Complaints & Appeals

OWA strives to provide the best in education and customer service but understands that issues may arise.  In the event of a complaint, students are directed to send written notice of their issue to the founder, Julie Rothberg, who can be reached at julie@odysseywineacademy.com.  This is a private mailbox and any complaints will be handled in a completely confidential manner.  A formal written complaint must be submitted and a proposed resolution offered prior to complaints being submitted to WSET.


Any complaints or issues should include:

  • Name, address and contact information for the person making the complaint
  • Full details of the complaint and any supporting documentation. Pertinent information such as the date and situation along with any relevant background information should also be included in the complaint
  • All complaints will be handled directly by the founder and will be acknowledged within 3 business days
  • A response to the complaint will be given within 14 days, including any requests for additional information
  • If the issue is not resolved to the full satisfaction of the complainant, they are directed to contact the WSET directly at QA@wsetglobal.com.


Conflict of Interest

A conflict of interest could arise when an individual has interests or loyalties that could adversely affect their judgement, objectivity or loyalty to WSET when conducting activities involved in the WSET certification process.  The integrity of OWA and upholding the standards of the WSET program are core to our values so we take any potential conflicts very seriously.


Examples of a potential conflict could be:

  • Any assessment of a student by an individual who has a personal interest in the result of the assessment for any or all individuals concerned
  • Tutoring of students by an individual involved in the assessment process
  • Undertaking of a WSET qualification by any individual employed by Odyssey Wine Academy
  • Invigilation of a WSET assessment by any individual involved in the delivery of training leading to the assessment
  • Coaching of students by any individual involved in the assessment of student scripts or the authoring of examination questions
  • Employment by an APP of individuals engaged in the delivery of taught programs or in the role of Internal Assessor in another APP
  • Investigation of a non-compliance incident by someone who is unable to act impartially


Some of these conflicts can be managed and therefore acceptable.  For example, an employee of OWA who is undertaking a higher level of certification, such as Level 4, measures can be put in place to maintain the integrity of the assessment provided the WSET has been notified in advance.


Identifying conflicts of interest

Any student or employee of OWC is encouraged to identify a conflict of interest if they feel it may impact the ability of OWC to fairly deliver the course or could impact the results of their qualifying exam.  Concerns should be brought directly to the founder, Julie Rothberg, in writing at julie@odysseywineacademy.com


Odyssey Wine Academy will contact WSET’s Head of Quality Assurance (HQA) in writing immediately at QA@wsetglobal.com to declare any conflicts of interest. WSET has procedures in place to manage conflicts of interest.


Management of conflicts of interest

WSET has procedures in place to manage specific Conflicts of Interest. These include the exclusive involvement of WSET staff in the creation of all assessment materials, moderation of all internal assessments conducted by APPs and moderation of all written examinations not marked by optical mark readers. Other Conflicts of Interest will be managed on a case-by-case basis. The Head of Quality Control has responsibility for the management of Conflicts of Interest relating to the work of WSET.  The HQA will work with Julie Rothberg to mitigate and resolve any identified conflicts of interest.


Privacy & Data Protection

Odyssey Wine Academy is committed to protecting your privacy. At all times we aim to respect any personal information you share with us, or that we receive from others, and keep it safe.


This information sets out our data processing practices and your rights and options regarding the ways in which your personal information is used and collected. If you have any queries, please contact info@odysseywineacademy.com


We collect information for the express purpose of providing WSET-approved courses and for officially registering all candidates with the WSET.


Types of information that may be collected:

  • Your name, date of birth, gender and contact details (this could include your postal address, telephone numbers and email address);
  • Purchases and orders made by you or on your behalf by your chosen course provider
  • Your payment card details (which are encrypted) when you purchase any products or services
  • Login credentials, when you set up your account
  • Your marketing preferences
  • Your correspondence with us
  • In certain situations, information relating to health which may be required to support applications for reasonable adjustment and/or special consideration in the context of exams for WSET qualifications;
  • Your ethnicity and/or racial origin and such other information as may be required in connection with the delivery of WSET qualifications.


