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Section 1: WSET Classroom

Section 1: WSET Classroom

1. Definitions


The Wine and Spirits Education Trust or WSET is the recognized global leader providing education and qualifications in wine, spirits and sake for both professionals and enthusiasts.



A Candidate is a person or student who is registered to take a WSET qualification and to be assessed as part of that qualification. Individuals may not take any WSET examination without prior registration through an Approved Program Provider (such as SommWine).

Approved Program Provider

Your APP or Approved Program Provider in this case is Sommwine  (hereafter listed as simply Sommwine). 

2. Materials for Courses

For each course, candidates will be provided with

· WSET workbook and textbook (for Level 1, this is all in one book)
· an emailed copy of the Specification guide book
· tasting sheet for wine glasses

· a login id for an online  forum where you can take practice quizzes and ask questions to your fellow students and your teacher. This membership lasts until the day after the exam


Each candidate will need to bring to class

· pens or pencils and erasers

· a notebook (for Level 3 only)

· water

· snacks (as you wish for breaks)

· You MUST READ the Specification study guide we sent to you via email BEFORE you get to class

· and 6 iso tasting glasses (which may be purchased through Sommwine)

For the examination, students will need to bring

· sharpened pencil(s)
· eraser
· your government issued photo id
· water
· have studied like mad to make me proud!

3. The Learning Environment

In order to gain certification through WSET, candidates attend classes and will be sitting at a desk listening to instructions over powerpoint presentations about course materials. Classroom materials are based on the Specification study guide provided by WSET.
There will be some exercises that require getting out of your seat and sticking answers to the wall for games provided to support the learning lessons.

Classes will include guided blind-tasting flights of wines where Candidates will learn and practice a Systematic Approach to Tasting. Candidates will be asked to share their impressions of the wine with the class.

Candidates must use a spittoon and MAY NOT drink the wines. Students must also bring water and are advised to bring snacks for classroom breaks. Some classes may also have some food provided to illustrate wine and food pairing examples.

Some classes further offer in-class quizzes where students circle the correct answer to prepare them for examinations. Students will also be required to read out their answers and have other students and the instructor mark responses verbally.

It is expected that students utilize their online classrooms for quiz practice. 


4. Examinations

Examinations are generally hosted in the same classroom as the examinations (unless otherwise noted in your registration confirmation email). SommWine will provide candidates with a Specification guide shortly after the confirmation email. The Specification guide will inform students of how many hours are required to pass each qualification and the information they are required to know for exams.

Examinations for Level 1 and 2 require that students fill in circles to mark the correct answer. The circles must be filled in with some precision as examinations are fed through a computer for marking.

It is in the Level 3 exam, where students must write complete sentences and paragraphs for some of the answers.

The first part of the Level 3 exam is the Theory part of the exam which takes 2 hours.  Students will have one hour to answer 50 multiple-choice questions by filling in circles corresponding to the correct answer (just as in Levels 1 and 2). Then Candidates will then have one hour to complete 4 open-ended questions each worth 25 marks.

The second part of the Level 3 exam is the Tasting part of the exam. Students will have 30 minutes to blind taste 2 wines and complete their assessments.

5. Examination Results

Your instructor(s) do(es) not see your examination papers as they are prepared by WSET London and mailed directly to the school. After your exam, they are sealed in an envelope and sent back to London for marking.

If you fail your examination, Sommwine will offer the student(s) a resit within one year of the exam. There will be an examination fee and an instructor fee attached to this. Please contact [email protected] for rescheduling options for your resit.

6. Diversity and Equality

SommWine follows the British Columbia Human Rights Code and will not discriminate based on race, colour, ancestry, place of origin, religion, family status, marital status, physical disability, mental disability, sex, age, sexual orientation, or political belief.

7. Person's with Learning Requirements

Persons with learning requirements are asked to fill in the box in the registration form that says ‘Special Needs and Person’s with Learning Requirements’ with as much detail as possible so that Sommwine and WSET can provide the support you need to be successful Candidates in your courses. It is the responsibility of the Candidate to provide information upon registration to SommWine about any special needs or learning requirements and to provide supporting evidence so that Reasonable Adjustment(s) may be made.

