For more information about HFE's response to the coronavirus, please click here.

Coronavirus Update

This page was last updated on: 22/07/2020 at 10:50

The current coronavirus situation is touching all our lives and we are all having to adapt the way we live and work in order to prevent the further spread of the disease. We would like to take this opportunity to thank all of our staff, students, suppliers and stakeholders for their patience, understanding and continued support throughout these unprecedented times.

As the active leisure industry starts to re-open, we understand that many of our students and prospective students will have questions about our courses, whether these courses will be delivered as planned, and the arrangements that will be in place to ensure that staff and students remain safe during their studies.

We would like to underline the fact that the safety of our staff and students is our number one priority. As such, we are closely monitoring the situation and diligently following the advice issued by Government, and our industry regulators (e.g. YMCA Awards, CIMSPA, UK Active, Sport England).

Gyms, health clubs and other leisure facilities have been permitted to open as of the 25th July 2020. Clearly this is much welcomed news, but it is important for us to underline the fact that not all health clubs are opening, and of those which are opening, many of these are choosing to significantly restrict the footfall of members and visitors accessing their facilities. This does present somewhat of a challenge for us, particularly with gym-based programmes, because we rely on third-party venues like these to be able to deliver the practical training and assessment services to our customers.

We have been in regular dialogue with as many of our suppliers as we can about our future events and bookings, although we have not been able to reach a significant proportion of these during the lockdown period because their staff have been furloughed and the centres have been closed.

We have contacted all of our learners that have been affected by the coronavirus postponements and have explained what they need to do to transfer their course to a later date. We have sent this email request on a number of occasions – if you are a current student and you have not received this communication, please contact your Learner Support Tutor and they will assist you further. While we have made additional provisions later in the year, course places will be allocated on a first-come-first-served basis and so we urge all of our students to act promptly to avoid disappointment.

We are currently in the process of confirming all of our bookings with each of the venues in our supply chain. We are undertaking this task on a course-by-course basis and every student will be contacted (by email) with confirmation of whether their course will be able to run as planned, or whether further postponements or venue changes will be necessary. In the unfortunate event that there is a need to postpone a course, all affected students will be able to transfer to a later date. Naturally there will be no charge for this. We would appreciate it if you could be patient with our staff during this period because many of the challenges we are currently facing are beyond our direct control. We are doing everything we can to reach a satisfactory solution for you.

In the event that we do need to make any further announcements, we will update this page first and contact by way of email anyone who is affected by these changes. Please could we ask all students to keep a close eye on their emails over the coming weeks.

New Student Advice

If you are thinking about completing one of our qualifications it is only natural that in the current climate you will be apprehensive about making a booking. However, it is worth considering some of the current benefits and opportunities that are available:

  • All courses have a 14-day money back guarantee – you can get a full refund of any monied paid during your “Cooling-Off Period”.
  • We have low deposits and interest free payment plans for all courses.
  • Our courses have low student numbers and as such you will not be attending any large-scale training event even when the above restrictions are lifted.
  • While the practical elements of our courses are temporarily restricted, we are still operating at full capacity our remote learning support service for all students – remember support is unlimited at HFE.
  • All our courses have video lectures like the sample we’ve provided below. If you can’t get to the classroom right now, let the classroom come to you!
  • Many people are now finding that they have a great deal of spare time on their hands. This is an excellent opportunity to put this extra time to good use and get ahead with the home-study and underpinning knowledge before attending the practical training.
  • We are also currently developing an online exam proctoring system which we expect will be ready for live learners mid-August. We will provide further information on this in the coming weeks.

Current Student Advice

The practical and face-to-face elements of our training courses and assessments (theory and practical) have ‘provisionally’ been postponed until 4th  July 2020. If in July the current restrictions are still being enforced then we will of course unfortunately need to implement further postponements.

We have recently communicated to all students what they need to do in order to transfer their attendance from their postponed course to a course starting on or after 4th July. If you are a current student and you have not received this email, please check your spam folders and/or contact your Learning Support Tutor who will resolve this issue for you.

We are handling extremely large volumes of transfer data and our systems are reasonably equipped to handle this. However, we do request that you bear with us while we process these requests. Every student will receive a confirmation email of their transfer request once it has been processed from our Learner Engagement System (LES).

We would kindly request that you put any additional time to good use and that you continue to work though the distance-learning and home-study elements of your course, submitting all coursework as indicated on your suggested study guide. The Learning Support Tutors will continue to be on hand to help and assist you with any additional guidance and information that you need. They are also be available to promptly mark any work that you do submit. By focusing more on the theoretical elements of your programme now, you will reduce the time it takes for you to achieve your qualification in the future when we are able to deliver the practical elements to you.

We are currently working hard on a solution that will allow our students to sit their theory exams from home using artificial proctoring intelligence to invigilate the assessment. There are a number of regulatory, technological and practical hurdles that we must overcome to get this solution live, but rest assured, we are doing all that we can to get this implemented as soon as is practicably possible. We expect that this will be ready for live learners to use mid-August.

Course Transfers

If you have had a course postponed because of the current Government-imposed restrictions, you will be eligible for a free course transfer.

If your course is due to start on or after 4th July 2020, please note that this course has not yet been postponed and as such you will not be able to make a transfer at this time. Currently, we are hoping that we will be able to resume our usual delivery schedule, albeit with additional precautions in place, after this time. If this is not the case then you will of course be notified and given the same flexible options as students who have had their courses postponed.

If you have had your courses postponed because of the coronavirus situation you should by now have received an email asking you to commence the transfer process. If you have not received this, please contact your Learner Support Tutor who will resolve this matter for you.

If you are paying for your course with one of our monthly payment plans, your payments will have been temporarily paused at the time that we postponed your course. Following a transfer and when we have confirmed your new course dates, your normal monthly payments will resume. Payments for courses outside of the postponement period will not been paused.

If you have previously paid to transfer a course for reasons related to the current COVID-19 situation and whose course(s) were due to be delivered between 20/03/2020 – 30/06/2020 will be eligible for a full refund of any monies paid to transfer their course.

To reclaim these monies, please contact our administration team on [email protected]

COVID-19 Complaints and Enquiries

Due to the high volume of support calls we are currently receiving from our students about matters related to the COVID-19 virus and the impact this is having on our delivery schedule, regrettably we are unable to respond to individual enquiries and/or complaints relating to our policy on this issue. We will continue to update this page on a daily basis with details on any changes or updates that we need to make you aware of.

We continue to follow the current Government directive on this matter and in the event that we do need to make any further changes, we will not hesitate to contact you as soon as is practicably possible.

We will continue to follow these instructions closely and we are continually exploring ways that we can better fulfil our service obligations to our customers, suppliers and staff during this difficult period. We thank you for your patience and understanding during this difficult time.

Further Information:

We have provided a series of useful links below which contain key information on how to minimise the risks of contracting and spreading the COVID-19 virus. We would politely request that you take the time to review the following guidance and ensure that you follow this as closely as is practicably possible:

Government Response – Coronavirus

How to Protect Yourself

NHS Guidance on Handwashing

Public Health England – What you need to know?

Advice for Places of Education

Coronavirus Update

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