.2 (i) – (v) & (viii), referral amounts to a two-week extension. Trainees will be given one tutorial to advise them on what is needed to pass. After this, the expectation will be that the trainee will use their own notes from the course to assist themselves. Spainwise Teacher Training will not review, comment on or support any ‘drafting’ within the two-week extension period. Trinity College London, not Spainwise Teacher Training, will decide on whether the assessment has met the pass standard.

    9. As requirement C.2 (i) is a practical assessment of teaching practice, referrals will only be given for this requirement where a trainee has already passed 4 lessons.

    10. For requirements C.2 (i) – (v) & (viii), referral requires the trainee to attend another moderation day, as this is when a Trinity College London moderator will next be present to carry out the assessment. Spainwise Teacher Training can only offer trainees the specific dates it has for future moderation days to be held at the Spainwise teacher training centre in Cordoba (Spain) and Spainwise SLU will not be liable for any expenses incurred by trainees as a result of referrals.

    11. Trinity College London alone decides the outcomes for all referred work. Trainees are advised that it may take up to three months to provide Spainwise Teacher Training with a decision in referral cases. Any breach of this time limit is the fault of Trinity College London and not Spainwise Teacher Training. Referral will always delay the delivery date for a Trinity Cert TESOL certificate.

    12. Grading for referred work is capped at the pass grade.

    13. The referral process will involve additional costs for trainees. The additional costs depend on the number and type of referrals (see Terms & Conditions).

    E. Absence from the Course

    1. Trainees may only be absent for 10% of the training sessions on the course.

    2. Absence must be authorised, i.e. notification must be received in writing before the trainee is expected to arrive on the day of the absence.

    3. If a trainee is absent for more than 10% of the training sessions, the trainee will be referred to the Conduct Panel.

    4. A trainee who is absent for more than 10% of the training sessions may need to attend any missed training sessions on a subsequent course before receiving the Trinity Cert TESOL certificate, if the Conduct Panel decides on this action.

    5. Any action proposed by the Conduct Panel when dealing with a trainee who has been absent for more than 10% of the training sessions will be confirmed with the moderator for Trinity College London on moderation day.

    F. Code of Conduct

    1. Trinity College London has a comprehensive malpractice policy, both for validated course providers, like Spainwise Teacher Training, and trainees. The most important details are listed here:

    (a) Trinity will not tolerate any cheating, unfair practice or breach of its rules and regulations. Candidates found to have committed or attempted to commit any of these will be disqualified automatically. Similarly, course providers found to have engaged or colluded in malpractice or to have committed serious or repeated maladministration will be de-registered and affected candidates will have their marks voided.

    (b) Examples of malpractice by course providers include …

    (1) encouraging trainees to falsify teaching practice learner numbers

    (2) encouraging trainees to falsify number of observed and assessed hours of teaching practice completed

    (3) failing to act on recognisable examples of plagiarism by trainees

    (4) severely misrepresenting volume and quality of resources available to trainees

    (5) misrepresenting costs of courses and related services and/or refunds

    (6) mishandling receipt of payment from trainees, especially via credit cards

    (7) holding back Trinity certificates from trainees for whom they are intended

    (8) changing course content, timetable or staffing significantly without seeking approval from Trinity and informing trainees as appropriate.

    (c) Examples of malpractice by trainees include …

    (1) falsifying teaching practice learner numbers

    (2) falsifying numbers of observed and assessed hours of teaching practice completed

    (3) damage or theft of resources owned by the training provider

    (4) plagiarism: the excessive copying by trainees of other people’s ideas and/or words in the production of written and practical work, and misrepresentation of it as their own; this must go beyond the normal sharing of common ideas.

    (d) In addition to Trinity’s policy on malpractice and maladministration, course providers are contractually bound to adhere to Trinity’s other policies and procedures, including on data protection and security, appeals, conflicts of interest, and bribery and corruption. Please note that these policies are reviewed regularly and subject to periodic change. The latest versions of the policies can be found in the policies section of Trinity College London’s website.

    2. Spainwise SLU also has internal regulations related to both academic conduct and general conduct. These are outlined below:

    (a) Where appropriate, Spainwise Teacher Training will always try to resolve issues related to conduct informally, in the first instance.

    (b) Common example of academic conduct issues would be plagiarism of texts from another source and cheating (or attempting to cheat) in a test or written assessment either by copying another candidate’s work or bringing an unauthorised aid into the exam room.

