Commercial Education Services – Dirty Pool

Recently in Russia, presentations, trainings, seminars and other short-term educational programs aimed at the needs of business and economic entities in Vocational Education are very popular.
There are many organizations providing such services. Moreover, there occurred a profession of business coachers, whose main activity is carrying out the topical lectures, trainings and seminars for businesses and individuals.

The RF Government has developed a system of commercial educational services rendering (approved by the RF Government Decree No. 505 as of 05.07.2001), which regulate the relations arising between the Customer and Contractor in the provision of commercial education services in preschool, general and vocational education.

According to the RF Law "On Education", a purposeful process of education and training for an individual for social purposes is understood as accompanied by a statement of achievement of a citizen (student) levels of education (educational qualification), established by national educational standards. The educational process implies the educational program (basic or supplementary one) in compliance with the training program (Articles 7, 8, 9 of the Draft Law).

For example, in accordance with Paragraph,8 of Article. 9 of the Law, a supplementary educational program should include supplementary training courses, subjects, programs (modules). However, supplementary education services (seminars, training courses and lectures), provided by any institution, does not imply actual efficiency and compliance of the educational program with the standard requirements. It means that currently popular seminars, training courses and lectures are left beyond the control of the Regulations on providing commercial educational services.

This is confirmed by Para 3 of the Regulations, specifying who they are applicable to. In regard to legal entities, the Regulations are applicable to educational institutions, educational and research organizations (postgraduate education agencies). Educational institutions can be established in the legal forms stipulated by the RF civil legislation applicable to non-profit organizations (Article 11.1 of the Law). As one can see, the Regulations do not encompass commercial organizations, which are currently actively involved in providing surplus educational services that do not require licensing (Para 2 of the Regulations on the educational activities licensing", approved by the RF Government Decree No. 277, dated of 31.03.2009).

Therefore, a large share of commercial educational services remains unresolved.

V.V. Antipov – Legal Adviser, “Legal Studies”