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Complaints Policy

1. Introduction and context

CILEx Law School (CLS) is committed to delivering high quality service at all times, however we do recognise that there may be occasions when things do not go as planned. CLS values all feedback and aims to learn from any comments to help us to improve continually. CLS considers, records and acts upon all comments received and provides feedback as appropriate. CLS will handle all expressions of dissatisfaction with our service under this policy.

It is an essential principle that all CLS learners should have the opportunity to raise matters of concern without risk of being disadvantaged, discriminated against or victimised as a result of making a complaint. All complaints, whether formal or informal, will be recognised and dealt with sympathetically and constructively. Requests for confidentiality will be respected, wherever possible.

2. Objectives

This policy and procedure is intended to:
• Be simple to understand and use
• Ensure a full and fair investigation
• Provide timely and effective responses to complainants
• Respect confidentiality where appropriate
• Provide information to managers so that services can be improved.

3. Applicability

This Policy covers complaints in respect of the following CLS services:
• Information, advice and guidance
• Teaching and learning, including course resources
• Our online learning environment (the Student Area) and associated resources
• Course administration and other course-related problems

4. Issues not covered by this policy

• Academic assessment, e.g. grades and marks. These are covered by the Appeals procedure
• Bullying, harassment or discrimination. These are covered by the Anti-bullying policy.

5. Procedure

Stage 1: Informal
If you are dissatisfied with any CLS services, it is usually appropriate to raise the matter informally with a member of staff first. Explain what you are unhappy about and ask for their help in putting it right. Most problems can be resolved quickly and informally in this way. However, there may be some instances where the complaint needs to be referred to the appropriate line manager. The member of staff will tell you if this is the case.

Stage 2: Formal
If you wish to make a formal complaint, you should contact the CLS Customer Service Manager. You can do this telephone, email or letter. If you have verbally reported your complaint, you may be asked to confirm this in writing so that we can be absolutely clear about the relevant details. Where a complaint is addressed to CLS but is actually relevant to CILEx, the professional association, then we will refer the matter to them. We will tell you who at CILEx is dealing with the matter and ask them to contact you.

You will be sent an acknowledgement within three working days of receiving your complaint, although we do aim to respond on the date of receipt where possible.

Complaints will be allocated to the appropriate line manager who will investigate and respond within 10 working days, although this may take longer during holiday periods. We aim to provide a fair conclusion to all complaints within 20 working days, although again this may take longer during holiday periods.

The Managing Director is made aware of all complaints. Responses to complaints will be reviewed by the Academic Director (learner complaints) or Director of Business and Apprenticeships (employer complaints), as appropriate, and logged accordingly. The complaints log will be reviewed on a regular basis at CLS quality assurance meetings to ensure that any necessary improvements are addressed.

6. Further comments or appeal

Any comments about the way in which the complaint was dealt with, or any appeal against the findings and/or actions, should be made in writing to the CLS Managing Director, setting out the grounds for appeal, within five working days of receipt of the outcome.

In the unlikely event that the complaint has not been resolved to your satisfaction at this stage, it is possible to complain to the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA). The ESFA will not re-investigate the original complaint, but will review whether CLS has properly investigated your original complaint in line with our procedures. The ESFA not only investigate until the CLS complaints procedure has been fully exhausted.

7. Contact details for Customer Service Manager (Ruby Denton)

Email: ruby.denton@cilexlawschool.ac.uk
Tel: 01234 844310
Post: College House, Manor Drive, Kempston, Bedford MK42 7AB

8. Approval and review

This policy was approved by the CLS Senior Management Team and will be reviewed on an annual basis.

9. Associated documentation

• Quality Assurance Policy
• Teaching, Learning and Assessment Policy
• CLS Customer Service Standards
• Appeals procedure
• Anti-bullying Policy

Download complaints policy