Complaint Policy

ITEC NORTH EAST

 

COMPLAINTS

 

POLICY AND PROCEDURE

 

AUGUST 2019

 

 

POLICY STATEMENT

 

 

ITEC NE strives and is committed professionalism and to providing quality of services in all that we do.  However, if we fall short of providing this for our learners, employers or other customers or stakeholders, this policy and its relating procedure can be invoked in order to resolve any complaint.

 

This policy seeks to provide a means for those circumstances, to ensure that we provide a timely and fair means of investigating and resolving all complaints and to support good relations between all parties involved in a complaint.

 

Importantly, the policy seeks to ensure that we learn and develop as an outcome of any complaints.

 

All complaints will be dealt with in accordance with our published complaints Procedure which, by design, enables thorough, fair and timely investigation of all complaints, by a person of appropriate seniority who is not the subject of the complaint.

 

SCOPE OF THE POLICY

 

This policy applies to all ITEC NE customers and stakeholders.

 

ITEC NE will thoroughly investigate any complaint, whether informal or formal, relating to the day-to-day operation of ITEC NE and the standard of service we provide.

 

However, assessment decisions and examination results are addressed through the appeals procedure.

 

There are some things that we cannot investigate as complaints under this policy/procedure and they include:

 

  • Issues that should be dealt with under the company Whistleblowing Procedure
  • Disagreements relating to assessment (which should be directed to the Assessment Appeals Procedure)
  • Anonymous complaints
  • Issues of litigation or liability
  • Complaints about anything that is outside of our responsibility
  • Complaints about the outcome of a correctly executed procedure (eg disciplinary procedure)
  • Complaints relating to a matter that had occurred more than 3 months previously
  • Complaints regarding an admission decision
  • Complaints from a third party (excluding parents/carers/guardians of 14-17 year olds, or those aged 18+ with difficulties/disabilities that necessitate advocacy support, or the employer of an employee/apprentice undertaking employer-led learning with us).

 

RELATED CONTROLLED DOCUMENTS

 

  • Complaints Procedure
  • Complaints Process

 

COMPLAINTS PROCEDURE

 

Informal

 

Learners: we ask that you first endeavour to resolve a complaint informally before commencing with the Formal Complaints Procedure, by talking to your nominated Tutor and/or the Apprenticeship and Development Manager. If this is not feasible, because the complaint involves those individuals, then you can contact the Quality Manager Shaun Meek, on telephone number 01325 320052 in order to discuss your complaint.

 

Please remember that if your complaint relates to an assessment decision, it should be directed through the Assessment Appeals Procedure (available from Moodle or request a copy from your tutor).

 

If talking to your tutor (or other representative) does not resolve your complaint then you can submit a formal complaint (see below).

 

Employer, visitor or other stakeholder:  we encourage you to contact one of our management team (you can do this by contacting our receptionist and explaining the purpose of your call) who will discuss your complaint with you and seek to resolve it. Where it is not resolved to your satisfaction, you can submit a formal complaint (see below)

 

Formal 

 

If you wish to make a formal complaint, it should be submitted in writing and sent by email or post to:

 

Shaun Meek
The Quality Manager
ITEC NE Limited
The Digital Factory
Durham Way
South,
Newton Aycliffe
DL5 6XP

Email: s.meek@itecne.co.uk

 

Should you require an alternative contact (where the complaint involves the Quality Manager), complaints can be directed to:

 

Emma Booth
Head of Operations.
ITEC NE Limited
The Digital Factory
Durham Way
South,
Newton Aycliffe
DL5 6XP

Email:  e.booth@itecne.co.uk

 

Should your complaint be about a staff member that is senior to those shown above (ie the Managing Director), a complaint should be addressed to:

 

Mr Steve Bellwood (Chairman)

ITEC NE Limited
The Digital Factory
Durham Way
South,
Newton Aycliffe
DL5 6XP

 

Within your letter of complaint, please provide as much detail as possible, providing information on the subject of your complaint, the people involved, dates and times (if possible) and please refer to any relevant witnesses or documents, and indeed any other information that will help us to investigate it as thoroughly and efficiently as possible.  Please also be sure to include your contact details and the nature of your relationship with ITEC NE.  If you have a desired outcome, please also include it.

