Answers to our most frequently asked questions
What's the different between a self-guided course, an online course and a classroom course?
We offer three different learning methods that mean no matter where you are, or your time commitments, you can study WSET Spirits Level 1, 2 or 3 with The Mixing Class.
The self guided courses are learnt at your own pace, using the study materials provided by the WSET. We provide you with your textbooks and (optionally) accompanying spirits samples. You then can log-into the WSET’s online classroom for further. The student can use the textbook and the online classroom in tandem to learn the content requisite for passing. At Spirits Level 1 and 2 you can either take your exam in person, or you can be examined by remote invigilation at your computer.
In addition to the content created by the WSET, if you purchase your course with The Mixing Class you will also get access to our brilliant smartphone app: Spirits Swot. Spirits Swot uses games and quizzes to help you revise in a super fun way, while also making sure that you are exam-ready.
Our online courses are exactly like a real classroom, taught in real time and to a class of real life students, the only difference is that you can study from just about anywhere! You will be asked to take part so we recommend you have a camera on your laptop, and that you are prepared to ask questions and take part in group activities. We cap our numbers so your educator is able to respond to the needs of every student. Note that you can take a remote exam for WSET Spirits Level 1 and Level 2 only – for WSET Spirits Level 3 you must have an exam in person.
Our classroom courses are ideal for those who like to learn in person. We offer WSET Spirits Level 2 & 3 every six weeks at a central or east London location. These days are 9am – 5.30pm. We’ll bring the samples and the tasting glasses, you bring yourself, your textbooks and your snazziest stationary.
How does remote invigilation work?
During the pandemic the WSET began working with a third party company that supports remote exams for Spirits Levels 1 and 2. While it’s our preference to have our students do their exam in-person, sometimes we understand it’s difficult to travel. Remote invigilation requires that the student has registered for their exam at least three weeks in advance (instead of the usual two). They must also have a laptop to take the exam that has a camera, as well as a second smart device with a camera. The student must also do a systems test a week in advance of the exam, ensuring that if something goes wrong they won’t be charged for a resit.
What WSET Level should I start on?
WSET Spirits Level 1 is designed to teach a spirits novice some key elements about what they are made from, their production, and how to approach tasting them. The content on Level One is also included at WSET Spirits Level 2, but we are able to cover much more ground over two days, and take the production of spirits to a much more detailed level. WSET Spirits Level 3 is incredibly detailed and will usually be taken by ambitious industry professionals, or enthusiasts who enjoy the process of learning. Take our quiz here to get an idea of the difficulty of each Level!
Do I have to take WSET Spirits 2 before Level 3?
You don’t have to have taken Level 2 to be enrolled on Level 3 Spirits, however we warn you that the global pass rates for Level 3 are not high and that reflects the difficulty of this course (to hold this qualification is highly respected after all, and a demonstration of your dedication!). While having studied Level 2 will offer a better vantage point to begin learning in more detail, many people who work in the cocktail and spirits industry have vocationally gained knowledge equal to Level 2 Spirits. In this instance we ask you to tell us about your existing exposure to spirits study, and if we agree you will manage will put you straight through.
I've signed up for a course, what happens next?
If you are taking Spirits Level 3 we will get your textbook out to you straight away – get studying the moment you get it, you’ve a mountain to climb! For digital courses we will also post these out straight away. If you are taking WSET Spirits Level 2 we aim to get you the textbook two weeks before your course starts, and this may come at the same time as your tasting kit if you have opted to study online.
Do you offer custom courses or tastings?
Absolutely. We can tailor one of our existing courses to your needs, or even do something bespoke. Email firstname.lastname@example.org and we can talk about your options.
I've just done my exam, how long will my results take?
Your exam papers will be sent by recorded post to the WSET exams office in London for marking. Level 3 papers will have their tasting element marked by us before sending, all other Levels will go direct. Current times for marking are:
I've deferred my exam or need to retake a paper, can you help me prepare?
