ACLT regulations

 

Chapter 2:

Academic Regulations

 

Please note that, as of 1 June 2022, LawCAB at aclt@lawcabs.ac.uk is managing all administration processes for ACL Training including those formerly undertaken by the ACL Office and ACL Head of Operations on behalf of ACLT. Please do not send emails to any email addresses other than aclt@lawcabs.ac.uk.  Please do not send any documentation by post to ACL or ACLT offices regarding the ACL Training course you are on - all documentation for ACL Training must now be sent via email attachment to aclt@lawcabs.ac.uk

2.1  Credit framework 

All courses leading to the award of the academic element of the Costs Lawyer Qualification shall normally be named as such and all shall be designed on a framework of credits (6 modules or equivalent) per academic year. Unit 1 and Unit 2 are 45 credits and Unit 3 is 90 credits. The Course adopts the credit tariff recognised by the Regulated Qualifications Framework (‘RQF’).  The credit value provides an indication of the estimated length of time required for successful completion of each Module in a Unit.  One credit equates to 10 hours.  This is merely an indication of hours and the actual time spent will vary according to the Trainee’s experience or prior knowledge and will include time spent preparing for any formal sessions, private study, engaging in relevant work-based learning and preparation for formative assessments. 

Modules may be delivered in 5, 10, 15 and 20 credit values. The total credit value for the Course is 180 credits,. Each module shall be assessed according to ACLT’s Assessment Policy. 

2.2 Admission 

The CLSB Trainee Costs Lawyer Training Rules 2020 stipulated minimum entry requirements for the Costs Lawyer Qualification which are reflected in the ACLT entry requirements. (Please see Appendix AC 1 ) 

Applications for exemptions may be made from modules on the ACL Training Costs Lawyer in accordance with Rule 9 of the CLSB Trainee Costs Lawyer Training Rules 2020. Exemptions exempt the applicant from the particular module assignment, or from a unit. (Please see Appendix AC 3

ACL Training reserves the right to refuse (or to withdraw) admission to applicants and students who have yet to complete the enrolment process whom it judges may constitute a present or future risk to staff, students or others, or whose evidenced behaviour is such that they would be subject to Disciplinary Procedures under the Regulations if they had been enrolled (Please see Appendix AC 4). 

If an applicant wishes to request a review against an application decision, then this should be done in accordance with the procedure set out in the entry requirements policy (Please see Appendix AC 1). In the event an application is refused by ACL Training and a review is unsuccessful the Applicant may, within 14 days of notification of the appeal decision, make a written appeal to the CLSB in accordance with Rule 11 of the CLSB Trainee Costs Lawyer Training Rules 2020. 

2.3 Enrolment and registration 

Students are required to enrol with ACLT and register for a course in accordance with the arrangements notified and published.  Course definitive documentation shall specify which modules a student must take or choose from.  All module choices are subject to resource constraints as well as to academic constraints imposed by regulations.  ACLT reserves the absolute right to withdraw a module on resource grounds provided that other modules are available to enable students to complete the course on which they are registered.  Under such circumstances, the students involved shall be required to choose an alternative.  

2.4 Interruption of Studies/Postponement 

Students may apply to interrupt their studies through the postponement procedure. A student returning from a period of interruption of studies shall be subject to the Regulations that apply to the cohort being joined.  Marks attained up to the point of interruption shall stand. (please see Appendices GR 4, GR 5 and GR 8).  

2.5 Complete Withdrawal from Course 

Where a student indicates a desire to withdraw from a course the date of withdrawal shall be taken as the date on which the ACL Office receives the completed withdrawal form; retrospective withdrawal dates shall not be accepted.  It is the student’s responsibility to inform the ACLT of the withdrawal through the procedure notified.  

All marks attained up to the time of withdrawal shall stand, and the student may be issued with a certificate of unit completion where applicable. (Please see Appendices GR 5 and GR 9). Any credits for incomplete units will not be stored should the student wish to return in the future, if the student has an intention of returning the appropriate method of interrupting studies would be the postponement procedure.  

