Appeal and Complaints Policy and Procedures

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Appeal and Complaints Policy and Procedures Powered By Docstoc
					                                                         This policy is available in electronic
                                                         and other formats. Please contact
                                                         learner services on ext 308, e-mail
                                                         r.cobb@kcc.ac.uk


                         STUDENT ADMISSIONS
            APPEALS AND COMPLAINTS POLICY FOR APPLICANTS

This Policy should be read in conjunction with the accompanying Student Admissions
Appeals and Complaints Procedure and the Complaints Policy and Procedure.

Student appeals about decisions relating to admission to a course of
study
1. Rationale
This policy exists
    to protect the interests of applicants
    to ensure procedural fairness between all applicants
    to enable staff to effectively manage admissions appeals and complaints
    to provide definitions of appeals and complaints.


2. Scope
2.1 This policy applies to all applicants to the College. The accompanying procedures are
relevant to the applicants and to the staff within the College administering them. All
necessary information for applicants and College staff relating to appeals and complaints
is contained within this document.

2.2 Appeals and/or complaints should be made in writing by the applicants themselves.
Learner services staff are available to help applicants to do this. Letters and other
correspondence from other parties concerning any application will not be considered
unless the College has received written and signed authorisation from the applicant that
the third party acts on their behalf, unless the applicant is under 18 years of age. For
students of 18 years and younger, a parent or legal guardian may act as a representative.

2.3 Written correspondence concerning academic appeal should always include the
applicant’s full details including; name, address, contact details and KCC application
reference number where applicable.




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3. Roles and responsibilities
3.1 Applicants are expected to familiarise themselves with this section of the Policy before
using the Procedure and staff are asked to refer applicants to the Policy where
appropriate and if appropriate, where the complainant can get help to make their case.

3.2 These staff roles have the following responsibilities within the Appeals Procedure:
    Admissions staff
         o to provide information on the application process
         o to handle verbal complaints and try to avoid escalation to formal stage

        Admissions Manager (role of Learner Support Manager)
           o to investigate written appeals
           o to assess the validity of appeals at Stage I
           o to make a decision after discussion with the appropriate admissions tutor on
              appeals at Stage I and inform the complainant

        Admissions Tutors
           o to determine an outcome on appeals at Stage I in discussion with the
              admissions manager

        Heads of Department
           o to assess the validity of appeals at Stage II and take appropriate action
              which includes:
                   advising the Vice Principal of the reason for rejecting an appeal at
                     stage II
                   replying to the complainant with a copy to the admissions manager

        Vice Principal
            o to review the evidence where the HoD has decided to refuse an appeal.
               End of process.


3.3 Applicants will not be disadvantaged in anyway because they have used these
procedures.

3.4 Applicants are expected to treat all members of College staff with respect. Applicants
who abuse, threat or mistreat members of staff either verbally, in writing or physically will
not be tolerated and will be subject to the policy on staff safety and will have their
application and appeal/complaint automatically rejected.


4. Definitions of Appeals and Complaints
4.1 Definition of Appeals
An appeal is defined as a request for the reconsideration of a decision on an application.
The outcome of a successful request to appeal would be to reconsider the candidate’s
application with a view to changing or upholding the original decision.




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An appeal may relate to the following decisions within the application process:
    the decision to interview
    the decision to make an offer
    the content of the offer
    the decision to reject on examination or assessment results

4.2 Grounds for making an Admissions Appeal
The Appeals Procedure may only be used where there are adequate grounds for doing so
and may not be used simply because a candidate has been unsuccessful with his or her
application at any of the stages listed above. Appeals against decisions may be made on
one of the following grounds:
          o There is evidence that procedure was not followed
          o There is new evidence which has come to light, and the applicant has valid
               reasons for not previously stating it. If no good reason is given as to why
               this information was not previously available then it will not be considered.
          o There is evidence that the College has demonstrated bias or prejudice in
               the treatment of the application.

4.3 There is no provision for appeal against the academic or professional judgement of
those making the decision on applications.

4.4 The decision of the Admissions Manager or Vice Principal, on completion of the
internal procedure is final. The Learner Services are involved in this process to offer an
independent view and to help ensure that all procedures are followed appropriately and
that all applicants have been treated fairly.


5. Definition of Complaints
5.1 Complaints are defined as relating to the services offered by the College or the
actions or behaviour of a member of staff during the admissions process. They are not
an appeal against non-acceptance on the course of choice.

If a complaint were upheld the likely outcome could be a formal or informal apology or
decision to review procedures.

5.2 Grounds for making a complaint
A complaint may be made about any stage of the admissions process, where there are
adequate grounds for doing so. The Procedure may not be used simply because a
candidate has been unsuccessful with his or her application at any of the stages.

5.3 Complaints will only be considered valid if they relate to the following:
          The actions of a member of staff
          The conduct of a member of staff
          The services offered by the College.

5.4 Claims for financial compensation will not be entered into.




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5.5 Complaints should follow the agreed Kensington and Chelsea Complaints Procedure.


6. Storage of information relating to Appeals and Complaints
By signing your letter of Appeal or Complaint, you agree that the College can process
information it contains for all the purposes relating to the Appeal and Complaints
procedure for applicants and to your application to the College. Information will be stored
and processed in accordance with the College’s registration under the Data Protection
Act (1998). It may be disclosed to members of the College who have a need to see it and
will be stored as part of your application to the College.


7. Monitoring of Appeals and Complaints
The College regularly monitors the numbers and outcomes of Appeals and Complaints
and reports this to internal quality assurance forums with a view to improving customer
service. Monitoring reports will not contain any personally identifiable information.




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8. Contact details

All appeals about decisions relating to student admissions should be sent to:

Central Admissions and Student Services Manager
Kensington and Chelsea College
Wornington Centre,
London W10 5QQ



All complaints about college services should be sent to:

The Central Admissions and Student Services Manager,
Kensington and Chelsea College
Wornington Centre,
London W10 5QQ




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     HOW TO APPEAL AGAINST A DECISION ABOUT ADMISSION TO A COURSE
       & HOW TO COMPLAIN ABOUT THE ADMISSION PROCESS (SUMMARY)


APPEAL
If you believe that you meet the criteria to be selected for a course and were turned down
unfairly. You will need to write to us saying what qualifications or experience you have
and how this meets the current published selection criteria. You will need to provide
evidence to support your reasons.


COMPLAINT
If our admissions service failed to meet an adequate standard in terms of: timely and
clear information or helpful staff, you should tell us as soon as possible so that we can put
it right. If the problem is serious and cannot be resolved informally then you can write to
us as detailed in our Complaints Procedure available on our website and from receptions.

If you need help to appeal or make a formal complaint our Learner Services staff will help
you. You can contact them on 020 7573 5325 or 5245 or e-mail r.cobb@kcc.ac.uk. If
you are under 18 years of age you can ask a parent or guardian to act on your behalf.


                                    INFORMAL RESOLUTION STAGE
              You should tell admissions staff why you want to appeal a decision
              made about your application to study at the college. They will try to
              resolve the matter.


                                        FORMAL APPEAL STAGE I
              If the matter is not resolved in the way you want then you can make
              your case writing to the admissions manager. Your written appeal
              will be considered by the admissions manager and tutor. You will
              usually get a reply within 5 working days.


                                        FORMAL APPEAL STAGE II
              If you are not happy with the outcome then you can make an appeal
              to the Head of Department. S/he will consider the reasons you
              make for getting the decision of the admissions tutor changed. You
              will be told the outcome of your appeal in writing usually within 10
              working days. This decision is final.



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