Academic Complaints

Student complaints procedure

Making a complaint through the complaints form

There are 3 stages to a complaint. Ordinance E3 - Student Complaints (Sept 2018)‌‌ [pdf] Forms Complaints form [doc]

Stage 1:

You can email the person/s involved in your complaint and ask for an informal meeting -local resolution. You should normally do this within 15 working days of the issue arising. This may not always be possible due to the ongoing nature of the issue.

In your email state:

  • What the meeting is about
  • The impact your current issue is having on you.
  • What you have done so far to try and resolve the matter
  • How you’d like it resolved the issue/what outcome you would like
  • Why, if necessary, other resolutions options have not or may not be acceptable

 After the meeting, you should be provided with a response within 10 working days.

The response should be copied to a complaints specific email to inform you of the next step(s) and timeframes which can take longer depending on the nature or complexity of the complaint.

Stage Two – Formal Stage  

A stage 2 complaint is normally sent within 10 working days of the stage 1 outcome. This is not always possible as correspondence by both parties may still be continuing in different ways. It’s therefore best to explain why it might be late. Additionally you can send a stage 2 complaint on time, by first emailing the department; informing them of your intention to take matters further from their last response. The complaint form must be used for stage 2. The address to send the complaint to is on the form. The academic registrar can look at it and investigate the matter using the evidence you provide. This could take time as this stage often involves contacting other parties. You can escalate your complaint to a stage two, if you’re not satisfied with the stage 1 outcome. A stage 2 formal complaint form, along with supporting documentary evidence and your desired outcome should also specified in this stage. If the nature of the complaint is considered highly sensitive, submit details of the complaint marked “Sensitive” and for the consideration of the complaint investigator only or the academic registrar.

Stage Three – Review

If you’re not satisfied with the outcome at stage 2, then request a review. You should write to the secretariat within 10 working days of the decision letter giving you the outcome of stage 2.

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

If stage 3  review is rejected, then you may want to make a complaint, outside of college and ask the OIA to investigate. Complaint to the OIA - Office of the Independent Adjudicator.

OIA (Office of the Independent Adjudicator)
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.