Advice Centre

Academic Complaints

Student complaints procedure

Making a complaint:                                                                                Complaints form

A complaint is an expression of dissatisfaction by one or more students about an action or lack of action by the college, standard or service on behalf of the college.

The complaints procedure cannot be used to challenge a decision of the board of Examiners or to request mitigation circumstances.

You should raise your complaint as soon as possible, no later than15 college working days of the incident occurring. This may not always be possible, and if that’s the case, then please state on the complaint form the reason for the delay.

There are 3 stages to an appeal shown here on the flowchart. Student complaints flowchartAlso please read the procedures and any guidance in full before starting.

Stage 1 of your complaint should be an informal resolution, so try and talk to the person/s responsible. Remain calm and clear so that you can if possible resolve the issue within stage 1.

Stage 2 If the matter cannot be resolved at stage 1, then a formal complaint submission form should be completed and submitted to the academic registrar within 15 college working days of the response or non-response to your complaint. We suggest you write a draft statement first and make sure it contains all the relevant information before editing the final document.

Make sure your complaint includes all persons, time lime of events and evidence in chronological order. Don’t include irrelevant information, otherwise your main points could get lost. Describe what happened, what you tried to do to resolve the matter and what you would like to see happen next.

You could ask someone you trust to read through your statement to make sure it’s ok before you submit it. Try and submit it on time and if you need to add further information at a later stage, please add a note to explain this information will follow.

If the registrar considers that your complaint is eligible, they will pass it to an investigator.

The investigator will confirm the issues which are to be considered and begin an investigation which may include speaking with other people to help them come to understanding of the issue. They will then write a report with any recommendations they feel should follow, before given you written detail of the report and findings, normally within 10 working.(This time lime may not always be possible when evidence from other parties is needed. They may be away from college, at any time during the investigation).

Stage 3

If you remain dissatisfied with the outcome of the formal stage, you can request a review.

You can also use stage 3 to request new material information, which could not reasonably be provided any earlier.

Grounds for a review:

  • New supporting material  which couldn’t be referred to earlier
  • There’s been a procedural irregularity in the procedure
  • The outcome of stage 2 was unreasonable

You should write to the secretariat within 10 working days of the decision letter giving you the outcome of stage 2.

You must include one or more of the grounds stated above. The review stage of your complaint maybe accepted or rejected. If it is rejected, then you may be eligible to make a complaint to the OIA (Office of the Independent Adjudicator. http://www.oiahe.org.uk/

Group Complaints

The same complaint process is followed for a group complaint but you need to nominate one person to act as a representative for the whole group. This person should share all information with everyone in the group and act as the college point of contact. The college will communicate the outcome to each individual member of the group. If some of the group are not happy with the outcome, they can still take the complaint to the next stage without the rest of the original group.

The college will only accept anonymous complaints in exceptional circumstances.