There are some things that you (or your representative) can do that will help us to review your complaint effectively. You may also find it helpful to read more about what you can expect from us and about how we review complaints.
Submit your complaint as soon as you can
Please get your complaint to us as soon as possible after your provider gives you your Completion of Procedures Letter. This will make it easier for us to gather information for our review. If we find that things have gone wrong, it is likely to be easier to put them right if you have brought your complaint to us promptly.
Let us know if you need help
If you are disabled or have a condition that affects your ability to communicate with us, please let us know. We can find the best way to share information with you and to communicate with you through our review. You can find information about the sort of adjustments we can make on the Do you need help with your complaint? page.
Respond to us as soon as you can
Please check your email inbox, spam and junk folders regularly to make sure you don’t miss any emails from us. We may need to ask you for information, evidence or comments when we consider your complaint. Usually the sooner you can reply, the quicker our review will progress. We will normally ask you to reply by a certain date (see more information about deadlines and extensions), but if you need more time then please let us know as soon as you can.
If we ask you for more information
Sometimes as we progress our review, we may need to ask you for more information. If we do:
- 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.
If you contact us
We hope our website gives you most of the information you need – please take a few minutes to have a look at this first. If you do need to contact us, please tell us your OIA reference number. This will help our staff to look up our records on your complaint so that they can help you. It is also helpful if you have any important information you want to talk about to hand when calling us.
Keep us informed
Please let us know about any relevant changes in your circumstances. If your contact details change, you can update these in your MyOIA account.
Please be patient
We will try to deal with your complaint as quickly as we can. But some complaints can take several months, especially if there are a lot of different issues and a lot of evidence to weigh up. If there is a reason why your complaint needs to be resolved quickly, or before a certain date, please let us know as soon as possible.
We know that making a complaint can be stressful and that you may have experienced difficult circumstances before coming to us. We hope that this guidance will help you to engage with our processes in a way that minimises any upset or frustration. We will listen to you and treat you with respect, and we ask that you treat us with respect too.
For a small number of people, the stress of bringing a complaint may lead them to behave in a way which might have an impact on our ability to carry out our work effectively. Further information about what we do in these circumstances can be found in our behaviour policy.