What is a Point of Contact?

We ask each provider to nominate a Point of Contact for us to deal with. Their main role as our Point of Contact is to liaise with us about individual complaints and to respond to our requests for information.

What is a Point of Contact Delegate?

We need to be able to contact providers throughout the year, including during vacations. Students can and do submit complaints to us all year round, so it’s important to make other arrangements for the times a Point of Contact will be unable to deal with us themselves. We recommend that providers also nominate a Point of Contact Delegate who will be able to help us if the Point of Contact isn't available for any reason.

Who should the Point of Contact and Point of Contact Delegate be?

A Point of Contact should have a good understanding of a provider’s internal processes.

We will need to contact them during our review to ask for information about the way the provider dealt with the case. We will also ask the Point of Contact to comment on any Recommendations we make and may want to discuss whether the provider is willing to explore resolving the case informally (settlement). It is therefore helpful if the Point of Contact can make decisions about cases, or if they work in a position where they can easily contact the relevant decision makers at the provider to discuss the case.  

We don’t specify which member of staff at a provider should act as our Point of Contact, this is for the provider to decide. However, if a student’s complaint is about the Point of Contact, we might suggest that a provider appoint a different POC to deal with that individual complaint.

The Point of Contact and Point of Contact Delegate need to be based in the UK. This is because we don’t routinely transfer personal data outside the UK, to comply with the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR), and the Data Protection Act 2018. 

If a Point of Contact needs to transfer information about a complaint including personal data outside the UK, a provider has responsibility for putting relevant safeguards in place, as the data controller.

Some providers will also appoint a Subscription Point of Contact with specific responsibility for dealing with our invoices.  At the end of each calendar year we will send an invoice for the core subscription for the following calendar year. Case fee elements are invoiced separately and are only payable where the provider exceeds its points threshold.

Information for you as our Point of Contact

Find out more about your role as our Point of Contact.

related pages

Toolkit for Providers

This toolkit is designed to help providers that are new to the OIA to understand their membership and how our Scheme works. It should also be helpful to Point of Contacts and other relevant staff at providers who are new to our Scheme

Who can complain to us?

Learn more about who can complain to us and what they can complain about.

What happens when a student complains to us?

Learn more about how we deal with complaints and what happens once a complaint is made.

Our Rules

Our Rules set out how our Scheme works, who can complain, what we can and can’t look at, how we review complaints, and what higher education providers should do.

Outreach and events

Find out more about our upcoming workshops, events, provider visits, speaking engagements and webinars.

Good Practice Framework

Guidance we publish on good practice for higher education providers.

Case summaries

View examples of cases we receive and how we resolve them. These include our public interest cases and case summaries.