How to complain to us
To bring a complaint to us, you need to submit a completed OIA Complaint Form within 12 months of the date of the provider’s final decision (usually the date of the Completion of Procedures Letter), and you will normally need to send us your Completion of Procedures Letter along with a copy of the final decision you received.
First, check to see whether you can complain to us.
If you are ready to submit your complaint, the easiest and most secure way to do this is through MyOIA.
MyOIA is our secure online portal where you can:
- Submit a complaint
- Track the progress of a complaint
- Change your contact details.
If you have any questions about MyOIA, please go to the MyOIA Help page.
OIA Complaint Form
You can submit a Complaint Form through MyOIA, or you can download the form and email or post it to us (if you post it to us, please keep proof of posting). Please submit your Complaint Form to us as soon as you can, and make sure you are submitting it within the 12-month deadline.
If your complaint is about industrial (strike) action by staff at your provider, you may find it helpful to read the information we have published for students before you submit a complaint.
When filling in our Complaint Form, please refer to the guidance notes included with the form.
- Please set out your complaint as clearly and concisely as possible.
- Explain what you think the provider has done wrong and why you are unhappy with its final decision.
- Only include relevant background information on the form. We will ask for more information if we need it.
- Tell us what you would like done about your complaint. It’s important to be realistic in what you ask for. You may find it helpful to read more about our approach to putting things right.
- Don’t include personal information about other people unless you have their permission.
- Make sure you sign the Complaint Form.
Completion of Procedures Letter
We will normally need a Completion of Procedures Letter, which the provider will send you once you have completed its complaints or appeals procedures. This letter, usually labelled as a Completion of Procedures Letter, will set out the issues that have been considered, the provider’s final decision and the deadline for bringing a complaint to us. In exceptional circumstances, we may look at a complaint where the internal complaints or appeals procedures have not been completed.
Please note: You do not need to send in any other documents. We will ask your provider to send us all the information we need, and we will share that information with you so that you can comment on it. If we do need anything further from you, we will ask you for it.
Checklist for submitting a complaint
- Have you completed and signed our Complaint Form?
- Have you included a copy of the Completion of Procedures Letter?
- Are you submitting your Complaint Form in time? We must receive it in our office within 12 months of the date of Completion of Procedures Letter.
- Please don’t send us personal information about other people unless you have their permission.
- If you send information in paper form, please don’t send us originals of important documents (eg an actual degree certificate). Electronic copies or photocopies are better.
- We will normally send all the information you give us to your provider. If you are sending us any information that you don’t want us to share with your provider, please make sure you clearly identify what parts you would like us to keep confidential, and explain why. We will consider your reasons, but we won’t normally use information in reaching our decision on a case that has not been shared with both you and your provider.
- We deal with complaints as quickly as we can, but it can take a number of months to complete our reviews. If you think your complaint needs to be resolved especially quickly, or before a certain date, please let us know as soon as possible and explain why. Please see What you can expect from us for more information.
Once we receive your complaint, we will write to you (or your representative) to let you know we have got it. The next step is for us to decide if the complaint is one we think we can look at under our Rules, and to write to you and your provider to let you know. Please see What happens when a student complains to us? for more information on this and how we review cases.
There are also things that you can do to help us review your complaint effectively.