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Ash
Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10916
Experience:  Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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Hello,We are a first aid training company based in London

Resolved Question:

Hello,

We are a first aid training company based in London and only just yesterday our awarding body have suspended our account to deliver their accredited courses because of a complaint they've received from a training company that I had worked for in the past alleging that our company has been in contact with their customers. This suspension unfortunately leaves us in a situation where we are not able to honour our customers forthcoming course bookings we have scheduled, thus not being able to deliver a service we've promised and received money for. As you can imagine we are going to have some very unhappy customers and subsequently lose their businesses we've worked hard for in the first place to acquire. 

To be specific about the complaint received, my previous employer claim they have evidence which was provided to our awarding body detailing the exact nature of the contact made by our company. Correct me if I am wrong but I feel in order to avoid dragging this issue through the courts, obviously saving them the hassle and the time, do my previous employer who are not even using the services of our awarding body have any rights to request to suspend our account when I think that this is entirely a legal matter? It is as if though they (the awarding body and my previous employer) are the judge and the jury and have convicted us of being guilty, without providing any evidence to us clarifying the exact nature of the contact and taking this through the appropriate route.

I've been in contact with our awarding body requesting their reasons for suspending our account without providing us the evidence they claim to have received, however I've not had much joy in lifting the suspension. Their reasons are that their reputation is on the line, which I am a bit puzzled by, as we as a company have delivered all our courses since our approval in October last year by their strict rules and regulations to the tee, and have never had a complaint from anyone in relation to that. This was also replicated in a lengthy conversation I had with the Chief Executive of the awarding body. The only way the awarding body would remove the suspension is that if my previous employer get in contact with them to withdraw the complaint. 

Following on from my conversation with the awarding body I tried getting in touch with the management of my previous employer and the only answer I got from the customer services department after been put on hold is that they will be in touch with me today (last Friday) or Monday, leaving my contact number with them. It looks like and am very doubtful they will cooperate to resolve this situation amicably, which leaves me with no option to but to seek legal advice and serve a summons if they are not willing to discuss and resolve this extremely urgent situation amicably and without delay. 

We'd like some light shed on this situation and whether we are right in our stance to have the suspension lifted by our awarding body, while we try to deal and resolve this situation we have on our hands. I feel its not fair on our customers to be dragged in to this and not good for our business.

Regards
Harry Pandia
For and on behalf of
XXXXX XXX XXXXXX Ltd. 
XXXXX XXXXXX
XXX XXX XXXXXX


 


Optional Information: 
System of Law: England-and-Wales

Already Tried: 
Tried getting touch with my previous employer and have spoken to the awarding body to lift our suspension while we try and resolve this situation we have on our hands (as stated in the submitted document)


 


Detail Required: HIGH; Urgency: HIGH

Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ash replied 3 years ago.

Alex Watts :

Hello my name is XXXXX XXXXX I will help you with this. Please note that I am a working Solicitor and may be on and offline as I have to attend Court and meet with clients, even at weekends. As such you may not get an instant response when you reply as this is not an ‘on demand’ live service, but rest assured I will be giving your question my immediate attention upon return. There is no need to wait here, you will get an email when I reply.

Alex Watts :

Do you have contracts which state that your services can be suspended or deferred please?

Customer:

Hi Alex,

Alex Watts :

Hello

Customer:

The Contract is be deemed to have been entered into upon receipt of Qualsafe Awards' (the awarding body) written Application acknowledgement or when Qualsafe Awards commences performance of the Accreditation Services, whichever is the earlier. All Accreditation Services are supplied subject to these Conditions and these Conditions shall be the sole terms and conditions applicable to the provision of the Accreditation Services. Here is section 14.2 of the Termination subject below.



  1. 14.2 Qualsafe Awards may terminate the Centre's Accredited status, in whole or in part (including without limitation in respect of a specific Qualification) with immediate effect where:

    1. (a) Qualsafe Awards for any reason is no longer able to offer Accreditation Services;

    2. (b) the Centre at any time:

      1. (i) Does not comply with any requirements reasonably placed on the Centre, including but not limited to the Centre Requirements and the Qualsafe Awards Centre Charter;

      2. (ii) does not meet the Accreditation Criteria in all respects;

      3. (iii) does not have the necessary number of Accredited trainers and/or assessors in respect of a Qualification;

      4. (iv) is, in Qualsafe Awards' reasonable opinion, putting Qualsafe Awards' the Regulator and/or HSE accreditation at risk due to the acts or omissions of the Centre and/or those of the Centre's agents or employees; and/or

      5. (v) is, in Qualsafe Award's reasonable opinion, carrying out any act or making any omission which damages or brings Qualsafe's reputation into disrepute. There is nothing on the terms and conditions specifically stating that our company is liable for suspension or part termination on a basis they receive a complaint from a centre's competitor. I am able to email the full terms and conditions.



Alex Watts :

Ok - and they say you are in breach of this whilst they investigate the complaint?

Customer:

The awarding body are not investigating anything as they say its out of there hands?? The only way this decision can be reversed is if my previous employer retracts the complaint.

Alex Watts :

OK - and is the complaint true?

Customer:

Yes it is, however I am free to speak to any potential customer 6 months after the date of termination of the contract with the previous employer. My contract got terminated in Sept 2012. From reading section 14.2 in the above terms, can our awarding body suspend our account based on a complaint and evidence they claim to have received from my previous employer.

Alex Watts :

Ok - so you were free to continue on from March 2013?

Customer:

Yes

Alex Watts :

But the employer wont withdraw the complaint even though it post dates any restriction?

Customer:

Well I have got are feeling they will be dragging their feet over this as they are unwilling to cooperate or get in touch with me. I contacted them yesterday to speak to the management team and was informed they would call be back either yesterday or Monday, but i'm not holding by breath. I need to get this resolved asap because without the accreditation our business stands still.

Alex Watts :

Ok. You need to write to them and ask that they confirm the 6 months has elapsed otherwise you will go to Court within 14 days. Make sure you send this recorded delivery.

Alex Watts :

If they refuse then you can issue proceedings using form N1

Alex Watts :

http://hmctsformfinder.justice.gov.uk/courtfinder/forms/n001-eng.pdf

Alex Watts :

and N16a

Alex Watts :

http://hmctsformfinder.justice.gov.uk/courtfinder/forms/n016a-eng.pdf

Alex Watts :

You would be asking the Court for an Order that they contact the accreditation company to confirm all is in order.

Alex Watts :

The Court will list the matter for a hearing and if contested give directions and set it down for a trial.

Alex Watts :

Then at the trial a Judge would decide whether to make the Order.

Alex Watts :

If the Judge makes the Order and refuses then they would be considered in contempt of Court and possibly sent to prison

Alex Watts :

Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?

Customer:

I have this written in black and white when the contract got terminated so its just a case of issuing court proceedings to the previous employer. In the meantime is there anyway I can get our suspension lifted by our accreditors based on the above terms?

Alex Watts :

Sadly not. I dont think you can compel the accreditation body to do this unless they are in breach of their own rules.

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