1The Good Practice Framework: handling complaints and academic appeals, sets out core principles that are relevant to all higher education providers which are members of the OIA. They are: accessibility; clarity; proportionality; timeliness; fairness; independence; confidentiality; and improving the student experience. The Framework also sets out good practice guidance on the structure of complaints and academic appeals procedures, including the number and format of stages in each process. Providers should refer to the main Framework for guidance on those issues.
2Many providers in England and Wales provide learning opportunities in collaboration with one or more other providers or awarding organisations, in the UK or overseas. Where providers are working together, the principles of timeliness and proportionality are particularly important: students should not have to wait longer or go through unnecessary procedural stages simply because more than one provider is involved.
3This section of the Good Practice Framework outlines additional good practice guidance for providers to consider when handling complaints and academic appeals in the context of delivering learning opportunities in higher education with others.
4This guidance considers domestic arrangements, where the providers and/or awarding bodies involved are in England or Wales, and transnational arrangements. Sometimes all of the providers involved in the arrangement are members of the OIA Scheme, but this is not always the case. Where the provider was brought into membership of the OIA Scheme by the Consumer Rights Act 2015, reference to “students” means students studying on a higher education course who may complain to the OIA.
5This guidance complements the “expectations” and “indicators” set out in the QAA UK Quality Code for Higher Education (the "QAA UK Quality Code"), in particular Chapter B9 (Academic Appeals and Student Complaints) and Chapter B10 (Managing Higher Education Provision with Others).
6There are many types of collaborative arrangement and new models of delivery are likely to emerge which will present new challenges. This guidance provides an operational framework for providers working with others to deliver higher education provision; it does not set out prescriptive guidelines for every type of arrangement.
This guidance does not cover every type of arrangement. For example, where a provider hires general rooms from another organisation within which to hold examinations, such an arrangement would not fall within this guidance. Such arrangements do not fall within the scope of Chapter B10 of the QAA UK Quality Code either.
7This guidance focuses upon handling complaints and academic appeals. Other issues arising in the context of delivering learning opportunities with others, for example issues arising from disciplinary procedures and issues specific to research students, will be the subject of separate guidance.