ACLT reserves the right to require a student to withdraw where the student has not fully engaged with the course or not complied with their financial commitment to ACLT.  Examples (not exhaustive) of not fully engaging include: repeated non-engagement with online tutorials and/or not taking part in formal or informal assessments. (Please see Appendix GR 6

Any decisions to determine withdrawals will be made at the relevant Assessment Board. A student may submit an appeal, within ten working days of the date of the letter confirming the withdrawal, in accordance with the appeal procedure. (Please see Appendix AC 5

2.6 Duration of Re-enrolment 

Where a student commences studying modules before having received the confirmed results from the previous academic year, this continuation/progression is deemed to be provisional until the results have been confirmed by the Assessment Board.  If the Assessment Board has determined that a student’s course has been terminated, the student will be required to cease studying with immediate effect. If the Assessment Board has determined that a student may not progress to the next stage of the course, the stage on which a student is enrolled must be amended with immediate effect.  

2.7 Duration of Registration 

The maximum duration of registration on any of the ACLT’s awards, including periods of suspension and interruption of studies, is six years. For the avoidance of doubt, the provisions herein do not affect the validity of any transitional arrangements in place. (please see Appendix AC 5

 

Duration maximum period of registration
1 year 2 years
2 years 4 years
3 years 6 years

 

Where a course ends its period of approval and is not reapproved or a new curriculum is re-approved for that course students who have not yet completed the course shall normally be required to terminate their studies at that point or to transfer to another course for which their modules taken so far make them eligible, including transferring to a new curriculum. 

A student entering ACLT with advanced standing or who is given accreditation for prior learning shall have their maximum duration of registration adjusted accordingly. Students may not normally register for more modules than are required for the award on which they are enrolled.  

2.8 Attendance and Engagement Requirements 

For all modules attendance at seminars and participation in online tutorials is mandatory.  All periods of absence must be covered by contemporaneous, written and authenticated certification.  In cases where a student’s absence exceeds 20% of the formal learning sessions for an individual module, the Assessment Board may decide that the student may be required to withdraw from the course. (Please see Appendix GR 5

2.9  Progression 

To progress from one stage (or unit) of a course to a subsequent stage (or unit) a student must pass all modules required by the previous stage, which includes meeting any prerequisite or any other requirement set out in the course definitive documentation.  

Students who fail to attain sufficient modules to progress as set out above may, at the discretion of the End of Unit Assessment Board: 

  • be allowed to progress on to the following unit with one module component (an assignment or the compulsory seminar) not having been attained, for the avoidance of doubt the unit examination must always be passed before progression on to the subsequent unit will be permitted; or  
  • be required to repeat the stage, in whole or part, which may include proceeding on a further period of study at the same stage on a “mixed diet” of modules at different units; or 
  • be recommended to withdraw from the course; or  
  • have their course terminated. 

2.10 Assessment 

In order to confer credit, all modules shall be assessed by formal written assignments and on the Costs Lawyer Qualification a Unit will be completed when all relevant assignments are passed, a contribution has been made at the compulsory seminar and the end of Unit examination has been passed. (Please see Appendix AC 6)

A student shall be deemed to have passed a module on obtaining an overall module mark of 50% or more, subject to any criteria notified as to how the mark is to be calculated (e.g. by specifying the relative weighting of any components). Marks between 49.5 and 50 inclusive shall be regarded as 50% for these purposes. 

In modules with more than one component, there may be provision for a compensation band to enable good performance on one component to offset poor performance in another component.  In such cases, the minimum component mark required is 45%, and such criteria must be specified in the approved module descriptor. Compensable failure between module components is normally only permitted when there is an overlap of assessment of intended learning outcomes across the module. 

Modules passed as part of one ACLT award may not be used as credits towards another ACLT award at the same level if they amount to more than one third of the new course, other than as credits towards the first stage.  Modules passed on one course may not be taken again as part of a further course.  An ACLT award cannot be used to gain entry with advanced standing to more than one ACLT award.   

ACLT has adopted a Fit to Sit Policy which means that if a student sits an assessment they are declaring themselves well enough to do so. If students submit an assignment or sit an examination they cannot later claim that their performance was affected by extenuating circumstances. Therefore, if a student feels that their circumstances are seriously affecting their ability to prepare for or sit an assessment; they should not take the assessment and submit an extension or deferral application in line with ACLT Policy. 

Students who fail to submit work for assessment or attend examinations shall be deemed to have been absent from the assessments concerned and to have failed them accordingly.   

