Provider refers to whatever organisation is responsible for providing the educational service or provision under consideration.
A provider may be a self-contained organisation, a unit embedded within a larger organisation, one member of a partnership between one or more organisations, or one aspect of a more wide-ranging provision offered by a larger organisation. In the latter case, some of these standards will apply directly to the provision, and some to the parent body.
'Open and distance learning'
Open and distance learning includes any provision in which a significant element of the management of the provision is at the discretion of the learner, supported and facilitated by the provider.
This ranges from traditional correspondence courses, on-line provision and interactive CD ROMs, e-learning and blended learning to open learning centres and face-to-face provision where a significant element of flexibility, self-study, and learning support, is an integral part.
A course is any structured learning opportunity, offered to a learner by a provider.
It may be of any length and in any subject. It may be theoretical, practical, experiential, or any combination of these. It may be offered face-to-face, on paper, on screen, or in any combination.
Completion is an agreement between learner and provider. It may consist of:
• the achievement of a pre-agreed outcome, such as the taking of a final assignment, or the achievement of a given qualification
• the expiry of a overall time limit or other measure agreed at enrolment between learner and provider as marking completion
• any subsequent agreement between learner and provider that a course has been completed
• withdrawal by a learner from a course
• failure to continue payments or other default on the terms and conditions of the contract
Enrolment is the point at which an agreement (contract) is reached for a learner to take a course with a provider.
Enrolment may effectively be simultaneous with application, or it may happen later, after an intervening period for closer scrutiny, selection or other consideration.
Abilities are particular levels of skill, professional or vocational competences, knowledge or understanding.
Outcomes may be specified in terms of the development of specific abilities achieved, the preparation for internally- or externally-assessed qualifications, the provision of job-related training, the imparting of information, or personal growth.