Complaints Procedure 

Our commitment 

Community Matters strives for excellence and aims to continually improve its standards of provision. However it is recognised that sometimes learners, employers and stakeholders will feel that they have cause to complain about the service they have received. 

We will aim to put things right quickly for our customers when they go wrong by keeping our customers informed of the progress of their complaint and the results of any investigation. 

REASON FOR THE POLICY 

We are committed to resolving complaints quickly, fairly and effectively as it aims to provide a suitable learning environment that maximises the academic, social and personal opportunities for all its learners. 

Any candidates concerns about the standards of service provided by Community Matters will be treated seriously and will be used by the Company as a means to improve its provision. 

POLICY OBJECTIVES 

We seek to ensure that all complaints are dealt with seriously, fairly and consistently. To learn from each complaint to improve future performance and set performance targets for responding to complaints and monitor our performance against these targets. 

We will advise our customers of their right to appeal if they remain dissatisfied after their complaint has been through all stages of the internal Complaints Procedure. 

We will ensure that all learners, employers and stakeholders are aware of the process for making a complaint and that staff are aware of the process to be followed should a complaint arise. 

All complaints will be handled sensitively and in line with the Company’s Equality and Diversity policy. 

GROUNDS FOR COMPLAINT 

We will investigate complaints including allegations of unsatisfactory, incompetent, arbitrary or unfair treatment; not meeting a given deadline for making a decision; and non-compliance with published procedures, schemes or requirements under the Freedom of Information Act or Data Protection Act. 

These can also be categorised as:- 

Candidates 

1. Access to assessment / tutorials 

2. Process of assessment 

3. Access to internal verification 

4. The handling of an appeal 

5. Administrative issues 

Assessors/Tutors 

1. Access to support and guidance 

2. Access to internal verification 

3. Administrative issues 

4. Insufficient time to undertake the function 

Internal Quality Assurers 

1. Access to support and guidance 

2. Insufficient time to undertake the function 

We will not investigate:- 

  • • contractual disputes; 
  • • complaints that are being (or have been) considered by a court or similar body; 
  • • if the complainant has not exhausted other appeals procedures; 
  • • complaints made more than 28 days after a decision or action; 
  • • complaints considered to be vexatious or malicious. 

WHAT WE WILL DO 

We will: 

  • • be receptive to genuine expressions of dissatisfaction 
  • • deal with complaints promptly and fairly 
  • • learn from complaints and make changes where necessary 
  • • promote equality and diversity 

Where possible, we will always aim to resolve straightforward issues informally as quickly as possible without the need for a formal investigation. 

PROCEDURE 

It is in the interest of Community Matters to deal with learner comments and complaints in a prompt, efficient and courteous manner. 

1. Candidates and centre personnel to be given a copy of the complaints procedure at induction and which will also be available on our e-portfolio system. 

2. Complaints can be raised informally (e.g., via face-to-face discussion, email, or phone) with their Trainer in order to seek a quick resolution. 

3. If complaints can’t be resolved informally learners can report directly to the Quality Training Manager. All complaints addressed to the Quality Training should be in writing and preferably using a complaints form which can be found on our e-portfolio system or can be requested from the Trainer. 

3. All complaints will be recorded on the Complaints Report log within 48 hours of the issue arising by the Quality Training Manager. 

4. All complaints will be acknowledged within 48 hours of receipt. 

5. A panel, made up of the Centre Manager and Quality Training Manager, will consider the complaint within 4 weeks of receipt. 

6. We will ensure complaints are handled in a confidential manner, in compliance with GDPR and the keeping learner/apprentice data, providing a copy of GDPR Policy to learners to inform them of our approach whilst maintaining anonymity where necessary. 

NOTIFICATION 

The complainant will be given formal written notification within 48 hours of the panel’s decision. The notification will include their decision, supported by full reasoning. 

All stages and decisions will be electronically recorded and the timeframe by which we consider complaints will be officially closed. 

If the decision/resolution is not to the satisfaction of the complainant then they have the right to appeal within 28 days of the notification of the complaint outcome. Reference should be made to the appeals procedure for further information. 

QUALITY ASSURANCE 

Where a complaint is substantiated, Community Matters will take all reasonable action to prevent a reoccurrence. Complaints are logged and reviewed by the Quality Training Manager to identify trends / areas for improvement. 

DEFINITIONS 

Complaint – is when a learner, employer or stakeholder informs Exalt Training that they are not happy with something that we have done or not done, and we have not put things right. 

Candidates – is anyone who contacts Community Matters to request a service or is in receipt of a service. 

MONTIORING AND REVIEW 

The policy will be reviewed annually but will also be monitored continually through the course of a calendar year by the Quality Training Manager to spot any trends in terms of the quantity or type of complaint being received. This will allow for more substantive changes to be made without having to wait for the annual review. 

Document Control: 

Version History Version  Status  Date  Author  Summary of Changes 
2.0  Approved  18.01.21  S Forzani  Next review 18.01.21 
3.0  Approved  23.08.21  S Forzani  Next review 18.01.22 
3.0  Approved  23.08.21  S Forzani  Next review 18.01.23