LSC Complaints Procedures

The College will respond to any dissatisfaction with its services appropriately, promptly and positively, in which: -

 

1. An initial response will be made within 21 working days. A further, more detailed response will be made if appropriate. Information on how to take the complaint further will be provided if you are not satisfied with the college's response.

2. That every attempt should be made, in the first instance, to resolve a complaint informally, through prompt, direct and sensible dialogue between those immediately concerned.

3. That, in cases where the seriousness of the complaint or a failure to resolve the complaint at the informal stage demands the use of further action, a formal stage of the procedure will be provided.

 

Who might use this policy?

 

Students, parents, employers, local residents, contractors, employees and others might potentially experience dissatisfaction.

 

Responsibilities for implementing the policy

 

All staff have a responsibility for receiving complaints, treating them seriously and dealing with them promptly and appropriately, in accordance with the procedures stated.

 

Managers and Programme Managers have a responsibility to contribute towards an investigation into a complaint when it is considered appropriate. Directors have a responsibility to take a lead role in dealing with complaints and for overseeing the process to a satisfactory conclusion.

The Principal is responsible for dealing with complaints, which have reached the formal stage and might become involved, informally, in dealing with other complaints. The Principal also has a responsibility to keep a record of all formal complaints and the college’s response, and to report annually to the Board of Directors.

The Board of Directors is responsible for ensuring that the complaints policy and procedures are operating effectively, and for monitoring formal complaints against the college. The Board of Directors might also become involved if a complaint is directly against the Principal, or where there is an appeal against a college response to a complaint.

Procedures for Implementing the Complaints Policy

Complaints by Students

 

Stage 1: Informal Stage


 

 

 

 

 

Students should normally in the first instance identify their dissatisfaction informally to an appropriate member of staff (usually their Course Tutor/Internal Assessors or Internal Verifiers. The complaint must be raised as soon as possible and in any case not later than six weeks after the reason for the complaint.

If the member of staff is unable to resolve the issue, it will be referred to the Programme Manager.  The Programme Manager will refer to any other relevant senior members of staff and a decision will be taken about which Programme Manager should take the lead role in dealing with the complaint. Other relevant Managers or Team Leaders/Co-coordinators such as Internal Assessors and Verifiers will be involved as required in dealing with the complaint. The Principal or other senior members of staff might become informally involved if necessary.

If the complaint is about a particular member of staff and reaches a Director or Principal it is a requirement that the member of staff (as well as any manager directly in line between the Director and the member of staff) is made fully aware of the complaint and identity of complainant as soon as possible, except in exceptional circumstances which will always be communicated to the Principal.

 

Complaints made directly to the Principal will, in the first instance, follow the procedures for all informal (Stage 1) complaints.

The person dealing with the complaint will investigate it and will make one of the following decisions:

a. Dismiss it.

b. Suggest an amicable settlement.

c. Find some or all of the complaint justified and makes an apology and takes appropriate steps to avoid a similar problem from arising in the future.

d. Find the case to be sufficiently serious to warrant direct referral to the formal stage

e. If the issue cannot be resolved by the informal method or the complaint is deemed sufficiently serious, the formal stage will begin.

 

Stage 2: Formal Stage

Formal complaints should always be made in writing to the Principal or Programme Manager if
the Principal is not available, except where that complaint is made directly against the Principal
in which case it should be put in writing to the Chair of Board of Directors . The letter will state
the reasons for the complaint and why, if appropriate, it was unable to be resolved at the informal
stage 1.

The Principal or Chair of Board of Directors will investigate the complaint and will make one of the following decisions:

a. Dismiss it.

b. Suggest an amicable settlement.

c. Find some or all of the complaint justified and makes an apology and takes appropriate steps to avoid a similar problem arising in the future.

Complaints by Staff

Stage 1: Informal Stage


 

 

 

 

 

Staff should normally identify their dissatisfaction informally to their Line Manager in the first instance though direct informal access to the Principal or other relevant senior members of staff if wished or required.