We will keep all data collected secure and will not share with any third party marketing agencies.  Any information or images you provide will be used for the express purpose of ensuring a successful completion of your WSET candidacy and providing you all materials and awards deserved.  Any data shared with WSET will be handled in accordance with WSET Data Protection Policy


Diversity & Equity

Odyssey Wine Academy is committed to being inclusive and embrace diversity and equality in all areas of its work, ensuring that all members of our community including students, educators, winery partners, and other community supports are treated fairly and equally at all times. We have a no tolerance policy for any behavior by candidates or teachers which are not in line with our policy.


Odyssey Wine Academy ensures equality of opportunity for candidates by:

  • Promote open access to WSET qualification, especially for the underrepresented members of our wine community
  • Actively promote our values that include diversity, equity and inclusion, on our website and in our promotional materials
  • Ensure the format and content of all materials do not discriminate unlawfully against anyone on the grounds of disability, age, marriage and civil partnership, gender reassignment, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex and sexual orientation (having regard to the legal minimum age for the retail purchase of alcohol and assessment competence standards)
  • Allow candidates with special educational needs, disabilities or temporary injuries to access WSET assessments without changing the demands of the assessment in line with the WSET Reasonable Adjustment and Special Consideration policies
  • Inviting feedback on our diversity and inclusion policy and actively solicit input on ways to be more inclusive in our community


Candidates who feel they’ve been unfairly discriminated against, should contact Julie Rothberg, julie@odysseywineacademy.com in the first instance.


Reasonable Adjustments

A reasonable adjustment is any action that helps to reduce the effect of a disability or difficulty that places the candidate at a substantial disadvantage in the assessment situation. Reasonable adjustments are approved by WSET and put in place before the assessment activity takes place; they constitute an arrangement to give the candidate access to the qualification. The use of a reasonable adjustment is not taken into consideration during the assessment of a candidate’s work.


Reasonable adjustments must not give unfair advantage over candidates for whom reasonable adjustments are not being made, or affect the reliability and validity of the assessment outcomes.


Reasonable adjustments may involve:

  • Adapting assessment materials, such as providing materials in large text format
  • Alterations for standard assessment arrangements like allowing candidates additional time to complete the assessment activity


Candidates are requested to identify any special needs which may require a reasonable adjustment at the time of booking their course.  All bookings must be done at least 5 weeks before the exam date to allow for a Reasonable Adjustment Application Form to be submitted to the Exams Manager.  All requests for Reasonable Adjustments must be made at least 5 weeks prior to the exam and submitted to Julie Rothberg at registration@odysseywineacademy.com

The specific arrangements for the exam process itself, or for marking, will be agreed in each case between OWA’s Exams Officer and the WSET Exams Manager and will vary according to individual circumstances.


Special Consideration

Special consideration is an action taken after an assessment to allow candidates who have been disadvantaged by temporary illness, injury, indisposition or adverse circumstances at the time of the assessment to demonstrate attainment.  Special consideration will not give unfair advantage over candidates for whom special consideration is not being applied or alter the assessment demands of the qualification.


A candidate may be eligible for special consideration if:

  • Performance in an assessment is affected by circumstances beyond the control of the candidate. This may include recent personal illness, accident, bereavement or exam room conditions
  • Alternative assessment arrangements which were agreed in advance of the assessment proved inappropriate or inadequate;

Applying for special consideration

Any candidate and student of Odyssey Wine Academy, must alert Julie Rothberg, in writing, within 5 days of the assessment date so that a Special Consideration Application Form can be submitted to the WSET Exams Manager within 5 working days. Eligibility will only be considered if accompanied by supporting independent documentation.

In cases of serious disruption during the exam, the OWA Exams Officer must submit a detailed report of the circumstances and candidates affected to WSET.


Malpractice & Maladministration

The aim of this policy is to protect the interests of Odyssey Wine Academy students and safeguard the integrity of WSET qualifications by ensuring compliance with WSET Policies and Procedures.


Non-compliance with Odyssey Wine Academy and WSET Policies and Procedures generally falls into one of two categories:

  1. Maladministration, where non-compliance is accidental rather than intentional; and
  2. Malpractice where non-compliance is intentional or the result of negligence.


