The investigation of a Formal Complaint


Formal Complaint

Once the Academic Investigations team receives a complaint form, they will acknowledge receipt of your form. They will then review the content and any evidence you have submitted before advising you of what action will be taken. 

Possible action includes:

  1. Accepting your complaint and proceeding to a formal investigation;
  2. Asking you for further information;
  3. Referring your complaint to an appropriate member of staff for early resolution, if this has not already taken place;
  4. Referring you to another procedure (which may require the suspension of the complaints procedure until the other procedure is completed);
  5. Rejecting your complaint, for example if it is outside the 3 month limit without sufficient explanation for the delay. Your complaint will be closed and you will be provided with a completion of procedures letter.


Investigating Officer

Once your complaint is accepted for investigation, an Investigating Officer will be allocated from within the Academic Investigations team. The officer will undertake an independent investigation into your complaint, analysing the issues you raise, contacting the relevant departments and individuals and inviting them to respond. The officer may meet and discuss the case with other members of staff, or request documentation and/or correspondence. The officer may request a meeting with you and any other persons involved, although this is not always necessary.

The officer will compile a report which sets out the background to your complaint, the issues you have raised and an analysis of the evidence submitted by you, and obtained as part of the investigation.  The purpose of the report is to complete a thorough and impartial investigation into the circumstances of your complaint so that your complaint can be decided, and a fair outcome reached.

When the report is complete, the case will be referred to a decision maker for a decision on whether your complaint is upheld (in part or in full), or not upheld.  Depending on the complexity and nature of the case, this decision will either be made by the Director of Student and Academic Services (or their nominee), or to a complaints panel comprising a senior member of staff with a wide experience of College administration and a Students’ Union representative.  It is up to the decision maker(s) to assess whether the College has acted fairly and reasonably, and in accordance with all relevant procedures and policies


Complaint Outcome

Once a decision has been reached as to whether your complaint is upheld in whole or in part, or not upheld, the Investigating Officer will write to let you know the outcome, and any remedy or recommendations made by the decision maker. You will also receive a copy of the report and all evidence that was considered when reaching the decision. Some information may be redacted or anonymised to comply with GDPR requirements.  

If the outcome reached is that some level of financial compensation is appropriate, this will be carefully considered and an offer will be made to you which the College believes reflects the impact and seriousness of the complaint and any failings by the College. 

Please remember that your academic status cannot be altered as a result of the complaints process and academic judgement cannot be challenged.