Sure thing, get in touch! We can offer specific tasting packs to help you study for your Level 3 tasting paper, as well as access to modules of our courses, or our quiz app, Study Swot, for those who need to redo a theory paper. Email email@example.com and tell us what you need.
Do you offer WSET Wine courses?
TLDR: No! We believe that it is our lifetime of working in the cocktail and spirits industry that makes us so good at what we do. We don’t just teach how spirits are made, we get excited about tailoring their application for use in cocktails. We believe that a holistic understanding of the production of spirits can elevate a bartender from good to truly great. The Mixing Class truly believes that to teach something means you have a mastery of that topic – one day maybe we’ll bring someone that feels about Wine that way we do about Spirits, but for now we are Spirits Evangelists only! For a recommendation on some world class wine educators drop us a line: firstname.lastname@example.org
Can I take a Level 2 or Level 3 Spirits re-sit with you?
If you do fail your exam, do not fear!
Retakes can be booked, whether you have previously studied with us before or not. Please email what level you need to retake to email@example.com for available dates and cost.
What are the course entry requirements?
To take Level 1 or 2 Spirits there are no entry requirements.
To take Level 3 spirits you need to have Level 2 Spirits. If you do not have Level 2 and want to jump straight to Level 3 please send your industry experience to firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss.
Can I study with you even though I am not in the UK?
You can take the course with us either online or digitally. There is an additional delivery charge to send study materials outside the UK. The exam for Level 2 can be taken online. The exam for Level 3 will need to be taken in person in London.
What is your refunds and cancellation policy?
We to ensure that each of our students are fully satisfied with the course they have purchased from us. If the course was purchased in error, or the student needs to withdraw from the course then it is possible to refund in full providing no materials have been dispatched, meaning there is a 24 hours cooling off period in which we anticipate being able to offer a full refund. If we have dispatched study materials then we can deduct their cost from the refund, or textbooks can be returned providing they are unused and still within their full packaging then we will issue a full refund less the postage costs incurred.
If a student can no longer attend the course they have booked then it is our aim to be as accommodating as possible. We are happy to offer a transfer to later dates either for free, or if the request is made less than 21 days before then exam then we must charge £20 for the cost of returning exam paper. If a student does not attend an exam without a minimum notice of 21 days there will be a £20 charge for returning the paper.
Spirits samples cannot be returned due to them being consumables. If a student needs an extra box of samples they are available for purchase on our website.
If a student has purchased a course but not used it within one year, then refunds will be at the discretion of The Mixing Class and a full refund is no longer guaranteed.
What if I need to resit an exam?
All our courses include the cost of an exam, but on occasion a student won’t pass first time. WSET Spirits Level Three is especially challenging. If a resit is required then we are charged by the WSET for a new paper and regrettably must pass this cost on to our students. If you need to sit a paper again we will be very glad to support you with a study plan to get you over the line. The student can attend lessons again to aid them in preparation and we are glad to offer additional one-on-one online sessions without charge.
WSET Level Three Spirits exams must be done in person. We offer regular exams in London – two weeks advance notice is required to book.
Our complaints policy:
The Mixing Class is committed to providing a quality service and working in an open and accountable way that builds trust and respect. One of the ways in which we can continue to improve our service is by listening and responding to the views of our candidates, and in particular by responding positively to complaints, and by putting mistakes right.
Therefore we aim to ensure that:
- making a compliment or complaint is as easy as possible
- we welcome compliments, feedback and suggestions
- we treat a complaint as a clear expression of dissatisfaction with our service which calls for an immediate response
- we deal with it promptly and politely
- we respond in the right way – for example, with an explanation, or an apology where we have got things wrong, or information on any action taken etc.
- we learn from complaints, use them to improve our service, and review annually our complaints policy and procedures
We recognise that many concerns will be raised informally, and dealt with quickly.
