Contextual complaints data

During 2018 we brought together a group of providers for a pilot project to collect data on the number of formal complaints and academic appeals they had recorded. We will be rolling this out more widely in 2020, on a voluntary basis.

Image of a piece of paper with a bar chart on.

Why do we want to collect this data?

Data on formal complaints and academic appeals can provide meaningful context for the complaints data we already hold, and can be useful in enabling providers to compare their own data with that of other providers. It builds on the information already included in our Annual Statements. The Statements show the number of Completion of Procedures Letters providers have issued, the number of complaints we have received, the outcome of those complaints, and how all of this compares with providers of a similar size, but don’t currently tell us how many complaints and appeals students are actually making. The additional information would give a fuller picture, which we think would be useful for providers and the sector more widely as well as for us.

Around 20 providers shared their internal data with us in the pilot project. We saw from this that different providers record this kind of data differently, which means that analysing the results is not always easy, but the information is still valuable.

What will we collect?

We have decided to invite all our member providers to give us information in 2020 about the number of formal and review stage complaints and academic appeals they received in 2019. This will be on an entirely voluntary basis. We will also give providers the option of sharing information about other internal processes such as disciplinary cases, and about the outcomes of their internal processes. We are aiming to make the data collection process as easy as possible, and providers will be able to decide what information they would like to share with us. Learn more about what this means for OIA Points of Contact.

What will we do with the data?

We will analyse the data we receive to see if we can identify any trends or anomalies. This will inform our forward planning, including our outreach programme. We might want to explore some data in more detail – for example if we see that a provider has a very high number of academic appeals but very few of them go to the review stage. Once we have enough data we will share it on an anonymous basis with those who have sent us their own data, so that providers can also make use of it.