The boundaries between maladministration and malpractice are not clear-cut. Some incidents may fall into either category depending on the wider context. Some maladministration incidents may become malpractice e.g. 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 following an investigation.


Malpractice or Maladministration may include:

  • Failure to adhere to the terms of the Odyssey Wine Academy agreement, policies and procedures
  • Failure for OWA to carry out the course or assessment delivery in accordance with WsET requirements
  • Failure to adhere to WSET’s candidate registration and certification procedures
  • Any fraudulent claim for certificates, use of certificates, or forgery of certificates
  • Storing assessment materials in a non-secure location
  • Cheating, including use of unauthorized devices or materials, or plagiarism of any nature
  • Disruptive behavior in an exam
  • Breach of confidentiality
  • Failure to disclose Conflict of Interest
  • Issuance of incorrect exam results or withholding exam results
  • Unauthorized reading, copying, or distributing of exam papers
  • Denial of access to information, documentation, workforce or facilities



Candidates or educators are encouraged to alert OWA’s ownership immediately if they witness or participate in any potential maladministration or malpractice situations.  The following should be sent to julie@odysseywineacademy.com  and an acknowledgement will be made within 3 business days:


  • A detailed account of the circumstances surrounding the suspicions and allegations;
  • Any extenuating circumstances (e.g. medical reports);
  • Any unauthorized materials found during assessment;
  • Written statements signed and dated by any individuals involved


OWA has an obligation to inform and refer suspected malpractice incidents to WSET, and WSET will conduct an investigation.


In the event malpractice or maladministration is determined against a student, possible sanctions could include:

  • Written warning issued to student that if offence is repeated within set period of time, further specified sanctions will be applied
  • Student exam result is disallowed
  • Student is disqualified from participating in further WSET qualifications for a period of 12 months, including access to WSET materials
  • Being barred from use of WSET postnominals and WSET certified logos in event of actions bringing WSET into disrepute


Cancellations & Refunds


Registration & Exams

All study guides and exams are provided directly from the Wine & Spirits Education Trust which is based in the UK.  Given the time required to ensure all enrolled students are able to sit exams, all courses have a registration deadline at least 15 days prior to the start of the course.


Refund policy

WSET Level 1 -2 -3 Awards in Wine

Students are able to cancel up to 60 days prior to the course starting with a full refund of their pre-paid course fees.  If a student cancels less than 60 days but more than 15 prior to the course date, they will be refunded the full amount of the course less the full cost of the study materials, exam fees, and a $30 administrative fee.


Cancellations less than 15 days prior to a Level 1 course beginning or during the course are ineligible for a refund.  Specific deadlines for cancellations or rescheduling for Level 2 and Level 3 courses will be provided at the time of booking.


Exam Rescheduling


All students must register 30 business days prior to exam

  • CANCELLATIONS: If you cancel/change the date with less than 30 days notice prior to the start of the course or date of exam in the case of a resit, you will need to pay a $150 rescheduling fee.
  • RE-SITTING: In the event a student must re-sit the exam either because student failed to attend, failed to defer prior to deferral deadline, failed to sit exam within one year of class start date or is required to re-sit the exam following a previous unsuccessful attempt, the following rescheduling fees apply:
    • Level 1: $150
    • Level 2: $220
    • Level 3: $350
      • Tasting: $200
      • Theory: $240
    • POSTPONEMENT: students have 12 months from start of their course to sit the exam but must schedule for the exam date at the time they sign up for a course. If the student does not sit the exam within 12 months of the course date, another exam fee applies.  Students must advise prior to the deferral deadline in writing to exams@odysseywineacademy.com that they wish to defer at least 30 days in advance of the exam.


Unexpected cancellations

In the unlikely event the APP needs to cancel an exam or a class due to unforeseen events (smoke, fire, evacuations, illnesses, COVID outbreaks, etc.), OWA will arrange an alternative date and offer students a transfer to this date or the ability to participate in a future course and sit the exam on a scheduled date for a future course, within 12 months.