Our aims are to:
- resolve informal concerns quickly
- enable mediation between the complainant and the individual to whom the complaint has been referred
This policy ensures that we welcome compliments and provide guidelines for dealing with complaints from candidates our services, facilities and staff.
A compliment is an expression of satisfaction about the standard of service we provide. A complaint is defined as any expression of dissatisfaction, however, it is expressed. This would include complaints expressed face to face, via a phone call, in writing, via email or any other method. All staff should have sufficient knowledge to be able to identify an “expression of dissatisfaction” even when the word “complain” or “complaint” is not used.
We are always glad to hear from people with feedback, both positive and negative, actively encourage feedback by offering an anonymous form that is sent out with results.
The formal complaints procedure is intended to ensure that all complaints are handled fairly, consistently and wherever possible resolved to the complainant’s satisfaction.
The Mixing Class’s responsibility will be to:
- acknowledge the formal complaint in writing;
- respond within a stated period of time;
- deal reasonably and sensitively with the complaint; and
- take action where appropriate.
A complainant’s responsibility is to:
- bring their complaint, in writing, to The Mixing Class’s attention normally within 4 weeks of the issue arising;
- raise concerns promptly and directly with a member of The Mixing Class
- explain the problem as clearly and as fully as possible, including any action taken to date;
- allow The Mixing Class a reasonable time to deal with the matter, and
- recognise that some circumstances may be beyond The Mixing Class’s control.
Except in exceptional circumstances, every attempt will be made to ensure that both the complainant and The Mixing Class maintain confidentiality. However the circumstances giving rise to the complaint may be such that it may not be possible to maintain confidentiality (with each complaint judged on its own facts). Should this be the case, the situation will be explained to the complainant.
Written records must be made by The Mixing Class at each stage of the procedure.
In the first instance the seriousness of the complaint must be established. An informal approach is appropriate when it can be achieved. But if concerns cannot be satisfactorily resolved informally, then the formal complaints procedure should be followed.
If the complaint cannot be resolved informally, the candidate should be advised that a formal complaint may be made and the following procedure should be sent and if required, explained to them.
- A formal complaint can be made either verbally or in writing. If verbally a member of The Mixing Class should take a statement and make sure the complainant gets a copy.
- Depending on the nature of the complaint, The Mixing Class must acknowledge the complaint in writing within one week of receiving it.
- The complaint will be investigated.
- The person making the complaint will receive a response based on the investigation within four weeks of the complaint being received. If this is not possible then a letter must be sent explaining why.
- If the candidate is not satisfied, they can appeal the decision. This must be done in writing within four weeks of the original decision.
- Th appeal will go to the most senior member of The Mixing Class, Hannah Lanfear, who will investigate the complaint and respond within four weeks.
If the candidate is a WSET student and not satisfied with the response from the appeal they can file a complaint with the WSET (email@example.com).
Complaints against the Wine and Spirit Education Trust should, in the first instance, be discussed with the candidate’s contact at The Mixing Class and documented evidence will then be forwarded to The Wine and Spirit Education Trust who have their own complaints policy.
Candidates who are unhappy with their exam results can appeal via the centre contact. The way in which the Wine and Spirit Education Trust will investigate the charges are on the website: www.wsetglobal.com.
1.If the complainant has reason to believe that their complaint has not been properly or fairly handled, they have the right to appeal. Appeals should be submitted within 10 working days of the complaint outcome to firstname.lastname@example.org. An appeal should include:
- The grounds for appeal i.e. the reason you believe that the complaint has not been fairly or properly handled. We will not be able revisit a concluded complaint unless this information is provided
- Any additional supporting information that was not included with the original complaint
- What outcome you hope to achieve.
Response & Investigation
2.The Mixing Class will acknowledge the appeal in writing within 3 working days. A Case Officer will be assigned from The Mixing Class or (if required) from an impartial third party that is agreed by the complainant and The Mixing Class.