When a student cannot, through disability, be fairly assessed by the methods prescribed for the module concerned, the Assessment Board may agree to outcomes of the module and the need to assess each candidate on equal terms with other candidates.  In addition, special arrangements can be made via the Head of Operations for sheltered conditions under which formal written examinations may be undertaken.   

In determining the nature of any variation in methods of assessments, full account must be taken of the ACLT’s policies in respect of students with disabilities. (Please see Appendix GR 8)  

2.11 Reassessment by Re-sit 

A student shall be reassessed by re-sit without re-registration in any failed module where an attempt in all components has been made or a deferral granted. A student can only be granted a deferral without re-registration in any failed module for a maximum period of 2 years, after which time further deferrals can only be granted on the basis of repeating the current version(s) of the failed module(s) with engagement. Where an attempt has not been made or a deferral granted students may be required to withdraw from their course. (Please see Appendix GR 5 and Appendix AC7)  

The re-sit must normally be carried out by the same combination of written examination, coursework etc as in the first attempt. 

If an attempt has been made and a module is failed (by achieving a mark below 50%) then the module must be reassessed. Any module component failed at the first attempt and failed at the second attempt shall carry the higher component mark of the two attempts.  

Reassessment by re-sit of a module shall be restricted to one attempt. This must normally be completed during the next module.  

A student shall not be permitted to be reassessed by re-sit in any module that has received a pass mark, or in a component that has received a mark of 50% or above. 

Any module component failed at the first attempt and failed at the second attempt shall carry the higher component mark of the two attempts. Any module failed at the first attempt and passed at the second attempt shall carry the higher of 50% or the original module mark concerned, unless the original attempt has been nullified by the process notified.  Deferred first assessments shall be treated as a first attempt. 

A retake may be offered, for an additional fee, with no re-engagement requirement following the unsuccessful completion of a re-sit. The re-take will usually be completed when the module next runs. (Please see Appendix GR 4

Any student retaking without re-engagement is deemed to have agreed to abide by ACL Training’s Regulations, by virtue of registering for a retake. The Regulations of the year associated with the previous attempt at the module(s) in question must be followed. 

2.12 Repeating periods of study 

A student who has not succeeded in redeeming previous failure via reassessment by resit or retake may register, at the discretion of the Assessment Board, to repeat the module(s) at the next available opportunity during the student’s next enrolment period (and normally complete within one year of the original failure). Additional fees will be payable. (Please see Appendix GR 4

Complete reassessment in all components shall be required with the original marks not being taken forward or recombined with the repeat marks.  In repeating a module, the student shall be eligible for reassessment by re-sit as set out above.  This is subject to the module or an equivalent still being offered by the ACLT.  Students may not repeat a module to improve marks in a previously passed module. 

Any module failed at the first attempt and passed at the repeat attempt shall carry the higher of 50% or the original module mark concerned, unless the original attempt has been nullified by the process notified.  Any reassessment required during the repeat period of study shall not be considered as deferred unless a student makes a submission under the extenuating circumstances procedure notified. 

Any reassessment required during the repeat period of study shall not be considered as deferred unless a student makes a submission and is granted a deferral under the extenuating circumstances procedure notified. 

Only one repeat opportunity shall be permitted for any module. 

2.13 Deferrals and Extenuating Circumstances 

Students who submit work for assessment or who sign the examinations attendance register are declaring themselves fit to be assessed and no subsequent claim for extenuating circumstances shall normally be accepted.      

Any student has the right to draw the attention of the ACLT to personal extenuating circumstances which seriously impair his/her ability to undertake an assessment, and to request an extension or deferral of the assessment.  Requests for deferral on grounds of extenuating circumstances may only be made using the procedure notified, and must be accompanied by verifiable and current third party evidence. (Please see Appendix AC 8 and Appendix AC 9

Deferred first assessments shall be treated as a first attempt.

The deferral procedure is not an appropriate measure in respect of permanent or long term conditions or situations. Students experiencing special long term difficulties arising from changes in their personal, medical or work circumstances may apply or be advised to interrupt their studies for up to 12 consecutive months according to the procedure notified.  The period of interruption shall be included within the maximum registration period for the award.  A student returning from a period of interruption of studies shall be subject to the Regulations that apply to the cohort being joined.  Marks obtained up to the point of interruption shall stand. 

