COMPLAINTS POLICY AND PROCEDURE
- Glass and Fenestration Training Solutions Ltd (henceforth known as GFTS) seeks to maintain high standards in its provision of courses, services and facilities to students. GFTS has established its student’s complaints procedures to deal with the legitimate complaints from students in a fair, prompt and efficient manner.
- All complaints will be dealt with without recrimination and no student will be disadvantaged by lodging a complaint. Complaints will be investigated objectively. Anonymous complaints will not be accepted.
- Complaints will be dealt with constructively and the student will be informed of the outcome. Where a complaint is upheld, GFTS will make an appropriate response including taking any necessary corrective action. Means of redress include an explanation of actions taken or planned and written or oral apologies. If a complaint is not upheld the student will be informed personally of the reason(s) for that decision.
- All complaints will be dealt with in confidence with the proviso that any person about whom a complaint is made shall be supplied with a copy of the complaint. A student may be asked to attend an interview with the member of staff investigating his/her complaint. If a complaint results in disciplinary action being taken against an individual, the complainant may be asked to give evidence at a disciplinary hearing.
- A record of all complains received from students and the means of resolution will be kept by the Quality Manager and will be reported annually to the company board as part of the company’s monitoring and quality assurance processes. No information that will identify any individual will be available within the report.
- A student may seek independent advice from any source prior to lodging his/her complaint. They may also be accompanied by another student or representative in any meeting that takes place in connection with their complaint.
Scope of the Complaints Procedure
- This procedure is designed to deal with complaints arising from:
- provision (or lack or provision) of academic services described in company handbooks including teaching, course content, support for learning
- incorrect or misleading information about academic or non-academic services provide by the Company
- provision or lack of provision of Company non-academic services described in literature published by the Company
- Unacceptable behaviour of Company staff.
- The student complaints procedure does not cover the following:
- any matters relating to examination and assessment procedures or academic appeals
- disciplinary issues
- admissions procedures prior to enrolment as a student of the company
- complaints about the behaviour of other students
- This procedure applies to all students of GFTS undertaking a course of study operated by the company. Students undertaking programmes with other institutions or organisations, which are franchised, accredited or approved by GFTS, should use the procedures that are in place in that institution or organisation.
Stage 1: Informal resolution of complaints
- Most complaints will be resolved informally by an appropriate member of staff, such as an office manager or course tutor. The complaint may be made orally or in writing, normally within ten working days of the incident or action from which the complaint arises.
- The member of staff to whom the complaint is made will investigate the complaint and make a response to the student orally or in writing, usually within five working days of receiving the complaint.
- If the student is dissatisfied with the response s/he receives from this informal procedure, then s/he should follow the procedures described in the general complaints procedure below.
Stage 2: General complaints procedure
- A complaint under this procedure should be made to the Quality Manager, normally within twenty working days of the incident or action from which the complaint arises. The following details must be provided:
- a full statement of the complaint
- brief details of the steps already taken to resolve the complaint
- reasons for the student’s dissatisfaction with the attempts to resolve the complaint
- a copy (not original documents) of any documentary evidence the student wishes to submit
- the student’s name and course dates
The complaint should be addressed to the Quality Manager, and either sent by post or handed in to the reception desk at the same address.
- The Quality Manager will acknowledge receipt of the complaint within 5 working days and forward the complaint to the appropriate person (normally a manager or Quality Manager) who will investigate the complaint using the information provided by the student in his/her written statement of the complaint and reply in writing to the student within ten working days of the complaint being received by the company. Where the complaint concerns the action of a manager or Quality Manager, the matter shall be passed to the manager or Quality Manager’s line manager. GFTS will strive to achieve full resolution within 21 days of receipt. Where further time is required, the complainant will be notified in writing with a full explanation.
- If the student is dissatisfied with the written response s/he has received the student should notify the Quality Manager in writing within ten working days of the date of the response s/he was sent stating in full the reasons why s/he remains dissatisfied
- The Quality Manager will then forward the paperwork concerning the student’s continued dissatisfaction with the response to the person who provided the response.
- This person will conduct a follow-up investigation dealing specifically with the issues raised regarding the student’s dissatisfaction with their initial response, and reply in writing to the student within fifteen working days of receipt of the student’s letter by the Quality Manager.
Stage 3: Final stage of formal complaints procedure
- If the student remains dissatisfied with the proposed formal resolution of the complaint, the student may make a formal complaint. In this case the student should write to the Director within ten working days of the date of the letter with the proposed formal resolution. The student should set out the grounds for the original complaint, the responses made in the preceding stages and why s/he remains dissatisfied.
- The Director will acknowledge receipt of the letter within five working days. S/he will nominate a senior officer who has no prior involvement in the matter to investigate it and report back to the Director within fifteen working days. The Director may either confirm or rescind any earlier decision made in the light of this report. The Director’s decision will be final and will be communicated to the student in writing.
Review of the handling of a complaint
- If a student has reason to believe that his/her complaint has not been handed fairly, objectively or in accordance with the procedures described above, s/her should write to the Quality Manager setting out his/her reasons. On the instruction of the Quality Manager, the Director will appoint a company official to act as Ombudsman and review the handling of the complaint in light of the student’s written statement and report in writing to the Director within fifteen working days. The Director may either confirm or rescind any earlier decision made in the light of this report.
- The Director will send a written reply to the student within twenty one working days of receiving the request for the review of the handling of the complaint.
- Dissatisfaction with the outcome of a complaint will not constitute in itself grounds for a review.
- Following review, there will be no further opportunity to pursue the complaint within the Company.
- Should the investigation of complaints reveal information which appears to show that staff have acted in breach of Company policies or regulations, the matter will be investigated through the relevant disciplinary procedures.
- This includes, but does not limit to, assault or threatening behaviour, victimisation, sexual harassment or abuse, racist, sexist, homophobic or anti-disabled activity or behaviour, actions likely to cause injury or threaten safety and unauthorised disclosure of confidential information.
- In these procedures a working day is any day when the company’s offices are normally open. This excludes Saturdays, Sundays, all Bank Holidays and any other designated periods of closure.
- Time limits set out in the procedures are intended timetables and should be adhered to. However, this may not always be practicable, for example where the investigation of a complaint requires an interview with a member of staff who may be on leave or ill. Where this is the case, the student will be informed in writing within the time stipulated above and provided with a revised time scale for completion of the investigation and communication of the outcome to the student.
The member of staff responsible for investigating a complaint at any stage described in the procedures may request the complainant to attend an interview as part of the investigative procedure. The member of staff will agree a date, time and location with the student and confirm this in writing. The complainant has the right to be accompanied by a friend or representative and must give notification in advance of the meeting of the name of the person who will be accompanying them at the interview. Any member of staff involved in the complaint who is also to attend the interview must be identified in advance to the complainant. The member of staff may also be accompanied by a representative.