They will review the appeal and may contact any of the parties involved for further information as required. The outcome of the appeal will be communicated within 30 working days of the initial acknowledgement.
The outcome will be reviewed by both The Mixing Class and the complainant.
3.If the complainant is still unhappy with the outcome they can appeal to the governing body (the WSET or BIIAB), following the individual bodies complaints and appeal procedure.
Our Diversity, Equality and Inclusion Policy:
We aim to create a safe and welcoming atmosphere for everyone. We want to challenge all forms of prejudice in the drinks industry including those based on race, ethnicity, nationality, creed, gender, sex, class, sexuality, gender reassignment, physical impairment, mental illness, HIV status, age, occupation, income and personal wealth.
We aim to design our activities, courses, partnerships and decision-making processes specifically to encourage and support participation from people who face disadvantages in society, including (but not restricted to) women, BAME people, disabled people, LGBTQ+ people, and those on low incomes.
Code of Conduct for Staff & Students
- All staff, students and spirit partners will be treated with dignity and respect regardless of race, nationality, gender, sexual orientation, gender reassignment, disability and/or age.
- At all times people’s feelings will be valued and respected. Language or humour that people find offensive will not be used, e.g. sexist or racist jokes or terminology which is derogatory to someone with a disability.
- No one will be harassed, abused or intimidated on the grounds of their race, nationality, gender, sexual orientation, gender reassignment, disability or age. Incidents of harassment will be taken very seriously.
- The Mixing Class aim to be allies to all, especially those who face disadvantages in society. All staff, students and spirits partners are responsible for challenging or reporting unacceptable behaviour if safe to do so.
- All students will be treated fairly and judged solely on merit and by reference to their skills and abilities.
- The Mixing Class staff have a responsibility to set a good example and to make this policy available to students and spirit partners.
Diversity & Inclusion
- The Mixing Class acknowledges that for different underrepresented groups there are varying barriers to entry into and through the drinks industry. We aim to actively address these barriers and counter them, or remove them where possible.
- The Mixing Class will create an inclusive environment where all staff and students feel valued, recognised and able to be their authentic self.
- The Mixing Class will promote equality, diversity and inclusivity through internal and external communications.
- The Mixing Class will ensure all students have access to learning resources and all reasonable adjustments to working and learning practices are made to accommodate a diverse community.
Wine & Spirit Education Trust Courses
- The WSET, as an OfQual recognised Awarding Body, are required to ensure that the curricula, materials, and examinations are free from any risk of bias or prejudice against any candidate.
- The WSET have a diversity and equality policy in place which promotes open access to WSET qualifications which will be adhered to by The Mixing Class.
- The Mixing Class will accommodate and attempt to make reasonable adjustments for students with special educational needs, disabilities, or temporary relevant injuries to have equal access to our qualifications.
- Students who do not consume alcohol for any reason (e.g. religious belief or health requirements) are not to be disadvantaged and are able to take our Level 1 and 2 qualifications.
- The Mixing Class will collate and monitor data on candidate age, gender, ethnicity and access arrangements, which are reportable in a non-attributable format, and may be used to see where we can do better in catering to a diverse student cohort.
- The Mixing Class will partner with other organisations who aim to educate and/or actively want to challenge all forms of prejudice in the drinks industry.
- These partners will have access to the Diversity and Inclusivity Policy and be expected to adhere to it for the duration of the partnership.
Dealing with discrimination and harassment
- The Mixing Class will take complaints of discrimination and harassment very seriously. All complaints will be dealt with fairly, quickly, and confidentially.
- The Mixing Class will investigate these complaints thoroughly, and provide opportunities for the person or persons making the complaint to speak in a safe environment about their experience.
- If the complaint is against a particular individual or a group, their point(s) of view will also be heard.
- The Mixing Class will decide the action to taken based on the principle of ensuring the continued inclusion and safety of any student who has experienced discrimination or harassment.