AGENDA: This session will help us understand the procedures our students can access to raise complaints and grievances. Needless to say it is important for every staff member to be thoroughly aware of how these procedures work. We will look at:
- What is a complaint? Who should deal with them?
- What makes a good complaints procedure?
- What is our 3 step process?
- What if students are still dissatisfied after internal procedures are exhausted?
- Dealing with complaints against staff
- Best practices, Do’s and Don'ts
In particular, we will discuss the importance of dealing with complaints properly at the early resolution stage (informal).
A Higher Education White Paper* published by UK’s Dept for BIS (June 2011), notes that: ‘Early resolution of complaints is an important goal for all parties. A lengthy process benefits no-one, it can undermine the relationship between the student and their institution and consumes resource from the student, the institution and the OIA’. New research by Watson et al (2016)** confirms that ‘The time it takes to deal with complaints and the emotional cost of dealing with them has a considerable impact on the staff concerned. For students the emotional toll that both raising a complaint and following it through institutional procedures is concerning.’
Anecdotal evidence seems to suggest that there is considerable diversity across various units across our campus in relation to the approach to early resolution of student complaints – and this is in-line with broader finding of the OIA. This workshop will try to address these topics and help develop a common understanding and best-practice sharing.
This session will be particularly relevant to all heads of programmes (CPCs), all heads of professional services (managers) and most of our faculty members as well as administrative teams.