Complaints and Grievance Procedure
Basis of these procedures
These procedures seek to ensure that complaints against L.I.T.S. Ltd. made by learners are treated seriously and, if found to be valid, are acted upon to ensure that the learners’ interests are protected as far as it is possible for the company to do so.
Specific procedures exist already for dealing with the following matters. These are:
• alleged harassment;
• unfair assessment decisions;
• alleged inequality of opportunity.
The procedures detailed below are designed for all other forms of learner complaints which do not fall within one of the above procedures.
The guiding principles of these procedures are that complaints shall be:
• treated seriously and with fairness;
• dealt with quickly and simply
• treated consistently;
• progressed through two stages – an informal stage and, if necessary, a formal stage;
• dealt with and resolved wherever possible, at the informal stage;
In order to be considered, any learner complaint must be submitted no more than six calendar months after the event or problem relating to the complaint.
Informal Stage: In the first instance if you wish to make a complaint you should discuss it with your Assessor.
Reference to these general complaints procedures should only be necessary in exceptional circumstances since most complaints, other than ones related to persistent problems, should be resolved informally.
The member of staff consulted shall decide whether these procedures are appropriate and discuss your complaint fully with you and – with your consent – anyone else involved, to see if it can be resolved informally. This may involve referral of the complaint to a third party. The outcome of complaints dealt with informally should be briefly documented. Normally, complaints handled through Informal Stage shall be dealt with within, at most, 10 working days, briefly documented, and a copy of the outcome sent to you. If the member of staff believes that these procedures are not appropriate but that the complaint requires a hearing, the matter will be referred to the Internal Quality Assurer (IQA) at the L.I.T.S. London Office – 01689 897620.
Formal Stage: If you are dissatisfied with the result of Informal Stage, you should send your complaint in writing to the Internal Quality Assurer (IQA) within 10 working days of the completion of the Informal stage. The Internal Quality Assurer (IQA) will investigate the complaint fully and shall seek to achieve a formal resolution of the problem(s), either by correspondence or through discussion with you as soon as possible.
The Internal Quality Assurer (IQA), having fully investigated the complaint over a period not normally exceeding 10 working days from its receipt, shall decide whether:
the complaint should be progressed through other procedures (e.g. disciplinary procedures or other procedures indicated above) in which case the complaint shall be terminated at this stage;
there is reasonable justification for the complaint;
there is no reasonable justification for the complaint.
The Internal Quality Assurer (IQA) shall:
make the final decision known in writing to the learner and to members of staff or other learners involved;
seek to resolve any justifiable complaint through recommendations which all parties involved in the complaint shall be invited to accept; and shall,
if the recommendations are agreed, take steps to ensure that they are implemented in full within the agreed time period.
If the learner is not satisfied with the decision at the conclusion of the Formal stage or if the recommendations made at this stage are not implemented, they may appeal to the Quality Manager at the L.I.T.S. London Office. The learner shall submit the appeal in writing within 10 working days of receiving the outcome of the Formal Stage.
The Quality Manager shall:
acknowledge its receipt within three working days;
inform the Internal Quality Assurer (IQA) that an appeal has been received;
decide to enforce the implementation of the recommendations made at the end of the Formal stage;
dismiss the case, giving reasons in writing;
seek agreement to an alternative set of recommendations.