Under current UK law there is no VAT on the English training services we provide for your overseas doctors, nurses and HCAs, however if this situation changes we reserve the right to add VAT at the appropriate rate.

1) There is no VAT on OET / IELTS EFL English courses

This is the relevant VAT notice that covers our industry: VAT Notice 701/30: education and vocational training : If a commercial body makes supplies of English as a Foreign Language (EFL) it should treat as exempt:

  • supplies of EFL
  • any closely related supplies that meet the conditions outlined below

Tuition includes all elements that are integral to the course, held out for sale as such, and are the means by which it is intended to promote fluency in the use of the English language. These can include:

  • sports and games
  • recreational activities
  • sightseeing
  • social activities

Any separate supplies of closely related goods and services are also exempt, providing they meet the conditions set out below. However, the exemption does not extend to any other educational or training courses supplied, such as tuition in a language other than English or training people to teach EFL.

The meaning of the term ‘closely related’

In general terms, closely related refers only to goods and services that are:

  • for the direct use of the student or trainee; and
  • necessary for delivering the education to that person

However, an eligible body should treat as closely related any:

  • accommodation
  • catering
  • transport
  • school trips
  • field trips

provided to it.

2) VAT on OET / IELTS exams and assessments


The meaning of the term ‘examination services’

Examination services include:

  • setting and marking examinations
  • setting educational or training standards
  • making assessments; and
  • other services provided with a view to ensuring that educational and training standards are maintained

The following are also examination services:

  • course accreditation services
  • validation
  • certification (including issuing duplicates)
  • registering candidates

Exempt supplies of examination services

Eligible body: the supplies of examination services are exempt.

Non-eligible body: the supplies are exempt if the person receiving the services is either:

  • an eligible body; or
  • an individual receiving education or vocational training that itself is not liable to VAT

© Worcester Education Limited - Company No. 12620126