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Complaints

Public complaints procedure

Last updated: 12 February 2021

1. Introduction

1.1 – The University of Gloucestershire is committed to providing the highest level of service for its students and other members of the public who may have contact with the University, and it values feedback from individuals on their interactions with, and observations of, the institution.

1.2 – It is recognised that, on occasion, legitimate complaints may be raised by individuals in relation to services or facilities provided by the University. The institution takes complaints very seriously and acknowledges that lessons can be learnt from them, enabling the University to continue to improve and enhance the quality and effectiveness of its services.

2. Principles

2.1 – The principles underpinning the Public Complaints Procedure are that:

3. Confidentiality

3.1 – All information obtained within the process of the complaint will be held in accordance with Data Protection legislation.

3.2 Information about members of the public making complaints, and individuals against whom complaints are made, will be dealt with sensitively and will be kept confidential, except where the disclosure is necessary to progress the complaint or implement a decision on the complaint, or where it is required by law or in the public interest.

3.3 – In submitting a complaint the complainant understands that their complaint will be shared with the staff member responsible for conducting the investigation into the matters raised, and that the content of their complaint may need to be disclosed to relevant staff in order for the complaint to be investigated and/or resolution sought. Also, it must be understood that an individual against whom a complaint is made has the right to be made aware of any allegations and evidence against them. If there are elements of a complaint which are particularly sensitive and the member of the public has concerns about their confidentiality, they are welcome to raise this with the Governance and Secretariat Services Team at: appealsandcomplaints@glos.ac.uk, who will discuss if / how disclosure can be minimised.

3.4 – Complainants should avoid disclosing unnecessary personal information (e.g. medical conditions etc.) in their complaint unless they feel that it is relevant to the issues raised. Complainants must also avoid disclosing personal data of another person/s in their complaint unless they have been given permission by them to do so.

4. Scope of complaints covered by the Public Complaints Scheme

4.1 – The Public Complaints Procedure covers perceived injustice or hardship suffered as a result of poor service provision, bad service delivery or failure to provide a service by the University

4.2 – The Public Complaints Procedure does not extend to:

4.3 – The University reserves its rights not to investigate or take any action in relation to any complaints received anonymously or received on behalf of an anonymous complainant through a third party. Until a complainant’s identity is verified only information regarding University process and procedures will be provided.

4.4 – The University will consider complaints which are made in good faith and reserves the right to decline to consider any complaints which are merely frivolous, vexatious, defamatory, abusive and/or motivated by malice, or to enter into continuing correspondence about such complaints and reserves its rights to take any further action which it regards as appropriate in respect of such complaints.

4.5 – In the event that the University receives a group complaint, or a complaint from a member of a group, then the University requires that one person be appointed to act as correspondent and spokesperson for that group for the purposes of this procedure. Each member of the group must also demonstrate that they are affected by the issues which are the subject of the complaint and agree in writing to be represented by the appointed spokesperson.

5. Things to consider before lodging a formal complaint

5.1 – Many areas of the University have specific processes for resolving concerns and dissatisfaction quickly, which should be pursued before lodging a formal complaint. If you are unsure who to approach to try to resolve your complaint informally in the first instance, you should contact appealsandcomplaints@glos.ac.uk.

5.2 – The following should be considered before submitting a formal complaint:

6. The public complaints procedures

6.1 – To lodge a formal complaint you must:

6.2 – If the University Secretary & Registrar, or a direct member of his/her staff, is the subject of your complaint, address your complaint to the Vice Chancellor, who will arrange for an appropriate senior member of staff to handle the complaint.

6.3 – Upon receiving your Public Complaints Form, the University Secretary & Registrar will acknowledge receipt normally within 5 working days, and will make arrangements for your complaint to be investigated.

6.4 – The investigator appointed:

6.5 – The University Secretary & Registrar will normally send a formal written response to the complaint within 20 working days.

6.6 – The University will endeavour to adhere to the indicative timescales outlined within the procedure wherever possible. Should it not be possible to adhere to these timescales, all parties to the complaint will be advised accordingly

7. Possible outcomes following the public complaints procedure

7.1 – Once a formal complaint has been submitted and considered through the Public Complaints Procedure, the possible outcomes are:

8. Recording, reporting and organisational learning

8.1 – The University will record public complaints in sufficient, proportionate detail for analysis and management reporting to allow the causes of complaints to be identified, addressed and, where appropriate, for training opportunities and improvements to be introduced.

8.2 – The University will keep and dispose of records relating to public complaints in accordance with its Data Protection Policy and Records Retention Schedule.

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