Please note that you must be at least 19 years old to take part in the course as per British Columbia Liquor Laws

8. Reasonable Adjustments and Persons with Learning Requirements and Special Needs

Every attempt will be made to accommodate persons with writing difficulty, colour blindness, people requiring a wheelchair and others. Please email Joanne at SommWine ([email protected]) if you have questions regarding your learning requirement and she will get back to you within 3 business days with a response (unless she is on vacation in which you will receive an email stating when she will be back). Alternatively, you can simply inform SommWine by filling in the box in the registrations form on ‘Special Needs and Person’s with Learning Requirements’. Joanne at SommWine will coordinate with WSET London to see which solutions we can offer.

Please see the above section on The Learning Environment to see what the classes and examinations entail. If you are requesting a re-sit for an examination only, you must submit the request in email to [email protected] at least 6 weeks before the examination’s date.

9. Guide Dogs and Assistance Animals

Candidates requiring guide dogs will be accommodated as per the terms set out by the British Columbia Government’s Guide Dog and Service Dog Act. You will however be required to submit a current Guide Dog and Service Dog Certificate from the British Columbia Government or provide documentation from an accredited school such as Assistance Dogs International (ADI) or the International Guide Dogs Federation (IGDF).

If you have questions or concerns, please email Joanne ([email protected]) and she will respond within 3 business days (unless she is on vacation in which case you will receive and email informing you of her return).

Otherwise, please fill in the box under ‘Special Needs and Learning Requirements’ on the registration form requesting access for your animal at least 21 business days before the first day of class. For those requesting guide dogs or an assistance animal for a re-sit for an examination, the request must be received by email at [email protected] at least 6 weeks before the examination date to be considered.

For those candidates requiring an assistance animal that is not certified through the above bodies, accommodations may still be made. Please email Joanne ([email protected]) and she will respond within 3 business days (unless she is on vacation in which case you will be informed when she will return). The decision will be made after consultation between SommWine and WSET. Furthermore, as per the Food Premises Regulation under British Columbia law, non-certified animals are restricted in premises that sell, prepare or serve food and Joanne will inform you of the regulations surrounding the class you are interested in.

Candidates may be responsible for providing documentation that their animal is listed under the Canadian Registry of Therapy Animals and Service Animals. Please fill in the box under ‘Special Needs and Learning Requirements’ on the registration form requesting access for your animal at least 21 business days before the first day of class. Please also state whether your animal is required for all classes or for only just the examination day. Requests for animals to be present on examination day must be received in email at least 6 weeks before the examination date to be considered.

Please note that SommWine reserves the right to deny any assistance animal (even after initial agreement) if your animal:

·   is aggressive or put others at risk
·   damages property
·   seeks attention or food
·   runs freely or urinates or defecates in inappropriate areas
·   disrupts business
·   barks, growls or makes other noises without reason
·   not free from offensive odours
·   not healthy
·   not well groomed

If your animal is denied entry based on any of the above reasons, there will be no refund to the candidate for the class and candidates may only finish the course and examination without the animal.

10. Special Considerations and the Case of Advent Circumstances at the Time of the Exam

Special considerations are different to reasonable adjustments as they apply to a disadvantage that occurs to the candidate either just before or during the assessment.

·   Reasons for special consideration could be:
·   Temporary illness
·   Injury
·   Adverse circumstances at the time of the assessment.

Please advise your instructor as soon as possible of your circumstances. (S)he will need to fill out a ‘Special Consideration Form’ within 7 days of the examination date so that you may retake the exam at a later date at no charge to the Candidate.

11. Transfer Students

Students who have completed a course in another jurisdiction and wanting to just sit in the exam or for those who are needing to re-sit an examination (due to a failing grade) are asked to send an email and request to sit the exam. Candidates will be charged a re-sit examination fee plus an administration fee.

Note that it is not possible to resit for an exam that you have already passed (to receive a higher grade, for example).

Grades received at a resit will supersede other examination grades. Please note that Candidates who resit are not entitled to receive a Distinction grade.

