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Appendix A: Proposed protocols for conduct of a university Complaints Committee meeting

The following protocols are recommended to all parties involved in a meeting of the university Complaints Committee. Any parties wishing to suggest amendments to these protocols should raise the matter with the Chair of the Committee at the beginning of the meeting.

  • All parties to the complaint come together at the beginning of the meeting.
  • The Chair ensures that all those present are introduced to each other and their roles in the meeting are made clear.
  • The Chair asks all parties to agree protocols for the conduct of the meeting.

With all parties present:

  • The Chair invites the complainant to make their case to the Committee. This may include calling witnesses.
  • The representative of the university, department or faculty against which the complaint has been made then has an opportunity to question the complainant to clarify facts of the case.
  • The Committee members then have an opportunity to question the complainant.
  • The complainant then has an opportunity to make a closing statement to clarify any facts which they feel have not been adequately explained.
  • The Chair invites the representative of the university, department or faculty against which the complaint has been made to make their case to the Committee. This may include calling witnesses.
  • The complainant then has an opportunity to question the department/faculty representative to clarify facts of the case.
  • The Committee members then have an opportunity to question the department/faculty representative.
  • The department/faculty representative then has an opportunity to make a closing statement to clarify any facts which they feel have not been adequately explained.
  • The complainant and the department/faculty representatives and their respective 'friends' (if present) are then asked to leave the room.
  • The Committee reaches a decision or defers its decision if further information is required.
  • The Committee invites all parties back into the room.
  • The Chair reports the Committee's decision and the reasons for that decision to all parties.
  • A formal notification of the Committee's decision will be issued in writing to the student