Complaints and Grievances
You will be expected to ensure there is a complaints and grievances procedure in place. This should be accessible to both your learners and staff. You should also allow access to your customers and any third parties you network with. These procedures should be clear and state what exactly needs to happen and time scales from when a complaint is raised. Each and every organisation will have its own procedures which suits its needs and services. The general gist is for you to explain all the procedures a learner will need to follow when they are dissatisfied from the internal to external stage. A typical procedure might involve a learner being expected to raise an issue with their assessor first. If everything fails, then they are expected to seek audience with the internal quality assurer. If there is no resolution, then they might be expected to appeal to the Centre Manager. If their grievance remains unsolved, it might be time for the learner to seek address with your awarding body. Awarding bodies will normally only intervene when all internal procedures have been followed. They will normally not comment about your organisational procedures and system unless if they are unfair.
As already stated above, there should be grievances procedures for your staff and other parties. These will need to follow any employment procedures in place and normally does not require scrutiny from awarding bodies unless the complaint is about the quality of services. Procedures for customers and employers should follow various consumer laws in place. It is important you ensure that third parties such as employers do not interfere in the assessment and quality assurance process which could disadvantage your learners. It is important for you to ensure learners are aware of their rights and responsibilities from enrolment and throughout their period as a learner. The procedures are there to empower and be used.
Another policy which belongs to the same family as grievances is the appeals procedures. Learners should have the right to appeal against assessment decisions. You need to ensure these procedures are clear and state roles, responsibilities and timescales. It is not wise not to set a time scale appeals have to be lodged. It is very important that learners remain being supported and assisted to better understand the rational for any assessment decisions. Appeals procedures should not be used to intimidate staff and compromise the quality of assessment. Although this varies from organisation to organisation, a typical appeals procedure might require a learner to speak with their assessor first. They are then expected to appeal to the internal quality assurer if the first stage fails to bring a resolution. The learner will also have the option of appealing to the Centre Manager before the appeal is eligible to be heard externally. There might be a fee associated with any appeal directly to the awarding body.