Please send your request to [email protected] at least 21 business days before the examination date and include the following information:

1)he name of the Approved Program Provider you took the course with

2)the email and name of the Main Contact of the APP where you attended classes  

3) your candidate number                                

12. Complaints and Appeals Policy

There are a couple of ways to register a complaint or concern about SommWine, its instructors or the presentation of the course. Each complaint comes with a guarantee of confidentiality.

First route: At the end of each exam, students will have the opportunity to fill out a form that asks them to rate various aspects of the course delivery. You may either fill this out with your name and contact details on the form, in which case you will then be asked if you would like to be contacted about your concerns, or you may choose to remain anonymous.

Second route: If you require an immediate resolve, you may email Joanne at [email protected] Please include the details listed below under the Third route.

Third route: If you have completed the previous steps and you are still dissatisfied, you may wish to contact WSET directly to their QualityAssurance team at [email protected] with the information listed below. Please note: WSET Awards is only able to action complaints from students if they have already been addressed with SommWine Consulting.

Name, address and contact information
Full details of the complaint (with any supporting documents)
Details of any previous attempts made to resolve the problem

13. Conflict of Interest Policy

A conflict of interest includes situations where an employee or volunteer’s private affairs or financial interests are in conflict with their work duties and responsibilities or results in a public perception that a conflict exists. This includes if a SommWine staff member chooses to take a WSET course through their employer.

Employees of SommWine are responsible for declaring any potential or actual conflicts of interest. It is the responsibility of Joanne at SommWine to ensure that any staff members that choose to take a WSET qualification do not receive special treatment over other Candidates.

Note that no staff see examinations before the time and date of the examination, including the instructor. All examination papers are ordered through London and kept in a sealed envelope in a locked storage room until taken to the examination room.

If someone feels that a Conflict of Interest has occurred, there are 2 routes to address your concerns. Please note that all concerns are guaranteed confidentiality.

First route: Candidates may write their concerns on the survey handed to them after their examinations on the last day of class.

Second route: Write to [email protected] at any time with the details listed below. The student will receive a response within 3 business days of receiving the complaint. However, WSET is responsible for the final decisions on any potential or actual conflicts of interest and this final resolve will take a bit longer. Please know that we take all concerns about Conflicts of Interest extremely seriously.

Name, address and contact information
Full details of the complaint (with any supporting documents)

14. Cancellations and Refunds for WSET courses

Unless a course fails to run (due to lack of students), courses are 100% non-refundable from the time of payment. See individual courses for the last date of enrollment.

If a course fails to run, students may choose to hold their place in the next course offering. Refunds may be refunded to students MINUS credit card fees (minus $45 for Level 2 and minus $25 for Level 1). If a student would like a full refund, they must pay by e-transfer to [email protected] to avoid credit card fees upon a refund.

15. Payment for WSET courses

Payment must be made by credit card or e-transfer to [email protected] by the registration date listed on the website for each course or by 19 days before the start of the course. This is to ensure that textbooks and examinations will be here on time for the course start date.

16. Lost Grades or Replacement of WSET Certificates

In the case that a Candidate requires information regarding previous examinations taken or their grades, a request can be made to [email protected] Please detail the information required and candidates may expect a response within 3 business days (unless Joanne is away on holiday in which case you will be sent an automatic reply informing you of her return). SommWine is only required to keep students/ enrolment/ registration information for 3 years.

In the case that SommWine Consulting is no longer awarding WSET certificates or if it is past 3 years since you were enrolled or if you were enrolled in another school, candidates may contact [email protected] for past examination results.

If you are requesting a new Certificate because you have lost it or your name has changed, or it was misspelt, candidates should request a ‘Replacement Certificate Request Form’ from Joanne at the email above. There is a Replacement Fee involved. If you still have the original, you will need to send it to the UK before receiving a new one. Allow 4 weeks for this.

Otherwise, certificates from WSET may not be copied or reproduced. We love our students to celebrate their successes but please ensure that any certificate appearing in social media or other images is low resolution, that the entire certificate does not appear (or is part obscured e.g. by the hand holding it) and that the candidate name cannot be read.

17. Malpractice and Maladministration Policy

Non-compliance with SommWine and WSET Policies and Procedures generally falls into one of two categories:
Maladministration, where non-compliance is accidental rather than intentional; and
Malpractice where non-compliance is intentional or the result of negligence. 

