Timing of appeals
109 Students should be allowed to appeal the outcome of their request for additional consideration. The provider’s procedures should make clear whether the student can appeal immediately after being notified of the outcome of their request, or whether they can only appeal after the exam board has met to decide their results. Deadlines for appeal should be made clear and the procedures should signpost students to sources of advice and support.
110 The procedures should also make clear whether late requests for additional consideration should be made under the additional consideration process, or whether the student should submit an academic appeal.
Grounds for appeal
111 Students should have the right to appeal if their request for additional consideration has been rejected, or if they are unhappy with the outcome put in place in response to an upheld request. The procedures should set out clearly the permissible grounds for appeal, which might include:
- That the procedures were not followed properly;
- That the decision reached, or the outcome, was unreasonable;
- That the provider did not consider the request properly, for example, it overlooked relevant information that the student included;
- That the provider did not give reasons for its decision;
- That the student has new material evidence that they were unable, for good reason, to provide earlier in the process;
- That there was a reasonable perception of bias during the process.
112 Providers will normally consider appeals against decisions taken on requests for additional consideration under their academic appeals procedure. We have published good practice guidance on Handling complaints and academic appeals.
Independent external review (OIA)
113 If the provider dismisses the student’s appeal and subsequent request for review, it should tell the student its decision in writing and issue a Completion of Procedures Letter as soon as possible and within 28 days. This should include a clear explanation of the reasons for the decision. This will help the student decide whether to pursue the matter further.
114 The decision should also tell the student about:
- Their right to submit a complaint to the OIA for review;
- The time limit for doing so;
- Where and how to access advice and support.
115 The time limit for bringing a complaint to the OIA is 12 months. It is good practice to draw the student’s attention to any factors of which the provider is aware which mean that it is particularly important for the student to bring the matter to the OIA promptly, for instance because the course is being discontinued.