Good Practice Framework: Principles

There are ten key principles that apply to all of the processes covered in the Good Practice Framework. There is some overlap between the principles and they should be taken as a whole.

Good processes are:

  • Accessible and clear
  • Fair, independent and confidential
  • Inclusive
  • Flexible, proportionate and timely

And they

  • Improve the student experience

This means:

Accessible and clear

  • It is easy to find the process, and any accompanying guidance or forms.
  • The process is published in accessible formats and can be provided in different formats when required.
  • The process is clearly set out and explained and the language used is easy to understand.
  • The process and any accompanying guidance or forms comply with the Welsh Language Standards when they apply.
  • Students understand which process to follow and when.
  • The process is easy to follow and explains who will do what, and when.
  • Students know how to get help, advice and support.
  • Students can have a representative.

Fair, independent and confidential

  • Decision-making staff are properly trained, resourced and supported, and come to each decision afresh.
  • There is an equal opportunity for those involved to present their case.
  • Information used by decision-makers is usually shared with the student. Where information can’t be shared, this is explained.
  • Clear reasons are given for decisions reached.
  • Decisions are taken by people who are seen to be free of bias and without a conflict of interests at every stage of the process.
  • Information about the student and provided by the student is kept confidential as far as possible.


  • Everyone is expected to act reasonably and kindly towards each other, and to treat the processes themselves with respect.
  • The process is designed to be supportive and barriers are identified and reduced or removed.
  • Students are not disadvantaged because they have made a complaint or challenged a decision made by the provider.
  • Students are listened to and there is recognition that every individual involved brings different experiences and can make contributions of value.

Flexible, proportionate and timely

  • There is flexibility where a student raises issues that fall under more than one process.
  • The issue can be resolved as early as possible, and informally when appropriate.
  • There are no more than three stages:
    • Early resolution at the local level, where this is possible
    • Formal stage
    • Review stage.
  • There are clear time limits for beginning the process.
  • Issues that need a particularly quick response can be identified.
  • It normally takes less than 90 calendar days to complete the process, from the start of the formal stage and students are kept informed about progress.

Improving the student experience

  • There is an open and positive culture of listening to feedback and sharing learning that encourages students to have confidence that they will be treated fairly.
  • Decisions are taken at an appropriate level and by people with appropriate training.
  • Good records are kept as part of the process and learning is captured so that decisions are made consistently and appropriate action is taken when issues are identified.
  • Information gathered is used to improve services for students and the student experience.
Good Practice Framework: Principles
PDF, 128Kb
Fframwaith Arfer Da: Egwyddorion
PDF, 149Kb

Bias and the perception of bias

Guidance on what we mean when we talk about bias.

Handling complaints and academic appeals

This section of the Good Practice Framework is a guide to handling complaints and academic appeals in higher education in England and Wales.