Apprentice Complaints Procedure

As a part of its commitment to ensuring the standard and quality of its teaching and assessment, Heritage Skills Academy has established this procedure to deal with complaints given in confidence from its apprentices and trainees.

This complaints procedure sets out the process for handling complaints concerning teaching and assessments, awarding and certification of apprentices and trainees.

Heritage Skills Academy will treat all complaints seriously and will deal with them without recrimination. Where, however, a complaint is shown to be frivolous, vexatious or motivated by malice, disciplinary action may be taken against the complainant.

First Stage: Informal

1. If candidates wish to raise a complaint they should contact Heritage Skills Academy Administration Team immediately, disclosing all relevant information, in order that the matter may be resolved speedily without need for engaging in a formal process.

2. Heritage Skills Academy has an allocated member of staff within its training provision to deal with any complaints relating to programmes of study, study materials and teaching. Any complaints concerning such matters should be directed to the training provider in the first instance.

3. Candidates will receive an acknowledgement via email within five days of complaints received by Heritage Skills Academy and can expect a reply within ten days. Where this is not possible, the complainant will be kept informed of progress.

Second Stage: Formal

4. A candidate may initiate a formal complaint by sending an email or letter stating that they are making a formal complaint. The information required to support the complaint is as follows:

  • Details of the complaint;
  • A statement of the steps already taken to try to resolve the complaint informally and why the response has not been considered to be satisfactory;
  • The form of resolution or redress sought

Formal procedures can be invoked where you feel that the informal approach has not resolved matters satisfactorily.

5. Heritage Skills Academy staff will acknowledge receipt of the formal complaint within five working days and will determine whether the complaint should be dealt with by Heritage Skills Academy or whether the complaint should more appropriately be investigated by a training partner or other relevant organisation.

6. Should any meetings take place, the complainant is allowed to be accompanied by a parent, union representative, fellow apprentice or trainee, or a member of staff from Heritage Skills Academy.

7. The Investigator will attempt resolution of the complaint by a means appropriate to its nature and circumstances.

8. It is expected that the formal procedure should normally be completed and a written response sent to the apprentice or trainee within twenty working days of receipt of the complaint. The possible outcomes at this stage include:

a) A resolution, reached in co-operation with Heritage Skills Academy

b) Provision to the candidate of information in explanation of the circumstances which led to the complaint

c) Referral of the matter to the Heritage Skills Academy Senior Management Team if the complaint raises serious or complex matters that require further investigation and enquiry

d) Dismissal of the complaint as being without foundation, with reasons given to the complainant in writing.

9. If the candidate believes that the complaint has not been handled fairly or properly, they may request a review by writing to the Operations Director of Heritage Skills Academy within ten working days of receipt of the formal response and can expect an acknowledgement in writing within five working days.

10. The request should include details of why the candidate remains dissatisfied and what resolution the candidate is seeking, and should include copies of correspondence exchanged during the preceding stages, and any other relevant papers.

11. In the course of the review, the Heritage Skills Academy Operations Director will scrutinise all relevant documentation and may decide to seek further information from the complainant or more widely. Taking account of previous decisions about the complaint, the Heritage Skills Academy Operations Director will then decide on an appropriate course of action that could include:

a) Specific action to resolve the matter

b) Referral to an external body

c) Dismissal of the complaint as being without foundation, in which case reasons will be given to the candidate in writing and there will be no further opportunity for pursuit of the complaint within Heritage Skills Academy.

The candidate should be notified of Heritage Skills Academy Operations Director’s decision within twenty working days of receipt of the request for Review.
External Organisation or Body

12. The external organisation or body will be chaired by an individual who is not involved in the original complaint or its subsequent investigations and will consider the substance of the complaint and the way in which the complaint had been handled in earlier stages.

13. Outcomes of the meeting may include:

a) The complaint is upheld, and recommendations are given relating to quality assurance or other procedural/ policy requirements and any appropriate redress to the complainant

b) The complaint is not upheld and the candidate is informed in writing with reasons for its dismissal. The candidate will be notified of the conclusions and recommendations from the external organisation or body with reasons, which will be sent in writing.

Review Date: 1st October 2019


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