top of page

NCWA Policies

Complaints & Appeals

NCWA strives for offering the best and most exceptional wine education and WSET classes. Feedback is always appreciated, and students are encouraged to provide such at any given moment. This feedback shall be addressed directly to the instructor or any staff member with knowledge of the course and circumstances for complain. 

Complaints are to be submitted in writing to: Yellymary Montalvo, Director of Wine Education, North Carolina Wine Academy, 2186 Lynn Road, Suite B, Tryon, NC 28722.

The following information should be included in the Complaint:
Your full name
Date and time of incident
Name of instructor
Level of Certification Class
Full description and details of the incident.

NCWA will answer promptly and will address any complaints within 30 days (about 4 and a half weeks) upon receival (excluding weekends and holidays). Any appeals to the determination or resolution will have to be submitted within 20 days of the original determination.


NCWA must have received a formal written complaint and proposed a resolution before complaint can be referred to WSET. Please always remember that grading procedures are completed and regulated directly by WSET. If candidate is dissatisfied with the resolution handed by NCWA then they can contact with the detailed complaint. If the candidate has any other concerns or issues in regards the grading or examination procedures of WSET please address the matter directly to NCWA via email at

Conflicts of Interest
A conflict of interest may exist wherein a student which is closely affiliated to an instructor or employee of NCWA is enrolled in a WSET class administered by the school. NCWA will ensure to the best of its abilities to provide equal treatment to all students and avoid at all costs practices that that can be deemed unfair or bias. At the same time NCWA won’t offer services that might give the indication of preference towards certain students including tutoring or any other practice that might be unfair to other students. Another example for conflict of interest is the undertaking of a WSET qualification by any individual employed by an APP.

Examples of Conflicts of Interest include: 
• The assessment of candidates by an individual who has a personal interest in the result of the assessment for any or all individuals concerned; 
• The moderation of assessment of candidates by an individual who has a personal interest in the result of the assessment for any or all individuals concerned; 
• The undertaking of a WSET qualification by any individual employed by an APP;
• The invigilation of a WSET assessment by any individual involved in the delivery of training leading to the assessment; 
• The coaching of candidates by any individual involved in the assessment of candidate scripts; 
• The employment by an APP of individuals engaged in the delivery of taught programmes or in the role of Internal Assessor in another APP; 
• The investigation of a non-compliance incident by someone who is unable to act impartially


Some of these Conflicts of Interest can be managed and are therefore acceptable and we can make it possible to mitigating them. For example, the marking of WSET Level 3 tasting assessments by Internal Assessors is verified by WSET to mitigate the risk of a Conflict of Interest. Similarly, where an employee of the WSET or one of its APPs undertakes a WSET qualification, measures can be put in place to maintain the integrity of the assessment, provided this has been notified to WSET in advance.

NCWA has the best intent and will abide to the highest possible standard and treat all students equally and fairly. NCWA will abide to these principles stated before in regards the conflict of interest. If once registered to a class, the student deems that there might be a concern to become a conflict of interest please notify, in writing, Yellymary Montalvo, Director of Wine Education, North Carolina Wine Academy, 2186 Lynn Road, Suite B, Tryon, NC 28722,  as soon as possible. This information will be notified to the Head of Quality and Compliance of WSET. Conflicts of interest will be declared to QA at All exams will be securely stored after administration as per WSET and to avoid the impression of conflict of interest.

Data Protection, Processing and Collection
Once the student has enrolled in the class NCWA will update the company’s existing data protection policy to indicate the data shared with WSET. Name(s), date of birth, gender, email address, credit card number information and other sensible information will be protected. Any date transmitted to WSET will be handled in accordance with WSET Data Protection Policy. Our goal is to protect and maintain the privacy of any personal data shared with NCWA. NCWA will ensure that staff and students will access to the Data Collection Policies. Any information provided for reasonable adjustment/ special consideration application is covered by this policy as well as the WSET Data Protection Policy. The sensitive information of the candidate will be stored in an electronic database that can only be accessed via password and only available to the Director of Education and the Main APP Contact.

Paper documents that are not possible to be stored electronically (such as exams, candidate number and others) will be stored in a safety box with a lock key only accessible to the Director of Education and the main APP Contact. NCWA also stipulates that any data collected will not be sold or share with third parties with marketing purposes.

Certain information such as name, birthdate, demographic information and alike will be required as per WSET guidelines. The same way will happen with the exams and assessments takes by the candidates. This information will be obtained and stored in the same way detailed beforehand. This same information could be shared with WSET Global to ensure examination and the delivery of exam results. In case of any questions please contact for more information.

