Complaints & Grievance Policy
Affinity People Ltd strives for excellence in the services it offers. However, it accepts that on occasions individuals will feel the need to complain. Affinity People Ltd will ensure that a set of procedures exists to deal speedily with such complaints in a fair and equitable manner and we will treat your complaint as confidential at all times and follow our procedure to resolve in a timely manner.
The intention behind the Complaints Policy and Procedures is to:
- Improve the service it provides to learners, employers, staff members and the broader local community.
- Clarify for staff, employers and learners the procedures for handling complaints
- Ensure and encourage that the procedures are sensitive to issues of confidentiality.
- Encourage clients to seek means of resolving problems without further or more formal procedures.
- Provide where appropriate means of recording both the nature of complaints and the effectiveness of their resolutions
- Encourage a regular process of monitoring and reviewing records within the quality assurance framework.
Who can complain?
Complaints can be made by any of the client groups i.e learners, employers and staff members if and when applicable.
What Can Be Complained About?
Complaints can be made about
- Unfair coursework marking and grading.
- Complaints against other students.
- Complaints against course tutors.
- Complaints against non-academic staff i.e management.
- Complaints against unfair treatment at place of apprenticeship i.e workplace.
- Complaints against college policies and practices.
For complaints against unfair coursework marking and grading it may be appropriate to refer to the academic appeals policy and procedure.
Issues Excluded from Complaints Procedures.
There are three issues excluded from the complaint’s procedures:
- Services outside the learning Centre's control, e.g., funding criteria,
- Issues involving criminal offences.
- Matters dealt with under other procedures such as the Disciplinary Procedures
The complaint is found not to be upheld. If the complaint is found to be malicious, action may be taken against the Complaint
Possible Outcomes of Complaints
The possible outcomes are
- An apology and/or appropriate redress.
- A correction of any error.
- An improvement in services.
The Processes of a Complaint
The processes of complaints is a 3 stage process.
Monitoring and Review
We will keep confidential records for all complaints that are dealt with the numbers of these complaints and the types of issues they deal with (but not the names of the individuals or specific courses involved) will be recorded by ourselves.
Training and Support
We will ensure that all persons involved in the implementation of this policy and its procedures will have access to appropriate training and support.
It is recognised that staff who are the subject of a complaint can find it a very stressful experience support will be provided as and when appropriate.
If staff are affiliated to a recognised Trade Union they may find it helpful to discuss the matter with their representative they are entitled to via union representation during the investigation of the complaint.
For advice on the interpretation of this policy, all persons involved in the making an investigation, resolving or recording the complaints are directed to the Complaints Procedure.
For complaints the following procedure applies
Stage 1 – Informal
- If you have an issue with any persons or procedures relating to the college, please discuss the same with the appropriate person verbally outlining the nature of your concern and trying to resolve it informally. At this stage the complaint may be resolved by discussion or clarification or other suitable means applicable to the complaint rose. At this stage the complaint needs to be resolved very quickly or within a max of 5 working days.
- Affinity People Ltd however encourages that all complaints are made in writing for record purposes via The Complaints Form.
Stage 2 – Formal
- If your complaint cannot be resolved at stage 1, please notify a senior member of staff (assessor tutor, Quality Assurance Manager) within 5 days and a meeting will be arranged. Following the meeting we will write to you with the outcome and the proposed action to be taken.
- At this stage we would require the complaint with any supporting evidence to be in writing.
- We will hope to produce a response within 5 working days of the meeting; however, this could take up to a maximum of 10 days in the event meeting outcomes need to be considered. After which we will inform you of the outcome and what if any action is proposed.
Stage 3 – Final Stage
- If you are not happy about the response at stage 2 to your complaint, you may appeal the decision to the final committee which will also consist of an independent person.
- You may be accompanied by someone at this stage and evidence from stage 2 will be reconsidered.
- At this stage the complaint will need to be submitted in writing, if not previously submitted in writing.
- You will be notified of the outcome in writing within 15 working days. The decision at this stage will be final. At the end of the complaint process all records of complaints will keep in writing a safe place to ensure confidentiality and a clear audit trail.