Good practice framework

Principles

A good complaints process

Accessibility

  • Is open to anyone who is or was recently a registered student.†
  • Is easy to navigate for students.
  • Gives students clear information about how to access advice and support.
  • Allows students to appoint a representative.
  • Is responsive to the needs of individuals.

Clarity

  • Is well signposted so that students know which process to follow.
  • Is easy to understand and gives clear information about time limits.
  • Includes clear definitions of what constitutes a complaint.
  • Includes effective record keeping.

Proportionality

  • Is flexible where a student raises issues which fall under more than one process.
  • Expects all parties to act reasonably and fairly towards each other, and to treat the processes themselves with respect.
  • Allows for the complaint to be resolved informally and as early as possible, including by mediation or conciliation where possible and appropriate.
  • Consists of three stages:
    - Early resolution at the local level
    - Formal stage
    - Review stage.

Timeliness

  • Includes time limits within which students are normally expected to submit complaints.
  • Allows for the identification of complaints which require particularly swift action.
  • Will normally be completed within 90 calendar days of the start of the formal stage.

Fairness

  • Ensures that decision-making staff are properly trained, resourced and supported, and able to approach each decision afresh.
  • Allows each party an equal opportunity to present their case.
  • Requires clear reasons to be given for decisions reached.
  • Ensures that students are not disadvantaged as a result of bringing a complaint.

Independence

  • Ensures that decisions are taken by people without actual or perceived conflicts of interest at all stages of the process.

Confidentiality

  • Ensures an appropriate level of confidentiality without disadvantage.

Improving the student experience

  • Captures learning to ensure that:
    - Decisions are made consistently.
    - Decisions are made at the appropriate level.
    - Appropriate action is taken on issues identified.
    - Information gathered is used to improve services for students and the student experience.
media
A good complaints process
Good practice framework - December 2016

 

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A good academic appeals process

Accessibility

  • Is open to anyone who is or was recently a registered student.†
  • Is easy to navigate for students.
  • Gives students clear information about how to access advice and support.
  • Allows students to appoint a representative.
  • Is responsive to the needs of individuals.

Clarity

  • Is well signposted so that students know which process to follow.
  • Is easy to understand and gives clear information about time limits.
  • Sets out the grounds upon which an academic appeal may be brought.
  • Includes effective record keeping.

Proportionality

  • Is flexible where a student raises issues which fall under more than one process.
  • Expects all parties to act reasonably and fairly towards each other, and to treat the processes themselves with respect.
  • Normally consists of two stages:
    - Formal stage
    - Review stage.

Timeliness

  • Includes time limits within which students are normally expected to submit academic appeals.
  • Allows for the identification of academic appeals which require particularly swift action.
  • Will normally be completed within 90 calendar days of the start of the formal stage.

Fairness

  • Ensures that decision-making staff are properly trained, resourced and supported, and able to approach each decision afresh.
  • Allows each party an equal opportunity to present their case.
  • Requires clear reasons to be given for decisions reached.
  • Ensures that students are not disadvantaged as a result of bringing an academic appeal.

Independence

  • Ensures that decisions are taken by people without actual or perceived conflicts of interest at all stages of the process.

Confidentiality

  • Ensures an appropriate level of confidentiality without disadvantage.

Improving the student experience

  • Captures learning to ensure that:
    - Decisions are made consistently.
    - Decisions are made at the appropriate level.
    - Appropriate action is taken on issues identified.
    - Information gathered is used to improve services for students and the student experience.
media
A good academic appeals process
Good practice framework - December 2016

 

Back to contents page

 

† Please see the glossary for definition