Reasonable Adjustments  Policy
 A reasonable adjustment is any accommodation or arrangement that helps to reduce the effect of a known disability or difficulty that substantially disadvantages a student’s assessment. Using a reasonable adjustment does not impact how WSET grades your exam, or your result, but WSET cannot agree to reasonable adjustments where your particular difficulty directly affects performance necessary to complete the assessment outcomes (e.g. inability to smell or taste for a Level 3 Exam). The goal of a reasonable adjustment is to give you equal access to a WSET qualification, not to give unfair advantages over other students who take an assessment without the same adjustment, or to affect the overall reliability of the assessment outcomes that are explained in the course Specification.

Examples of reasonable adjustments may be: 
• Changing standard assessment arrangements, for example allowing candidates extra time to complete the assessment activity; 
• Adapting assessment materials, such as providing materials in large text format; 
• Providing access facilitators during assessment, such as a sign language interpreter or reader; 
• Re-organising the assessment room, such as removal of visual stimuli for an autistic candidate. 


NCWA will gather the information we need from you to submit a Reasonable Adjustment Application form to WSET. WSET must approve and arrange reasonable adjustments before the assessment activity takes place. Before completing enrollment with NCWA we will give all students access to this policy and the chance to identify any special needs that could require a reasonable adjustment. If a student identifies a special need, NCWA will give the student the Reasonable Adjustment Application form as soon as possible and work with the student to gather the necessary information. For any student seeking a reasonable adjustment, please contact: Yellymary Montalvo, Director of Wine Education, North Carolina Wine Academy, 2186 Lynn Road, Suite B, Tryon, NC 28722,  with your full name; contact information; description of the special need, disability or differing ability that requires an adjustment; and, supporting documentation. 


You must submit this information at least 6 weeks before the exam date for Levels 1-3 qualifications and at least 6 weeks before the exam date for Level 4 Diploma. The information you submit will be shared with WSET and will be handled under WSET’s Privacy and Data Protection Policy. NCWA will keep records of all reasonable adjustment applications.

NCWA will identify at the time of candidate enrollment any special needs which may require a reasonable adjustment at the time of the class or the exam. If more information is needed or wished to be provided please do not hesitate in contacting us at NCWA will work with the candidate to complete the application required for a reasonable adjustment, supporting documentation will be required. This request will have to be submitted at least 6 weeks (about 1 and a half months) before examination. NCWA will forward the request to WSET Global and comply with their assessment. Both parties will determine which arrangements can be done or steps to be taken to make possible the reasonable adjustments during the examination.

“WSET reserves the right to seek the advice of independent agencies as appropriate in coming to a decision on specific arrangements. Please note that APPs may not offer reasonable adjustments to any candidate until this has been agreed with WSET.”
(WSET Handbook)

Special Consideration Policy
Special consideration is any adjustment given to a student who has temporarily experienced an illness or injury, or other event outside of their control at the time of the exam that significantly affects their ability to take the exam or their ability to show their knowledge and understanding in the assessment. Special consideration is only for things that happen immediately before or during an exam that have a material impact on your, the student’s, ability to take the exam or on your performance. To be eligible for special consideration, you must have completed the whole course and would have been fully prepared if not for the temporary illness, injury or other uncontrollable event. A special consideration may be for an individual (e.g. a student becomes ill the day of the exam) or a group of students (e.g. an exam is interrupted by a natural disaster).

You may be eligible for special consideration if:
 • Your performance on the exam is adversely affected by an event outside of your control. This may include temporary illness, temporary injury, bereavement or exam room conditions;
 • Reasonable adjustments which were agreed in advance of the exam proved inappropriate or inadequate; 
• The application of special consideration would not make a passing result and certificate misleading about the student’s ability to satisfy the qualification’s assessment criteria. Applying for special consideration If you have taken an exam, or your exam is immediately approaching, and you feel that you have a temporary injury or illness, or other uncontrollable event that has interfered with your ability to complete your exam, please contact Yellymary Montalvo, Director of Wine Education, North Carolina Wine Academy, 2186 Lynn Road, Suite B, Tryon, NC 28722, as soon as possible. NCWA  will provide you with a Special Consideration Application Form, which must be completed and returned with supporting documentation within 5 working days; after the effected exam. The information you submit will be shared with WSET and will be handled under WSET’s Privacy and Data Protection Policy. If there has been serious disruption during an exam affecting a group of students, the Director of Education will submit a detailed report of the circumstances and candidates affected to WSET to request a special consideration. NCWA will keep records of all applications for special consideration.

