Version 1.0 - Last Updated: 24 Feb 2021

Change of circumstance

Break in learning factsheet

This factsheet will help you decide when to process a Suspension or Withdrawal CoC. It will also help you to understand the effect these have on payments.

What is a break in learning?

A break in learning, also known as a suspension, can only occur if a learner is post-liability.

Sometimes a learner is not in attendance on their first liability point due to sickness but will start soon. You should process this as a change in start date. We will recalculate their loan liability from their actual start date.

You should follow your existing process to decide when a learner takes a break in learning. For example, you can consider them as in attendance if:

  • they are off sick for a short time
  • they have told you they will return before the absence will disrupt their learning or extend their period of learning

Sometimes a learner will be absent for a period of time that they will have to make up. For example, they may have broken their leg or be going on maternity leave. In such cases, you should use the Suspension CoC effective date to tell us their last date of attendance. We will pause any loan payments.

Once the learner has returned to study, you should submit a Resumption CoC. The effective date should be the date when they returned to study. We will recalculate the loan schedule and payments will resume in your next payment.

If the learner does not return 12 months after the last attendance or suspension date, we will automatically withdraw the application for budget management purposes. If the learner then returns to study, they should:

  • reapply for support
  • state the reason for withdrawal on the new application

When should I submit the CoC?

You should submit the CoC as soon as the absence is apparent. We will use the effective date of the CoC (the last date of attendance) to:

  • calculate loan liability
  • adjust payments where appropriate

If you submit the CoC retrospectively, you must ensure the effective date (the last date of attendance) is correct. This will allow us to  calculate any overpayments.

What will happen to our payments?

If you submit the Suspension CoC when it occurs, we will pause all future payments. These will remain paused until we process a Resumption CoC with the date the learner resumed.

If you submit the Suspension CoC retrospectively, we will pause any future payments. We will not recover any overpayments until you submit the Resumption CoC.

If the sum of the overpayments is greater than the remaining course fee due, we will offset this against the next positive payment you are due. This will be detailed in your loan position report and remittance report.

How can I change the course fee charged?

Loan liability is directly linked to duration of attendance. Our Learning Provider Portal and Operations Portal will use the effective dates of the Suspension and Resumption CoCs to calculate how much loan you are due.

However, if you want to change the fee charged, you can submit a Fee Charged CoC with a Resumption CoC.

We will pause payments while an application is suspended. This means any Fee Charged CoCs will not take effect until you submit a Resumption CoC.

What if the learner resumes in a new academic year?

If a learner resumes their learning aim in a new academic year (within 12 months of suspending), you should submit a Resumption CoC. If the course fee has increased, the maximum fee rate from the previous academic year still applies. The learner will have to sign a Loan Request Form with the higher loan amount they need.

If the learner resumes more than 12 months after they suspended, we will automatically withdraw their application. They will need to submit a new application to resume the remainder of the course.

If the learner is repeating their studies when they return, the application should be withdrawn. The learner should submit a new application.

For full guidance on processing CoCs, please see the Learning Provider Portal user guide.


If your learners have any questions about the suspension process, they should call the ALL learner helpline.

If you have any questions, you can contact our Partners Support Desk.

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