 

If the line management sequence is not followed, the Principal or other senior member of staff who has been approached will normally make the Line Manager and any other managers in direct line aware of the complaint as soon as possible.  If the Line Manager is unable to resolve the issue, it will be referred up the line management system in an appropriate way, involving the Principal informally if necessary. The complaint must be raised as soon as possible and in any case no later than six weeks after the reason for the complaint.

Stage 2: Formal Stage

If the issue cannot be resolved by this method, the formal stage will begin, using the appropriate procedure as described below -

It should be noted that the first two stages of the formal Grievance Procedure overlap with the informal procedure described above, but that a grievance which progresses to or beyond the third stage of the Grievance Procedure is defined as formal.

 

The Grievance Procedure should be followed for all formal general complaints.

 

Complaints by Others

 

Stage 1: Informal Stage

It is difficult to devise a procedure for this diverse group, but the basic principles remain the same. Those who are dissatisfied should identify their dissatisfaction to an appropriate member of staff in the first instance, though direct informal access to the Principal or other relevant senior member of staff is available if wished or required.

 

A verbal complaint which is received by college reception either directly or by telephone will be
immediately referred to the Principal or, if unavailable, any Director. Immediate action will be
taken if appropriate. All such complaints will be notified to the Principal who will maintain the
overview if the member of staff is unable to resolve the issue, it will be referred up the line
management system in an appropriate way, involving the Principal informally if appropriate. The
complaint must be raised as soon as possible and in any case no later than six weeks after the
reason for the complaint.

The person dealing with the complaint will investigate it and will make one of the following decisions:

 

a. Dismiss it.

b. Suggest an amicable settlement.

c. Find some or all of the complaint justified and makes an apology and takes appropriate.

d. steps to avoid a similar problem arising in the future.

e. Find the case to be sufficiently serious to warrant direct referral to the formal stage

f. If the issue cannot be resolved by the informal method or the complaint is deemed sufficiently serious, the formal stage will begin.


 

 

 

 

 

 

Stage 2: Formal Stage

Formal complaints should always be made in writing to the Principal (DirectorofStudies/Vice Principal  ifPrincipal  isnotavailable), except where the complaint is made directly against the Principal in which case it should be put in writing to the Chair of the Board of Directors. The letter will state the reasons for the complaint and why, if appropriate, it was unable to be resolved at the informal stage 1.

Response-time to Complaints

All complaints, whether informal or formal, will be dealt with as quickly as possible. In the case of formal complaints to the Principal and informal complaints which are received directly by any member of the Board of Directors, the college commits itself to an initial response in writing within 10 working days in term time, followed by a further, more detailed response, if appropriate.

 

Appeals are not possible for complaints if -

a. They fall outside the areas set out above, for example matters not relating to education such as planning issues or cases of noise and disturbance.

b. There is a more appropriate form of complaint or redress, for example a complaint to an examinations board.

c. The issue is subject to legal proceedings.

 

The appeal panel will normally consist of up to 3 independent members of the College and will not involve the Chair if she/he has already been involved at the formal stage 2.

The Principal (or delegate alternate) and the appellant both have the right to be accompanied or represented by a "friend". If the friend is a legal representative, the college should be informed of this before the panel meets.

Unless agreed otherwise by the appellant and the college, 10 days notice of the appeal hearing should be given.

 

Each party will be given the right to make a statement and ask questions. The decision of the appeal panel is binding on all parties, who must be informed of the outcome as soon as possible and certainly in writing within 5 working days of the hearing.

 

 

Taking a Complaint Further

Only after all college procedures have been exhausted, can certain types of complaints be taken to the Awarding Body and other local Learning and Skills Council or the Secretary of State for Education and Employment. This only applies to complaints about the quality of teaching, guidance, assessment, resources or accommodation, health and safety concerns, or about the college behaving unreasonably or not doing its job properly as described above.

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Contact Us

You can contact us at any time on:

Tel: 020 83122381
Email: info@lscareer.co.uk

 

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