9Our Rules say that the COP Letter must comply with this Guidance Note. There is a template for COP Letters. There is a separate template for use where the student was studying for a qualification awarded by an external awarding body such as Pearson (Edexcel). Further information about our approach to handling complaints from students on this type of course can be found in section 14 (point 3) and in the Good Practice Framework: handling student complaints and academic appeals – delivering learning opportunities with others.
9.1The COP Letter should be headed as such, so it is clear to the student that they completed the internal processes.
The summary of the student’s appeal or complaint, and its outcome, may be contained in a separate document, such as a report of an appeal panel hearing, provided that this document is clearly identifiable, sets out the required information, and makes it clear that the student will receive a COP Letter imminently. The COP Letter should refer to this separate document.
Some providers incorporate the COP Letter in a letter to the student notifying them of the outcome of an investigation or an appeal. This is acceptable, provided that the COP Letter is issued promptly.
The COP Letter may be sent by email, but should include the provider’s letter heading or logo. The email should include links to our information for students “An Introduction to the OIA for Students”. The electronic version of the COP Letter must be dated.
9.2The COP Letter must state the deadline for the student to submit their complaint to us.
We must receive the student’s OIA Complaint Form no later than 12 months after the date of the COP Letter. To avoid any ambiguity, the COP Letter should state the deadline date. So, if the COP Letter is dated 1 January 2019, the letter must state that the deadline is 1 January 2020.
9.3COP Letters should explain that we are an independent review scheme and not part of the provider’s review or an appeal processes.
It is important that the provider’s regulations are clear about our role and in particular that we are independent of the provider’s processes.