The following are examples of malpractice by candidates:
misuse of examination material
behaving in such a way as to undermine the integrity of the examination
disruptive behaviour in the examination room (including the use of offensive language)
bringing unauthorized material into the examination room, mobile phones or other electronic devices
obtaining, receiving, exchanging or passing on information which could be examination-related (or attempting to) by any means before the end of the examination
impersonation; pretending to be someone else, or arranging for another person to take one’s place in an examination
copying from another candidate
collusion; working collaboratively with other candidates

This is serious. In the event of student malpractice, a student may be given a written warning, an examination result could be declared null and void, they could be disqualified from a qualification, or the student could even be disqualified from participating in any courses or assessments leading to WSET qualification.

The following are examples of maladministration by school staff:
moving the time or date of a fixed examination (outside the ‘window’) without notifying WSET and obtaining permission
failure to maintain proper invigilation standards
failure to keep examination papers secure before the examination
obtaining unauthorized access to examination
assisting candidates in the production of coursework, beyond that permitted by the regulations
failure to keep learner computer files secure
assisting or prompting candidates with the production of answers
failure to adhere to WSET’s Policies and Procedures
Failure to adhere to WSET Awards’ candidate registration and certification procedures
Late student registrations
Fraudulent claim for certificates/fraudulent use of certificates/reproduction or forgery of certificates
Withholding of information from WSET Awards which is critical to maintaining the rigour of quality assurance
Failure to disclose a Conflict of Interest

It is the responsibility of SommWine to report any Malpractice or Maladministration reports to WSET Awards immediately. If a candidate has any concerns about the above, please contact [email protected] detailing the occurrence. You will receive a notification that your email was received within 3 days.

If you are not satisfied with the response, please contact [email protected] and include the information below. Please note: WSET is only able to action complaints from students if they have already been addressed with SommWine Consulting.

Name, address and contact information
Full details of the complaint (with any supporting documents)
Details of any previous attempts made to resolve the problem

Section 2: Privacy and Data Collection

18. Privacy and Data Protection

For WSET courses, personal data (names, date of birth and email addresses) will be shared between SommWine and WSET to facilitate ordering examinations and to file past exam grades. Any data that SommWine and WSET stores will be for the students’ benefit as students may contact our offices regarding information about past examination results.

For Virtual and Private Wine Tastings within Vancouver, personal names, email addresses and phone numbers will be shared with the delivery drivers to facilitate the delivery of wines. The delivery service will contact you to arrange a time for drop off. For more information about deliveries in your area see #20 and #21 below.

We follow EU guidelines for General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) which means we will need:

·   your permission to collect and store your data
·   to provide extra security for storing your data
·   to report any data breaches to you at the time of the occurrence.


Section 3: Virtual and Private Wine Tastings

19. Refunds

Private Tastings at Home:

For those who have not booked through the website, a deposit is required to be paid 3 weeks before the event date so I can secure the wines. The deposit is a minimum of $1000 but may be more and is non-refundable. The exact deposit amount will be emailed to you after confirmation of the event details.

The full amount of the event is due 2 weeks before the event date and is non-refundable. For extraneous situations where the tasting cannot occur, it is possible to re-book the tasting within 3 months. Proof of extraneous circumstance may be required. A re-booking fee of $300 will apply.

For Virtual Wine Tastings:

If the wine has already been packed and shipped from the store, there are no refunds. If the wine has not been shipped, you will be refunded 50% of the fees. If the date needs to be changed after booking, you will have 3 months to re-book. A re-booking fee of $300 will apply.

20. Vancouver Wine Deliveries (for virtual tastings only)

For Vancouver, wine is delivered via Courier. We share your name, email address and phone number with the courier so they can arrange delivery times with you. Delivery times vary by area and are available from 11am-5pm on weekdays. Weekend deliveries are limited and will need to be arranged separately. 

As this is alcohol, someone must be home to recieve the wine delivery. A valid government-issued photo id must be shown to the driver to confirm the recipient is of legal drinking age.

21. BC Wine Deliveries Outside of Vancouver

For all other areas within BC, wine is delivered to the nearest Canada Post Office for you to pick up where you will need to present a valid government-issued photo id showing that you are 19 years old or more.