Stage 2: Complaint to the Student Appeals and Conduct Officer
When an issue concerning service failure or an issue that has affected the quality of a student’s experience has not been resolved at local level to the satisfaction of the individual or group concerned, they may make a formal complaint to the Student Appeals and Conduct Officer.
The complaint must be made in writing using the form provided for this purpose which is available from this website.
If a complainant has not tried to resolve their complaint in the faculty or department concerned it will be referred to the relevant senior colleague for consideration.
Complaints to the Student Appeals and Conduct Officer must be made within one month of receiving the response from the local manager who considered the issue at Stage 1. The Student Appeals and Conduct Officer may dismiss complaints made after this time; in making such decisions the Student Appeals and Conduct Officer will check whether there are valid reasons for the complaint being submitted outside the published time limits. In such (time related) circumstances the Student Appeals and Conduct Officer’s decision is final and not subject to review by any other university body. The complainant may, however, be eligible to take their case to the Office of the Independent Adjudicator for Higher Education, see section on external review.
In all other circumstances the Student Appeals and Conduct Officer will act according to the responsibilities outlined below.
All complaints to the Student Appeals and Conduct Officer must be made in writing on the form provided for this purpose. In making a formal complaint a complainant has a responsibility to:
- Seek resolution at local level first
- Explain what steps they have taken to resolve their complaint at local level
- Be clear, accurate and truthful in their explanation
- Indicate what might be a satisfactory resolution for them
- Respect the legal, regulatory, financial and other constraints placed on the university
- Provide evidence, where appropriate, to substantiate any issues raised in the complaint
Student Appeals and Conduct Officer's responsibilities
The Student Appeals and Conduct Officer acts as a point of contact for the complainant and endeavours to ensure a satisfactory resolution for all parties. The procedure is not prescriptive about the ways in which this should be achieved. Such flexibility is intended to encourage a wide range of non-adversarial routes to resolution.
The Student Appeals and Conduct Officer:
- Acknowledges receipt of each complaint (normally within three working days)
- Attempts to resolve or make a formal response to the complaint within 20 working days
- Undertakes an investigation into the complaint, liaising with senior colleagues where appropriate
- Keeps all parties informed of progress
- Maintains a case file and auditable records
- Advises the complainant, in writing, of the decision, the reasons for reaching the decision and any proposed resolution
- Will provide the complainant with a copy of all documentary evidence used in reaching his/her decision
- Informs the Director of Student and Academic Services of progress in cases which are sufficiently serious as to be brought to the attention of a member of the university’s Executive Board
- Provides management information for the for the Board of Governors, Executive Board and Directors/Heads of Department as necessary