Version 1.0 - Last Updated: 03 Aug 2023

Franchise guidance

Your and our responsibilities if you enter into a franchise agreement with another provider

Franchise provider

When a lead provider, or the franchisor, enters into a franchise agreement with another provider, or the franchisee, the lead provider holds responsibility for all aspects of Student Finance.

We’ve created this guidance to ensure you’re well placed to deliver your franchised courses effectively.

You’ll need to set up your courses accurately so that students can apply for the correct course.

Course information

The lead provider keeps overall control of the programme’s content, delivery, assessment, and quality assurance. The lead provider must add the course on the Course Management System (CMS). Students will apply for funding at the lead provider and all tuition fee loan payments will be paid to the lead provider.


Provider A (franchisor) has entered into a franchise agreement with Provider B (franchisee). Provider B is delivering the course at its campus on behalf of Provider A. The lead provider, Provider A, must upload the course details to CMS under its provider details. The location on the course should display as Provider B.

The franchisor is responsible for submitting all data returns to the Student Loans Company (SLC), including all data within the Student Information Service (SIS).

Your responsibilities

As the lead provider, you’re responsible for the administration of all data submitted to SLC. Portal access is restricted to the lead provider, and you must ensure that you continue to meet the Service Standard measures for accuracy and timeliness as they apply to all provisions.

You must ensure that you oversee the same level of scrutiny as your main provision, as lead providers are accountable for immigration status checks and minimum English Language Proficiency tests.

As the lead provider, you are expected to:

  • have robust policies and processes defined from the outset of your provision

  • conduct partner visits to perform spot checks on controls

  • regularly review your franchisee’s performance; for example, poor pass rates, low engagement, identifying inappropriate admissions

  • have live access to attendance data

  • sample check verification of documentation, such as previous qualifications

Our responsibilities

Once we’ve been informed that you’ve entered a new arrangement, we’ll organise a meeting with you and the franchisee to outline the service standards requirements for timeliness and for accuracy or right first time (RFT).

At this meeting we’ll provide a training overview if it’s needed and answer any relevant questions. After that, you as the lead provider are responsible for educating your partners to ensure full compliance.

Where appropriate and on an ongoing basis we’ll share a franchise level breakdown of performance to help you identify where you can make improvements.