3SpiritUK Complaints Policy
Date: July 2019
Reviewed By: Reginald Merritt
Reason for Review: Policy Review
Next Review: July 2020
1. POLICY STATEMENT
2. EARLY RESOLUTION
3. LOCAL STAGE
4. EXTERNAL STAGE
1. POLICY STATEMENT
1.1 This complaint policy is part of the commitment of 3SpiritUK to provide the best possible service. A complaint is an expression of dissatisfaction by one or more learners about action or lack of action by 3SpiritUK, or about the standard of service provided by or on behalf of 3SpiritUK. 3SpiritUK aims to operate a fair and transparent complaints procedure to all stakeholders. The scope of this policy covers learners, customers and associates.
Complaints will be investigated and replied to in an efficient, courteous and sympathetic manner by staff suitably qualified to investigate. 3SpiritUK considers all complaints as an opportunity to improve the service that we provide. All complaints are dealt with objectively but without prejudicing the outcome. The approach taken will be both honest and fair to both the complainant and those complained against.
1.2 Wherever possible, concerns raised by learners should be resolved informally without recourse to formal procedures. If a learner, customer or associate has a complaint about any aspect of 3SpiritUK, it should be raised with an appropriate person at the earliest opportunity. 3SpiritUK believes that all complaints should be thoroughly investigated and if appropriate, an apology given to the complainant or those complained against.
1.3 If the leaner, customer or associate is unable to resolve the complaint informally, or is dissatisfied with the outcome, this complaints procedure shall be followed. Complaints by a leaner with a registered disability about the provision of reasonable adjustments for teaching and assessment shall be given priority and dealt with urgently, in order to prevent prejudice to the learner that might be caused by any delay.
1.4 Complaints will cover general issues relating to the running of the centre and must be first resolved informally. Any complaints regarding the decisions of an external body (e.g. Awarding body) on learner’s progress, assessment or awards will be dealt with under the appeals within the Examinations Policy. Therefore, the complaints procedure involves three stages:
- Early Resolution
- Local Stage
- External Body Stage
1.5 Learners may raise complaints jointly.
1.6 Complaints must be brought promptly. 3SpiritUK will not accept complaints that are made longer than 30 days after the fact, unless there is good reason for the delay.
1.7 Any on-program learner may bring a complaint under this procedure. Any former learners may also bring a complaint under this procedure within 30 days after the fact, but only if the complaint could not reasonably have been brought while he or she was on-program.
1.8 Anonymous complaints may only be accepted at the discretion of the Centre Manager.
1.9 Complaints about the decisions of an external body (e.g. Awarding body) on a learner’s progress, assessment or awards will be dealt with in the External Stage of this procedure and will be raised under the appeals procedure within the Examinations Policy.
1.10 Claims for compensation for personal injury cannot normally be brought under this procedure but may be accepted at the discretion of the Centre Manager.
2. EARLY RESOLUTION
2.1 Initially, all involved should make every effort to resolve the matter at a local level amongst themselves through discussion and any remedies agreed. If the complaint is from a learner, this could include liaising with relevant others such as the internal moderator. If the complaint is from a customer, this might mean liaising with the trainer/ associate to establish facts as this may be a simple clarification of a misunderstanding. This attempt at resolution is more likely to be resolved if there is an atmosphere where there is no prejudice or discrimination. Therefore, it is expected that a person to whom a complaint is brought informally should seek to resolve any concerns that have been raised. If following a discussion of the concerns, or where the concerns raised involve interpersonal relationships, and where he or she considers it appropriate, he or she may recommend that a facilitated discussion takes place or that the matter is referred to mediation. Both of these are voluntary and will only take place if all parties agree. However, 3SpiritUK encourages the informal early resolution of issues through these means where appropriate.
2.2 Where appropriate, the person to whom a complaint is brought informally may refer the concerns to be dealt with under the appropriate disciplinary procedures or other relevant policy.
3. LOCAL STAGE
3.1 Where early resolution of the complaint is not possible, the learner, customer or associate may invoke the Local Stage by putting the full complaint in writing to the Centre Manager. This record of the complaint must include details of the early resolution sort, those contacted, those involved and the outcome of this stage.
3.2 The record of complaint must set out the details of the complaint and state the desired outcome. Any evidence on which the complaint is based must also be submitted.
3.3 On receipt of the complaint the Centre Manger will acknowledge receipt within 3 working days. In some cases, the Centre Manger may be able to resolve the complaint without continuing through the Local Stage.
3.4 The Centre Manger may request further information and evidence or decide to meet with the learner(s) to discuss the complaint. All those concerned will have the right to access the information regarding the complaint and to attend relevant meetings accompanied by their own choice of support which could mean learner(s) brings a friend, relative or colleague with them to any meetings.
3.5 If the matter concerns decisions of an external body (e.g. Awarding body) on a learner’s progress, assessment or awards this will be dealt with under the appeals procedure within the Examinations Policy as detailed in the External Stage of this policy and the Local Stage will no longer be followed. An informal assessment of the potential appeal must be made by the Centre Manager to ascertain if the issue can be resolved before it goes to a formal appeal. The Centre Manager will respond to all concerned within the timeframe specified in the Examinations Policy which is 10 days or less at time of this policy review. Please refer to the Examinations Policy.
3.6 Where there is an indication that the complaint will stay at the Local Stage, the Centre Manager will investigate the complaint and provide a response to all concerned, in most cases, within 21 days. This may include an adjournment if necessitated by the need for additional information; however, it is desirable that this response will be a final decision relating to the complaint.
3.7 The decision of the Centre Manager will be final. However, in special situations, the complainant may refer to the relevant external body within their statutory limitation where the matter concerns the administrative abilities of 3SpiritUK.
4. EXTERNAL STAGE
4.1 Where a complaint is received in the Local Stage and the Centre Manager has deemed this to be in regard to the decisions of an external body (e.g. Awarding body) on a learner’s progress, assessment or awards; this will be dealt with under the appeals procedure within the Examinations Policy.
4.2 Centre Manger must request, if not already received, all relevant information as laid out in the appeals procedure within the Examinations Policy.
4.3 Centre Manger will review the complaint and will write to all concerned with their decision within the time frame set under the appeals procedure as detailed in the Examinations Policy. The Centre Manager may deem there is no further action or an official Appeal may be made to the relevant Awarding Body within the time frame set under the appeals procedure as detailed in the Examinations Policy. Please refer to the Examinations Policy.
5.1 If information is to be kept confidential, the learner should make this clear to the person to whom a complaint is made. Learners should understand that in exceptional circumstances, it may be difficult for confidentiality to be respected; for instance, where a criminal offence has been disclosed. Learners should also understand that in some circumstances the demand for confidentiality may make it difficult for the 3SpiritUK to assist them with their complaint.
5.2 Records of all complaints will be held available for examination for 3 years in line with the Data Protection Policy and General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).