Office for Students: monetary and financial penalties

Closed 9 Feb 2018

Opened 14 Dec 2017


This consultation seeks views on:

  • the maximum amount of monetary penalty that the Office for Students (OfS) should be permitted to impose for breach of an ongoing registration condition
  • the matters (mandatory factors) which the Secretary of State should require the OfS to consider (or not consider) when imposing a monetary penalty
  • the approach to financial penalties for late payment of OfS registration fees and ‘other fees’, including the penalty amount and interest charged

Why your views matter

The Higher Education and Research Act 2017 (HERA) includes a power for the OfS to impose a monetary penalty on a higher education provider (‘provider’) if it appears to the OfS that that there is or has been a breach by the provider of one of its ongoing registration conditions including the conditions relating to access and participation. HERA allows for the Secretary of State to make regulations on monetary penalties, including setting the maximum amount that can be imposed and the matters to which the OfS must, or must not, have regard to when imposing a monetary penalty.

HERA also enables the Secretary of State to make regulations giving the OfS the power to impose a financial penalty on a registered provider for late payment of its registration fees or separate ‘other fees’ that the regulator may charge from academic year 2019/20.

Higher Education and Research Act 2017 (HERA) consultations

This consultation is part of a wider package of reforms relating to the regulation of higher education. We would encourage respondents to cross-refer to the suite of related consultations on the implementation of the Higher Education and Research Act 2017 (HERA), where relevant.

The proposals on monetary penalties in this consultation are closely linked to those in the consultation on the OfS’s regulatory framework entitled: Securing student success: risk-based regulation for teaching excellence, social mobility and informed choice in higher education (‘the OfS’s regulatory framework consultation’), particularly chapter 5 which covers the ongoing general registration conditions for providers and the OfS’s approach to monitoring and interventions (including sanctions).

The proposals on financial penalties relate to the proposals in the Office for Students: registration fees (stage 2) consultation and the OfS’s regulatory framework consultation, chapter 4, part F.


  • Adult education providers
  • Further education colleges
  • Sixth form colleges
  • Independent specialist colleges


  • HE