Diversity and Equality
At NCWA we take great pride in our efforts to make sure that nobody is discriminated against based on religion, beliefs, sexual orientation, race, gender or age (with exception of the minimal age requirement of 21 years old which is the legal age for consumption in North Carolina). Equal opportunities will be given to all students at the time of registering. We will monitor the student progress and satisfaction along with their comfort level with instructor and make sure that they feel comfortable and safe in the space. If any student believes that they have been discriminated by any staff member of the NCWA they shall contact Yellymary Montalvo, Director of Wine Education, North Carolina Wine Academy, 2186 Lynn Road, Suite B, Tryon, NC 28722 to promptly to address the matter. 

The North Carolina Constitution prohibits discrimination by the State against any person because of race, color, religion, or national origin. At North Carolina Wine Academy we believe that diversity and inclusion  are essential components to promote equity and eliminate discrimination. According to the North Carolina Bar Association, “Diversity encompasses characteristics that make each of us unique. Equity promotes fairness by aiming to ensure fair treatment, access, opportunity, resources, and advancement for everyone to succeed. Inclusion fosters a collaborative and respectful environment where diversity of thought, perspective, and experience is valued and encouraged.” At North Carolina Wine Academy we adhere to the same ideas and our aim is to give a voice and place to diversity, equity, and inclusion this as part of our mission and with goal of promoting the diversity, equity and inclusion that is much needed in the wine industry. For the whole section of the North Carolina Constitution in regards this matter please visit 

Malpractice and Maladministration
WSET Policies and Procedures establishes 2 categories to regulate non- compliance:
1. Malpractice- In this case the non-compliance is intentional act or the result of negligence.

2. Maladministration- in this case the non-compliance is accidental rather than intentional

These 2 concepts/ categories may overlap and one act may be incurring on both instances. Some incidents may fall into either category depending on the wider context. Some maladministration incidents may become malpractice for example through failure to implement corrective measures, repetition of the incident, or subsequent attempt at non- disclosure or misrepresentation. A malpractice incident may be deemed to be maladministration if there are extenuating circumstances. Whether a situation is maladministration or malpractice will be determined by WSET following an investigation.

Some examples of malpractice or maladministration by students will be:
- Cheating, or facilitating cheating, including the use of unauthorised devices or materials;
- Disruptive behaviour in an exam;
- Plagiarism of any nature by students;
- Impersonation (including forgery of signatures);
- Unauthorised reading/amendment/copying/distribution of exam papers;
- Any action likely to lead to an adverse effect; 
- Breach of confidentiality

Examples of maladministration or Malpractice by NCWA could include:
- Not following WSET Policies and Procedures or Centre Agreement
- Not following WSET Awards’ registration and certification procedures including late student registrations
- False or fraudulent reproduction of certificates

If a student is found guilty the WSET might apply the following sanctions: Written Warning, Exam result declared null and void, or disqualification.

During the examination, the Invigilator will follow all WSET examination policies and procedures to ensure that examinations are conducted with the highest level of integrity. All non-compliance reports will be recorded. In regards the noncompliance in an Examination the Invigilator will note the conduct and will notify the Examinations Officer directly. The student could be removed from the classroom if the violations are at plain sight. WSET will then be notified immediately by NCWA. If there is a noncompliance by a staff member or Educator of the NCWA policies this will be recorded and informed to the WSET Quality Assurance. Finally, in case of any non compliance observed in regards malpractice or maladministration by Candidates will also be transmitted immediately and directly to the WSET Quality Assurance. This also can be done by contacting such division at In both cases the Educator will be removed from their role until the investigation comes to a resolution and recommendation.

If a candidate believes they have observed a case of malpractice or maladministration, they should contact the NCWA following the complaints policy. NCWA will contact WSET Quality Assurance to forwards the instance. If a WSET Candidate suspects any Malpractice or Maladministration happening at NCWA they can contact WSET awards directly and report non-compliant activity to Quality Assurance:

Cancellations and Refunds
Students will receive a full refund if the WSET course is cancelled by NCWA due to insufficient enrollment or any other reason out of their control (COVID-19 transmission or any other natural course such as snowstorms or flooding).

Candidates will have 15 days within registration day to request a full refund minus a $50 non refundable registration fee. This will also have to be at least 15 days before the start of the course. After that period had elapsed there will be no more refunds, but the payment of the course fee can be prorated to any other future use within the academy and within a year of the date of enrollment. Any transfer of course, applicant or course material will be considered in a case-by-case basis according to the circumstances and qualifications of the candidate. All course and examination fees will need to be paid in full at time of enrollment via credit card or cash. No checks are accepted. Any rescheduling from the original examination date will have an administrative fee of $50. For more information or to request a cancellation the candidate must contact the Director of Education at

bottom of page