Work submitted after the specified deadline shall be awarded a mark of 0% or a fail grade as appropriate.  

Students who fail to submit work for assessment or attend examinations shall be deemed to have failed the assessments concerned and shall be recorded as absent. 

Where a student’s performance or attendance at an examination or assessment has been impaired by unforeseen illness or some other unforeseeable circumstance which was outside of their control, during or immediately before an assessment or examination, they can apply for a concession to have their examination or assessment result or attempt disregarded on the basis of extenuating circumstances.  

This means that their results are processed as if the assessment or examination has never been taken. If an extenuating circumstances application is granted and the Assessment Board allows a re-take of the examination or assessment, it will be treated as a first sit and the mark awarded will not be capped. However, should an application be rejected and students are offered another opportunity to re-sit, the mark will be capped at the pass rate for the assessment in question. 
 
The request for consideration of extenuating circumstances must be completed and submitted in writing by email to the ACLT (aclt@lawcabs.ac.uk) no later than 10 working days after the assessment was due or the examination was sat.

Applications must be supported by third party evidence. (Please see Appendix AC 8 and Appendix AC 9

2.14 Conditions of award 

After the results of module assessments have been confirmed, an individual student shall automatically be entitled to sit the end of unit examination where applicable. Upon confirmation of the results from the examination or, where appropriate, module assessments an individual student shall automatically be entitled to the certificate of completion on the criteria listed in the Regulations, subject to satisfying any specific requirements of the course on which the student is registered. 

To be eligible for consideration for any particular certificate, a student must have satisfied the following requirements by the end of the course: 

 

Certificate of Completion Total Credits
Costs Lawyer Qualification 180
Unit 2 90
Unit 1 45

 

An Assessment Board may permit a student to replace one or more modules by modules of equivalent value at a higher level. 

To obtain an ACLT award, a student who has been credited with modules for prior learning, shall be required to pass at least the further modules approved by ACLT.  However, no award can be made unless the overall module count matches the requirements set out in the table above. 

Where a student becomes eligible for an interim award by completing part of a longer course/programme the interim qualification is only conferred if the student fails or withdraws from the next stage of the course/programme. Students undertaking ACLT courses are studying on a credit accumulation basis and will not automatically be awarded any interim qualification for which they become eligible during their studies. 

Students who fail or withdraw from their course will be eligible for the conferral of any interim award achieved at the point of failure or withdrawal. 

Any student leaving the ACLT with an interim certificate (e.g a certificate of unit completion) may apply at a later date to upgrade to the full qualification on the same course, where such procedures exist within the structure of the course concerned.  A student may not return in this way within 12 months of leaving the original course. 

2.15 Award and classification 

For courses leading to the professional qualification of a costs lawyer the student must have achieved and met the CLSB threshold:  

“a competent trainee having completed the costs lawyer qualification and 3 years of work based learning will have a good working and background knowledge of costs law and practice, will be able to work independently to draft documentation and conduct advocacy that is fit for purpose, and will be able to cope with complex situations through deliberate analysis and planning. This level of performance will be evidenced through assignments, examination and supervised practice.” 

For the ACLT courses that lead to an award that is classified as pass, merit or distinction, to calculate an overall grade a student must achieve an average percentage in the ACLT modules and the end of unit examinations.

 

Module Grading Definition

PASS

50-59.5%

A good working and background knowledge of costs law and practice, will be able to work independently to draft documentation and conduct advocacy that is fit for purpose, and will be able to cope with complex situations through deliberate analysis and planning. 

MERIT

60-69.5%

A deep understanding of costs law and practice, will be able to work independently (and offer supervision to others) to draft documentation and conduct advocacy that is routinely of an acceptable standard, and will be able to cope with complex situations holistically enabling them to make decisions with confidence.

DISTINCTION

70-100%

An authoritative knowledge and deep understanding of costs law and practice, will take responsibility for drafting documentation and conducting advocacy of an excellent standard, and will approach complex situations holistically enabling them to create standards and innovative solutions. 

 

 

2.16  Conferment of Awards 

All ACLT awards offered by ACL Training will be conferred at an Awards Ceremony.