 

If you do not send your letter of complaint to the relevant contact shown above, all staff members receiving a formal letter of complaint are aware that they must forward the complaint to the Quality Manager.

 

The recipient of the complaint will then either appoint an Investigating Officer, or where the matter is deemed to concern a serious incident, will personally investigate the matter.  Investigation may include the interviewing of the complainant, the person(s) at whom the complaint is directed, any witnesses either named or uncovered and may also include the review of data and documentation.  We will be thorough in our investigations in order to ensure the fairest outcome for all parties.  The focus of the investigation will be to satisfactorily resolve the matter, identifying the causes and symptoms and upholding or rejecting the complaint for the benefit of all involved.

 

Recommendations will (normally) be provided to the Managing Director for review and approval.

 

A written acknowledgement will be sent by the recipient of the complaint within three working days, confirming the details of the Investigating Officer and the approximate timescale for a full response, and the details will be logged on the Complaints Log for checking and reporting purposes.

 

The outcome of the investigation will be sent within 15 working days of the complaint being received; or, where more substantial investigations need to take place in order to ensure a fair outcome, the Investigating Officer will write to confirm an expected date for completion and will ensure contact every 10 days until the matter is completed.

 

Following the resolution of the complaint, where corrective actions are required, the appropriate manager must complete an action plan to address the issues, to the satisfactory resolution of the Executive.

 

Appeals

 

If the complainant remains dissatisfied or aggrieved or in disagreement with the decision made, reasons given or the manner in which the matter was investigated, they may appeal against the decision. A complainant has ten working days in which to submit an appeal. The reason for the appeal must be stated in writing and sent to the Managing Director or Mr Steve Bellwood (Chairman) where the complaint related to the Managing Director.

 

An Appeal Panel consisting of two senior managers (or 2 Board members) not previously involved will review the case and reach a decision.    This decision will be final and will be issued within 15 working days of receiving the appeal.

 

Escalation to an External Agency

 

If the matter is still not resolved to your satisfaction, and where the complaint concerns a learning programme that is funded by the Education and Skills Funding Agency, you have the right to complain directly to the ESFA, at the contact details shown:

 

complaints.esfa@education.gov.uk

Or via:

The Complaints Team
Education and Skills Funding Agency
Cheylesmore House
Quinton Road
Coventry
CV1 2WT

 

Reviewing Complaints and Wider Stakeholder Feedback

 

Complaints, resulting action plans and outcomes are reviewed monthly at senior management meetings in order to ensure that we learn and continually improve, minimising the risk of future complaints and driving outstanding customer experience.

 

As part of our annual self-assessment process, we consider all feedback received during the year, including questionnaires, evaluations, letters of complaint, Incident/Complaints Log etc.

 

We use this feedback to identify areas where we can improve. Any required improvements are included in our Quality Improvement Plan.

 

Roles and Responsibilities

 

The Managing Director has overall responsibility for implementing the policy; the Board of ITEC NE has responsibility for agreeing the content of it and for ensuring any required updates to it.  The Quality Manager provides operational support to the Managing Director in the implementation of the policy and is responsible for the timely, secure and confidential storage of all information and outcomes relating to complaints.

 

Data and Confidentiality

 

Any information that you provide to ITEC NE when using the Complaints Procedure will only be used to assess your complaint. This information may be shared with the Education and Skills Funding Agency should you escalate your complaint to them. All information provided will be stored securely and will be held for 7 years. Should there be suggestions and comments provided by you, that will be useful to the ongoing improvement of our services, we will anonymise the information prior to using it for this purpose.

 

Our practice complies with the GDPR requirements for utilisation, storage and disposal of data; further information on our data protection practice can be accessed via our website at:

https://www.itecne.co.uk/privacy/

 

Access to Policy, Procedure and Process Documents

 

All learners can access this procedure, the associated policy and process, via Moodle; it is referenced in the Learner Handbook and discussed during your induction.

 

 

ITEC NE will provide information in alternative formats, on request, in order to facilitate access.

 

Quality Review

 

The policy and procedures will be updated and reviewed annually to ensure it is aligned to ITEC NE’s statutory responsibilities and guidance issued by the government.