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Language Schools General Regulations

made under Section 25 of the

Language Schools Act

S.N.S. 2013, c. 5

O.I.C. 2014-214 (June 17, 2014), N.S. Reg. 88/2014


1     These regulations may be cited as the Language Schools General Regulations.

Definitions for Act and regulations

2     (1)    In the Act and its regulations,


“affected party” means a party directly impacted by a decision or administrative sanction issued by the Director and listed in subsection 15(1) of the Act;


“third party sponsor” means a person, agency, association, government or corporation that


                         (i)     has a written contract with a school to provide for an international student to enroll in a program, and


                         (ii)    has paid fees on behalf of the international student.


       (2)    In these regulations,


“Act” means the Language Schools Act;


“approved accreditation agency” means an agency that provides accreditation for language schools and language programs and that is approved by the Minister and listed in the Language Schools Accreditation and Accountability Regulations made under the Act;


“accredited program” means a language program accredited by an approved accreditation agency;


“refund policy” means the policy for refunding tuition and other fees established by the school in accordance with Section 9;


“registered school” means a language school that is registered under the Act and these regulations.

Registration criteria

3     In addition to the criteria required in the Act, a language school must meet all of the following criteria to be eligible for registration as a language school under the Act and these regulations:


                (a)    the operator must be in compliance with the Act and its regulations;


                (b)    the operator must be financially solvent and not be likely to become insolvent in the foreseeable future;


                (c)    the operator must be accredited by an approved accreditation agency or, if the school is less than 2 years old, be in the process of being accredited by an approved accreditation agency;


                (d)    the operator must demonstrate that any accommodations available for international students are adequate;


          (d)[(e)]   an operator must provide sufficient materials for the number of students;


                (f)    the school’s policies and procedures must conform to the usual accepted standard for a language school;


                (g)    the operator and any officer, director, partner, manager or principal for the operator, must not have been convicted of an indictable offence in the 5 years immediately before the date of application or be subject to criminal sanctions for a conviction on an indictable offence on the date of application;


                (h)    the operator must not have declared bankruptcy in the 5 years immediately before the date of application.

Conditions on registration

4     (1)    A certificate of registration issued for a language school that is in the process of becoming accredited as permitted by clause 3(c), is conditional on the school obtaining its accreditation no later than 2 years from the date of the initial application for registration.


       (2)    The Director may direct a change to the operation of a registered school at any time.


       (3)    A school must comply with any direction made under subsection (2), or a condition or restriction attached to a certificate of registration under subsection 9(1) of the Act, before the end of the current registration period and before a renewal of its registration can be issued.

Change of corporate ownership

5     Any of the following constitutes a change of corporate ownership that is required to be reported under clause 12(d) of the Act:


                (a)    if the registered school is a corporation, any change of officers, directors or shareholders holding voting shares of the corporation;


                (b)    if the registered school is a partnership, any change of partners;


                (c)    any change in the operation of the registered school resulting in a material difference from that described in the initial application;


                (d)    any proposed change of operator.

Student services

6     (1)    A registered school must always have an individual assigned as an international student adviser who is responsible for at least the following:


                (a)    providing each student with a community orientation;


                (b)    reporting to the Director on each student with respect to the following


                         (i)     start and end dates,


                         (ii)    completion of accredited program,


                         (iii)   withdrawal from or abandonment of the accredited program,


                         (iv)   pass or failure of accredited program,                                                    


                         (v)    final score on any language examination taken,


                         (vi)   identifying information for the student including name, country of origin, gender and birth date.


       (2)    A registered school must ensure that an international student adviser is available for its international students at all reasonable times.

Requirements for advertising

7     (1)    Advertising relating to a registered school must include the name and location of the school.


       (2)    A person must not use the words “Registered under the Language Schools Act, Province of Nova Scotia” in an advertisement for a registered school unless the school holds a certificate of registration.

Refund of student fees

8     (1)    If a language school does not hold a certificate of registration at the time a student contract is entered into, an operator must refund all amounts paid to the school by or on behalf of the international student who entered the contract.


