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Government Legislation

Non-Completion Certificates

Appeal Against the Issue of a Non-Completion Certificate

Where the offender does not complete the course satisfactorily, the course organiser must notify the offender in writing, using a notice of Non-Completion. This should be issued as soon as possible and, in any event, no later than fourteen days after the date specified in the order for the completion of the course. The Notice of Non-Completion should set out the reasons for failure and will draw attention to the offender's right under section 34B(6) of the Road Traffic Offenders Act to make an application against the course organiser's decision. Notices of Non-Completion must be sent to those people who fail to correspond with the course organiser, pay the fee or attend a course after being referred by the Court.

Any application for appeal by the offender should be addressed to the Supervising Court which, in England and Wales, may issue a summons directing the course organiser to attend a hearing to consider the application (the applicant should also be informed of the date of the hearing by the Court).

It is important therefore for the course organiser to be able to show to the Court that his reasons for not granting a certificate were properly founded on one or more of the matters set out in that section.  These are as follows:

a)  failure to make due payment of the fees for the course

b)  failure to attend the course in accordance with the organiser's reasonable instructions

c)  failure to comply with any other reasonable requirements of the organiser; basic rules of conduct regarding belligerent or abusive behaviour are applied throughout the course

In England, any application must be made within 28 days of the date for completion of a course specified in the referral order.  It is important that any application is considered in good time so that, if the Court decides to grant the application, the reduced period of disqualification can still take effect. If a course organiser fails to issue a Certificate of Completion or to give a Notice of Non-Completion to the offender within 14 days of the date for completion of a course specified in the order for the completion of the course, the offender may apply to the Supervising Court for a declaration that the course organiser is in default (section 34B(7)). If the Court grants the application, the reduced period of disqualification will apply as if the Certificate of Completion had been received by the Court.

In Scotland, the Court procedures for applications such as those under sections 34B(6) and (7) are laid down in the relevant rules of Court, namely the Act of Adjournal (Criminal Procedure Rules) 1996. The procedure is flexible, but the course organiser may be required to lodge written answers to the application before a date for the application is fixed. The period in which any application may be made is 28 days as laid down in the Act of Adjournal.

If you attend Court to represent someone who has appealed about the receipt of a Non-Completion Certificate, it is important to understand that in the circumstances illustrated above, the Act directs the Training Provider to issue a Non-Completion Certificate and the Appeal will most likely be unsuccessful.

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