The Student Complaints Procedure is used to raise concerns about services provided by the University. There are some issues that aren’t covered by the Procedure, including:
- Concerns about decisions made by the Exam Board about assessment or progress are covered by the Academic Appeals Procedure
- Allegations of student misconduct are covered by the Academic Misconduct Procedure or the Student Disciplinary Procedure
- Complaints about admissions are covered by the Admissions Policy.
Advice about the Procedure
You can obtain information about the Procedure from the University’s Quality and Enhancement Office by emailing email@example.com. You can also obtain independent advice and support from the Students’ Union Advice Centre by calling 0161 351 5400 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ordinarily, you must submit the complaint yourself. We can only look at a complaint submitted by someone else if you give written permission for another person to do so. You will need to complete a third party consent form and send this via email to email@example.com or post it to the Quality and Enhancement Office.
You can submit a joint complaint with other students provided that the names of all students who are connected to the complaint are disclosed to the University and the case is conducted through a lead contact or spokesperson. All students should complete the group complaint consent form.
You can’t submit a complaint anonymously. If you are making a complaint the providers of the service or individuals have a right to know what is being complained about and by whom. A copy of your complaint will therefore normally be provided to those who are the subject of the complaint.
Making a complaint
Stage 1 – informal complaint
We hope that most issues can be resolved either informally, that is at the first stage of our Procedure. You can raise your concerns by letter, e-mail or orally within 20 working days of the event or issues which you wish to complain about. Please provide as much information as you can to enable us to understand your concerns.
You should raise your concerns with relevant staff either in your School, or in the relevant professional service department, depending on the issue. If you are unsure who to speak to, please contact your School, the relevant department or the Quality and Enhancement Office via firstname.lastname@example.org.
The University will aim to review the issues you have raised within 10 working days.
Stage 2 – formal complaint
If the informal process fails to resolve your concerns, you can submit a formal complaint using the stage 2 student complaint form. It is important that you provide as much information as possible about your complaint and any supporting evidence. It would also be helpful if you are able to explain any actions you would like to see arising from your complaint.
Completed forms should be sent via email to email@example.com.
You need to ensure that your complaint is received by the University within 10 working days of the response provided at stage 1.
Your complaint will be acknowledged by the Quality and Enhancement Office and if your complaint has been received in time and your concerns can be reviewed through the Student Complaints Procedure, it will be sent to the relevant school or service for investigation. You will receive information about how we will investigate your complaint.
A written response will be sent to you, normally within 30 working days from the date the investigator is appointed.
If you have received the outcome of your stage 2 complaint and you are unhappy with the outcome, you can request a review of the outcome. This is the final stage in the Procedure.
The reasons or grounds on which you can seek further review are:
- That there was a procedural irregularity at stage 2 of the Student Complaints Procedure which has materially disadvantaged you, the student;
- The emergence of new and relevant evidence which, for good and reasonable cause, was not available during stage 2; or
- That evidence is available to show that the outcome reached at an earlier stage was unreasonable. In this context, unreasonable shall be taken to mean perverse, i.e. that the outcome was not a possible conclusion which a similar hearing or process of consideration might have reached.
The timescale to submit your stage 3 complaint is 10 working days from the date the letter advising you of the stage 2 complaint.
When we receive your stage 3 complaint, a senior member of staff will review your request to see if it meets of any of the valid grounds for further consideration. If your request is valid, you will be invited to attend a complaint review panel to discuss your complaint. If your request is not valid, we will write to you to explain why.
If you have followed every stage of the Complaints Procedure and you are not satisfied with the outcome, the Office of the Independent Adjudicator (OIA) which is the ombudsman for Higher Education may be able to undertake an independent review of your complaint. You will need a letter from the University which states that you have completed the University’s internal complaints procedure. Further information about the OIA’s scheme can be found at www.oiahe.org.uk.