This procedure does not cover examination/assessment complaints which are dealt with in the College appeals procedures. It covers complaints by students and other service users in the College. This process does not apply where other appeals processes are in place e.g. student or staff disciplinary procedures, staff grievance or disputes procedure.
Making a Complaint
The College expects that complaints will normally be dealt with informally in the first instance. It should be possible to resolve most problems quite quickly in this way, avoiding stress and saving time. Complainants should seek to bring their concerns to the attention of the College using the procedure outlined here as soon as possible following the occurrence of a problem, and ideally within one month. Complainants should raise the issue with the appropriate member of staff. Complaints are best resolved informally with those responsible. However, if a complainant is not satisfied with how the complaint has been dealt with, he/she should put their complaint in writing and send this to the Deputy Rector.
At the outset a student or other users with a complaint to make will be invited to suggest the remedy they are seeking, without prejudice to the outcome.
Students or service users who experience a problem with any service provided by the College can resolve the matter under the informal procedure. The matter can be raised in a number of ways.
Students or service users should seek to resolve the issue by speaking to the person concerned. If informal discussion does not resolve the situation satisfactorily, the person responsible for the area to which the complaint relates can be approached. If that still does not resolve the issue then the complainant should consult the Deputy Rector.
If the issued is unresolved, the complainant should put their grievance in writing to the Deputy Rector. Groups of students may make a collective complaint and should individually sign the written complaint. In such cases the group complaint will be treated as one complaint.
In some cases the informal procedure set out above may have already involved the Deputy Rector. In that case, or if the complaint is against the Deputy Rector, the complaint should be put in writing to the Rector.
If the matter relates to a student-to-student complaint, a similar course of action should be followed. The matter can be raised directly with the student who is giving cause for complaint. If informal discussion does not resolve the issue then the matter can be raised with the class representative, and if that still does not resolve the issue the student should consult the Class Tutor. Alternatively the student could consult the Class Tutor immediately.
Stage 1: If the matter cannot be resolved informally a complaint should be made in writing, within 28 days, to the Deputy Rector, who will acknowledge receipt. An initial response to any complaint will be made within seven days of its receipt, and a considered response to the complaint will be made within a further three weeks, with any subsequent remedy implemented with the minimum of delay.
Stage 2: If the complainant is still not satisfied, the complainant can refer the complaint to the Rector who will arrange for the College Appeals Committee to undertake an independent assessment of the case.
Stage 3: If the complainant remains dissatisfied, having followed all the appropriate complaints procedures, he/she may ultimately refer the matter to the Administrative Board whose decision is final.
Throughout any formal complaints procedure a written record of the complaint will be recorded and made available on request to anyone involved in the matter, subject to what is said about confidentiality below.
Every attempt will be made to maintain the confidentiality of a complainant. However, where a complaint is of a personal nature against an individual, it is likely that the complainant’s identity would have to be revealed at some stage in all but the most exceptional cases in order for there to be a fair investigation. For example, where a complaint is made against an individual, that person has the right to know who is complaining against them and what the nature of the complaint is. The College will endeavour to inform an individual complainant of the extent to which their identity is likely to be revealed at each stage of the procedure.