Complaints Policy and Procedure
The purpose of this policy is to ensure that complaints are dealt with in an appropriate manner. The complaints policy and procedure is to be accessible to all.
It is our intention that all complaints are handled in a fair, consistent and timely way. This policy allows for all stakeholders to be able to log a formal or informal complaint.
Our Apprenticeship Management Team is responsible for this process, ensuring that it complies with ESFA Funding Rules, it is reviewed annually, or as and when Funding Rules or CIF are revised. The quality manager oversees the management of the process and stakeholders involved.
Scope and definition
Provision of apprenticeship is regulated by ESFA and quality assured by Ofsted, complaints procedure aligns to requirements outlined within their guidance. All apprentices, employers, parents and local partners will be made aware of the complaints procedure by a number of means for example it is embedded into our apprentice induction, within employer contracting and established on our website. Complaints are dealt with sensitively.
A complaint is defined as an oral or written expression of dissatisfaction.
Complaints concerning assessment practice will be dealt with through our appeals procedure which is aligned to awarding body requirements.
Complaints from partners will be dealt with alongside contracting terms.
It is understood that many complaints are raised informally, which should be dealt with immediately to prevent any escalation of dissatisfaction. However where this is not always possible our escalation process will look to resolve complaints to a satisfactory outcome.
Complaints will be received in a number of ways, e.g. face to face, by email, phone and can be received by any staff member, it is, therefore, important to know the correct way to deal with a complaint to ensure satisfactory resolution.
The staff member whom the complaint is made to must notify their manager by completing a complaints form. This complaint form is then emailed to the quality manager to review and assign to a manager to address. It may be that a complainant directly complains by submitting a complaint form or email to the complaints email address.
The Managing Director will assess and assign a manager or take responsibility for complaint management. The manager responsible must acknowledge the complaint within 2 working days of receiving it.
The manager will start to investigate the complaint. Where a complaint involves a member of staff the manager will work in conjunction with the Administration Director (responsible for company HR) to ensure the complaint is handled in line with internal policies and procedures.
On completion of the investigation, the manager responsible will either send a formal response in writing via email or letter or respond verbally to the complainant. Any verbal correspondence will also be confirmed in writing by email. A conclusion should be reached within 5 working days of acknowledging the complaint, this is to identify if the complainant is satisfied with the outcome of the investigation and has an acceptable resolution.
All investigation evidence and complaint details will be kept electronically.
Every complainant has the right to appeal against a decision made under this procedure. The appeal must be made within 5 working days of the complainant being informed of the decision and must be in writing. The complainant may approach any member of staff for help in formulating their appeal.
The Managing Director considering the appeal will inform all parties of their decision within 2 working days of it being reached.
The Administration Director will request an update to a complaint throughout the investigation in order to manage the process.
The Administration Director will log the complaint on the complaints log and actions taken.
The Administration Director will receive all investigation evidence and findings from the manager responsible of the complaint and ensure this is kept centrally for review.
The Administration Director will sample complaint responses to ensure they are dealt with in accordance to this policy and procedure.
The Administration Director will produce a quarterly report on the number of complaints, root cause of complaints and resolutions which will be provided to the senior management team. The Administration Director is then responsible for identifying actions and adding them to the quality improvement plan (QIP) to prevent any future complaints relating to the complaint trends.
It is the responsibility of the Apprenticeship Management Team to ensure the identify actions are addressed.
Where a complaint cannot be resolved through the internal procedure the complainant has the option to submit a complaint to the ESFA. The ESFA will not normally investigate a complaint until our internal complaints procedure has been exhausted.
ESFA complaints team can be contacted by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or in writing to Customer Service Team, Education and Skills Funding Agency, Cheylesmore House,
Quinton Road, Coventry, CV1 2WT.