       (2)    If the Director considers that an operator has failed to fully deliver an accredited program, the Director may require the operator to do either of the following:


                (a)    refund an amount determined by the Director of the tuition fees and the cost of materials to international students and third party sponsors;


                (b)    make up the deficiency in the program.


       (3)    Refunds must otherwise be provided as established in the school’s refund policy.


       (4)    Nothing in this Section limits in any way the rights and remedies that an international student otherwise has with respect to an operator’s breach of contract with the student.

Refund policy

9     (1)    The refund policy required by clause 6(e)(iii) of the Act must ensure a fair, equitable and transparent procedure, as determined by the Director, for terminating a student contract and for the refund of tuition and other fees.


       (2)    An operator must comply with their registered school’s refund policy.


       (3)    A copy of a refund policy must be forwarded to the Director


                (a)    on the Director’s request; or


                (b)    as soon as practicable after any changes are made to the policy.


       (4)    A refund policy must include all of the following:


                (a)    the grounds, procedure and notice requirements for terminating a student contract;


                (b)    the eligibility criteria for a receiving a refund of tuition and other fees;


                (c)    the school official to whom a refund request must be made;


                (d)    the registered school’s procedure when a refund request is received;             


                (e)    how the amount of the refund is determined and returned to the international student or third party sponsor;


                (f)    the registered school’s protocol for paying the refund to a third-party sponsor or international student.


       (5)    An operator must maintain a record of all refund requests and the associated payouts, and make the record available to the Director on request.

Surety bond

10   (1)    Subject to the minimum and maximum in subsection (2), a surety bond required by clause 6(g) of the Act must be in an amount equal to the following:


                (a)    for an existing registered school, the product of the number of international students enrolled in the school multiplied by the tuition fee per student;


                (b)    for a new registered school, the product of the number of international student places multiplied by the tuition fee per student.


       (2)    The minimum amount of a surety bond is $10 000 and the maximum amount is $75 000.


       (3)    Despite subsections (1) and (2), the surety bond may be eliminated for a registered school if all of the following conditions have been met for each of the previous 5 years:


                (a)    the operator was continuously accredited by an approved accreditation agency;


                (b)    the operator was solvent;


                (c)    the operator did not violate the Act or its regulations.


       (4)    The Director may access the surety bond if the operator fails to immediately pay any amount owing to an international student or third party sponsor arising out of a student contract, or any other refund owed.


       (5)    An international student or third party sponsor who has a claim against an operator for failing to pay an amount under subsection (4) may make a claim against the surety bond by notifying the Director in writing.


       (6)    If the total of all claims made against a surety bond exceeds the amount recovered under the bond, the claimants must be paid on a proportional basis.


       (7)    An operator must maintain the required security bond in full force and effect.

Surety bond delivered to person bound by it

11   The Director may deliver a surety bond to the person bound by it if either of the following occurs, 1 year after it occurs:


                (a)    a surety bond is cancelled;


                (b)    a language school’s certificate of registration is revoked and the surety bond has not been forfeited.

Disclosure of complaint information to operator

12   (1)    The information received respecting an alleged violation of the Act or regulations required to be disclosed to an operator under clause 14(4)(b) of the Act must be in form of a true copy.


       (2)    In the clause 14(4)(b) of the Act and this Section, “information received respecting the alleged violation of the Act or the regulations” does not include any of the following:


                (a)    information that is determined by the Director to be extraneous or irrelevant to the allegation;


                (b)    allegations of criminal activity or concerns regarding public safety that are referred by the Director to the appropriate authority.

Displaying registration information

13   In addition to displaying the school’s certificate of registration at each of the registered school’s campuses as required by subsection 7(4) of the Act, a registered school must post notice of its certificate on the home page of any website for the school, and include a link to the content of the certificate, including all conditions and restrictions.

Methods for providing notice

14   Unless otherwise specified in the Act, notice required under the Act and its regulations must be in writing and made by 1 of the following methods:


                (a)    mail, postage prepaid;


                (b)    courier or other hand delivery.