    (c) If a trainee is suspected of academic misconduct, the matter will be referred to the Conduct Panel (consisting of the Course Director, the Course Manager and a Course Tutor). Trainees will be permitted to continue on the course until a decision has been reached by the Conduct Panel. If the matter is referred to Trinity College London, trainees will be permitted to continue with their work, but with the understanding that Trinity College London may ultimately refuse to confer the award of Trinity Cert TESOL upon them.

    (d) If a trainee behaves in a way/ways that repeatedly upsets the harmony of the course and/or the training centre, this will be seen as general misconduct by Spainwise Teacher Training. The matter will also be referred to the Conduct Panel and trainees will be suspended from the course until the Conduct Panel has reached a decision.

    (e) To avoid undue risk of trainees not meeting the minimum attendance requirements for the course, the Conduct Panel meets within 2 working days of any matter referred. Trainees will, therefore, be offered a same-day, or next working day Panel meeting. If the matter is referred to Trinity College London, the trainee will be suspended from the course until they reach their decision.

    G. Conduct Panel

    1. The Conduct Panel is internal to Spainwise Teacher Training.

    2. Trainees are expected to attend the Conduct Panel hearing, and to provide any supporting evidence to their Course Director, for the Panel’s consideration, at least an hour before the Panel meets.

    3. Trainees must represent themselves, but they are permitted to have one other person in attendance. If the trainee wants any other form of representation or advocacy, the Conduct Panel will be required to immediately refer the matter to Trinity College London.

    4. For trainees on the full-time Cert TESOL course, a quick decision is preferred. The Panel will therefore aim to meet with the trainee within 2 working days. On the part-time Cert TESOL course, the Panel will aim to meet within 2 weeks.

    5. The Conduct Panel’s purpose is to:

    (a) Collect and evaluate evidence in cases of academic misconduct, deciding whether to drop the enquiry or refer it upwards to Trinity College London, who may authorise the Panel to take immediate action.

    (b) Report any dealings with trainees to Trinity College London.

    6. The panel will be composed of the Course Director, a Course Tutor and the Course Manager.

    7. Trainees are advised to read Trinity College London’s malpractice documentation as it is likely that Spainwise Teacher Training will refer any matter to Trinity.

    H. Process for Appeals by Trainees

    1. Trainees must submit any appeals directly to Trinity College London.

    2. For any appeals concerning any academic activity, including exams, trainees are directed to the Trinity Academic Investigations and Appeals Policy. Trainees are advised to check thoroughly to make sure they have permissible grounds for appeal, before making any submissions.

    I. Process for Complaints by Trainees

    At Spainwise, we recognise that concerns, if they arise, will probably be raised informally, often verbally, and, therefore, can be dealt with quickly. An informal approach is appropriate when it can be achieved. But if concerns cannot be satisfactorily resolved informally, then the formal complaints procedure should be followed (see below).

    Informal Complaints

    While we trust you will enjoy and benefit from your course, in the event of any problems or concerns, the Spainwise CertTESOL complaints procedure is as follows:

    1. In the first instance, please approach a tutor to share your complaints and concerns.

    2. If you feel any issues remain unresolved, please approach the course director (Gabby Hewitt).

    3. If your problem remains unresolved, please approach Aidan O’Toole, the Course Manager (

    Formal Complaints

    If your dissatisfaction continues, the option exists to lodge a formal complaint either with Trinity College London (if your complaint relates to the exam board) or with Consumo, the Spanish consumer protection watchdog (if your complaint relates to Spainwise Teacher Training).

    (a)Trinity College London: The areas which Trinity College London is able to respond to (including the complaints policy, the appeals procedure for appeals in relation to the assessment of the Unit 4 ‘Materials Interview’, as well as Trinity’s malpractice policy’) are listed in the ‘policies’ section of Trinity College London’s website.

    (b) Spainwise Teacher Training: There are some areas which Spainwise is solely responsible for and on which Trinity College London is unable to comment. If you are not satisfied with Spainwise’s response to your informal complaint, you can register a complaint with Consumo, the Spanish consumer protection watchdog (ask the Course Manager for the complaints form). Appeals relating to the assessment of internally marked work need to be made in writing to Spainwise within one working day of the disputed result. The work will be reassessed by another tutor within two working days and a definitive result issued within three working days. A fee of €50 will be charged in advance for each item of internally-marked work which is appealed. The fee is non-refundable unless the appeal is upheld.
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