Distance learning course; application for approval or substantial changes.

Under the Distance Learning Protection Act (Fern-USG), distance learning courses generally require approval by the State Central Office for Distance Learning. A contract for a non-approved course is void.



  • The course must be suitable for achieving the objective set by the organizer;
  • the content or objective of the course must not be contrary to public safety and order,
  • the organizer must provide the participant with comprehensive information about the course offered, and
  • all legal requirements for the drafting of a contract for a distance learning course must be met.

You can find a comprehensive guide under "Further links".


A distance learning course requiring approval may only be distributed or offered after approval has been granted. The distribution of a distance learning course without the required approval is an administrative offense and can be punished with a fine.

Required documents

  • Detailed description of the distance learning course

  • Draft distance learning contract as it is to be concluded with the participant.

    (For information for organizers of distance learning courses on the drafting of a distance learning contract and the information material used for advertising purposes, see "Further links").

  • Draft of intended promotional literature

  • All learning materials



  • Fees are payable for the administrative activities of the Central Office in accordance with the Fee Act for the State of North Rhine-Westphalia.

    As a rule, the admission fee amounts to 150% of the sales price of the approved distance learning course according to the currently valid fee schedule. If the final approval of the distance learning course is preceded by a provisional approval, this fee increases to 200% of the sales price.

    The minimum fee for approval is 1050.00 EUR.

    For distance learning courses with a low sales price (less than 250 EUR), reduced admission fees are payable.


Administrative court proceedings; information

The administrative court procedures of the state of North Rhine-Westphalia are admissible against decisions of the State Central Office for Distance Learning. The competent courts and the deadlines to be met are indicated in the instructions on appealing the decisions.


Responsible for editing:Bayerisches Staatsministerium für Unterricht und Kultus

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