Procedure – How to Complain
If you have concerns about any of your experiences with Apex Skills Training, please follow the procedure below in communicating your concerns so that AST can support you in achieving a satisfactory resolution to your complaint and respond appropriately.
Stage 1 – Informal Procedure
Apex Skills Training anticipates that the majority of concerns raised can be resolved at an early stage through informal discussion. This is referred to in this policy as ‘stage 1 – informal procedure’.
Therefore, if a concern arises, the first step is to bring it to the attention of the relevant staff member and discuss it with them. It should be noted that a written record or response to issues raised at this early stage would not normally be made if both parties feel satisfied with the outcome.
For current students, in the first instance, please discuss the matter with the person(s) concerned. For example, your Group Tutor, Academic Support Mentor, Subject Tutor or Assessor. Other staff members may also be able to help you with your complaint at this stage. If you are not a current student, please speak to reception staff, or Student Services who will be able to advise you.
For employers, in the first instance, please raise your concerns with your designated tutor, assessor or Business Development Advisor.
All other stakeholders, in the first instance please contact a member of reception staff or Student Services. You may be contacted by the Quality Team to ensure that you are satisfied that your concern has been dealt with to your satisfaction.
If the issue remains unresolved, a formal complaint should be instigated through the Centre complaints procedure – see Stage 2 Formal Complaints.
Stage 2 – Formal Complaints
If your concerns are not resolved informally at stage 1, you may wish to make a formal complaint. Formal complaints should normally be made in writing and a complaint form is available to help you do this. Complaints can also be made by letter or email.
Complaint forms can be obtained from Reception. Alternatively, you may prefer to write a letter. Letters should be addressed to Apex Skills Training, 534-536 High Street North, London, E12 6QN. If you would like to email your complaint, please email email@example.com. If you need help in completing the complaints form or writing a letter, a member of staff will be able to help.
Formal complaints are forwarded to the Quality Team and are overseen by the Academic manager. All complaints will be acknowledged in writing within 3 working days of the complaint being received. The investigating lead assigned to deal with the complaint will be named in the letter. You will also be given a date when you may expect to receive a response which is usually within our agreed service standard of 15 days from receipt of the complaint.
The Quality Team to the assigned investigating lead who will take full responsibility for investigating the matter will forward the complaint details. In order to facilitate a full investigation, the complaint may be shared with individuals named or implicated within the complaint.
The findings of the investigation will be considered and the Quality and Standards Officer will provide a response to the complaint within 15 working days where it is not possible to provide a formal response within 15 working days, the complainant will be informed of the reason for the delay, and kept informed of the progress of the investigation. The Quality and Standards Officer will continuously monitor the complaint and the matter will be closed on the complaint system only when the issue has been resolved or at the end of stage 2. Access to the confidential file will be restricted.
Stage 3 – Appeals
Most complaints are resolved promptly and amicably and result in service improvements, however, should the complainant wish to appeal against the outcomes of Stage 2, formal complaint, they should submit this appeal in writing, within 10 days of the stage 2 outcome to: Apex Skills Training, 534-536 High Street North, London, E12 6QN.
The Centre will acknowledge receipt, review the documentation, the investigation and the resolution to come to a judgement on the validity of the appeal.
The possible judgements are:
- Appeal rejected – the original resolution will be pursued
- The appeal is upheld – the centre will propose and alternative solution to the appellant. Following the outcome of the appeals stage, a formal response will be sent to the complainant within 20 working days of receipt of the appeal.
Stage 4 – Final Stage
Appeal to the Director If the original complaint has not been resolved to your satisfaction, you may take your complaint to the Director. The Director’s decision is final and any resolution that the Director proposes will be implemented. The Director will respond within 20 working days of receipt of a stage 4 appeal. This is the final stage of Apex Skills Training complaints procedure.
Formal Complaints – External Resolution
If a complainant is not satisfied with the outcome of the stage 3 process, they have the opportunity to appeal to the relevant external body.
If the complaint relates to a Further Education course funded by the Education and Skills Funding Agency and the above complaints and appeals procedure has been exhausted, the complainant can contact the Education and Skills Funding Agency within three months of the complaint decision using the contact details below: firstname.lastname@example.org Or via: The Complaints Team, Education and Skills Funding Agency, Cheylesmore House, Quinton Road, Coventry, CV1 2WT.