16 CFR 254.3 - Misrepresentation of extent or nature of accreditation or approval.

Updated to:January 2014
CONTENT

Title 16: Commercial Practices

CHAPTER I: FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION

SUBCHAPTER B: GUIDES AND TRADE PRACTICE RULES

PART 254: GUIDES FOR PRIVATE VOCATIONAL AND DISTANCE EDUCATION SCHOOLS

254.3 - Misrepresentation of extent or nature of accreditation or approval.

(a) It is deceptive for an Industry Member to misrepresent, directly or indirectly, expressly or by implication, the nature, extent, or purpose of any Approval by a State or Federal agency or Accreditation by an accrediting agency or association. For example, an Industry Member should not:

(1) Represent, without qualification, that its school is Accredited unless all courses and programs of instruction have been Accredited by an accrediting agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. If an Accredited school offers courses or programs of instruction that are not Accredited, all advertisements or promotional materials pertaining to those courses or programs, and making reference to the Accreditation of the school, should clearly and conspicuously disclose that those particular courses or programs are not Accredited.

(2) Represent that its school or program of instruction is Approved, unless the nature, extent, and purpose of that Approval are disclosed.

(3) Misrepresent the extent to which a student successfully completing a course or program of instruction will be able to transfer any credits the student earns to any other postsecondary institution.

(b) It is deceptive for an Industry Member to misrepresent, directly or indirectly, expressly or by implication, that a school or program of instruction has been Approved by a particular industry, or that successful completion of a course or program of instruction qualifies the student for admission to a labor union or similar organization or for receiving a State or Federal license to perform certain functions.

(c) It is deceptive for an Industry Member to misrepresent, directly or indirectly, expressly or by implication, that its courses or programs of instruction are recommended by vocational counselors, high schools, colleges, educational organizations, employment agencies, or members of a particular industry, or that it has been the subject of unsolicited testimonials or endorsements from former students. It is deceptive for an Industry Member to use testimonials or endorsements that do not accurately reflect current practices of the school or current conditions or employment opportunities in the industry or occupation for which students are being trained.

Note to paragraph (c):

The Commission's Guides Concerning Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising (part 255 of this chapter) provide further guidance in this area.

(d) It is deceptive for an Industry Member to misrepresent, directly or indirectly, expressly or by implication, that its courses or programs of instruction fulfill a requirement that must be completed prior to taking a licensing examination.

[78 FR 68990, Nov. 18, 2013]