Complaints Policy, Procedure and Process
The Complaints Policy
It is the policy of Norton Webb to ensure that the learning experience and the services provided meet and exceed the expectations of all stakeholders. To support this, we encourage stakeholders to complain if they feel that their expectations have not been met. Norton Webb will use a structured approach to ensure the problem is resolved in a fair and timely manner and will use this information to implement continuous improvement and promote good practice.
Norton Webb defines a complaint as 'any expression of dissatisfaction with Norton Webb which requires a formal response'.
The formal complaints procedure is intended to ensure that all complaints are handled fairly, consistently and, wherever possible, resolved to the complainant's satisfaction.
Norton Webb's responsibility will be to:
- Acknowledge the formal complaint in writing.
- Respond within a stated period of time.
- Deal reasonably and sensitively with the complaint.
- Take action where appropriate.
Norton Webb aims to resolve complaints effectively, fairly and quickly.
- Work with stakeholders to put things right if they go wrong.
- Learn from each complaint to improve and develop as a business.
- Monitor complaints to ensure they are resolved within our timescales.
- Work with stakeholders to keep them updated with the progress of their complaint and the result of any investigation.
- Advise stakeholders of the right to appeal if they feel their complaint has not been resolved.
- Respect confidentiality.
Responsibility for Action
All staff at Norton Webb are responsible for following the complaints procedure.
Apart from in exceptional circumstances, every attempt will be made to ensure that both the complainant and Norton Webb maintain confidentiality. However, the circumstances giving rise to the complaint may mean that it is not possible to maintain confidentiality.
Monitoring and Reporting
The Quality & Compliance Team will monitor the level and nature of complaints, and review the outcomes on a regular basis to ensure the effectiveness of the procedure, making changes where required. Complaints information will be shared with relevant bodies as necessary.
How To Make A Complaint
If we do not deliver the standard of service that you expect or you have a complaint, please either call 0113 2396540, email firstname.lastname@example.org or, alternatively, write to: Quality and Compliance Team, Norton Webb Limited, Kingswood House, 80 Richardshaw Lane, Pudsey, Leeds, LS28 6BN.
If the initial complaint is against the Head of Centre, then it will be referred directly to the Governing Body who will deal with the complaint and follow the complaints and appeals procedure.
You can download a copy of our printable complaints form.
The Complaints Procedure
Stage 1. Concern heard by Staff Member
If a concern is reported to a Norton Webb member of staff, we will:
- Attempt to resolve the matter informally.
- Refer to the Quality and Compliance team if unable to resolve informally.
Stage 2. Complaint received by Quality & Compliance Team
Upon receipt, we will:
- Acknowledge the complaint within 5 working days.
- Investigate the complaint within 10 working days.
- Issue a final response letter with the outcome of investigation within 20 working days.
- Update the internal complaints log.
- Offer escalation to Stage 3 if dissatisfied.
The person investigating the complaint will:
- Take ownership for the complaint.
- Keep a detailed and comprehensive record of all stages of investigation.
- Identify the nature of the complaint and review what remains unresolved.
- Clarify what the complainant feels would put things right.
- Establish what has happened so far, and who has been involved.
- Contact all relevant parties to gain a rounded picture of events.
- Collate any evidence.
- Seek advice and guidance from other services or external sources when needed.
- If more time is needed, contact the complainant and explain why and when they can expect a response.
There are various ways in which a complaint can be resolved. It might be sufficient to acknowledge that the complaint is valid in whole or in part. Complainants will always be encouraged to state what actions/outcomes they feel might resolve the problem at any point.
If the complaint has been upheld, it may be appropriate to offer one or more of the following:
- An apology.
- An explanation.
- An admission that the situation could have been handled differently or better.
- An explanation of the steps that have been taken to ensure that it will not happen again.
- An undertaking to review policies in light of the complaint.
- A change to current practices.
- Reimbursement of fees or costs.
Upon Completion of the Complaints Process
The person investigating the complaint will issue the final response letter detailing the outcomes that have been agreed to meet the issues raised. Details of the appeals process will also be provided within the letter.
Stage 3. Appeal to Head of Centre
If the complaint is closed but remains unresolved at Stage 2, the complainant has the right to appeal. This must be raised by the complainant within 10 working days of the date on the final response letter.
The Head of Centre or Deputy will respond within 10 working days and arrange an appropriate time to meet with the complainant to discuss their appeal.
If the complaint was investigated by the Head of Centre, the Governing Body will conduct the Appeal Hearing.
The conclusion of the appeal is the final stage of Norton Webb's procedure. If the appeal is concluded but remains unresolved at Stage 3, there may be external routes to pursue a complaint.
The Role of the Appeal
The appeal's role is to check that the correct procedure has been followed and that the decision made was fair and considered.
The person conducting the appeal can:
- Dismiss the complaint in whole or in part.
- Uphold the complaint in whole or in part.
- Decide on the appropriate action to be taken to resolve the complaint.
- Recommend changes to systems or procedures to ensure that problems of a similar nature do not recur.
Notification of the Appeal Hearing Decision
The Head of Centre or Deputy must ensure that the complainant is notified in writing of their decision, and the reasons for the decision, within 10 working days of receipt.
The letter will explain that if the complainant is still dissatisfied, they may have the right to escalate their complaint to an external body and any relevant contact details will be provided.
Stage 4. Appeal to External Body
If the appeal is closed but remains unresolved at Stage 3, there may be external routes to pursue a complaint. These include the Awarding Body of the qualification, End Point Assessment Organisation, Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation (OFQUAL) or Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA).
Complaints procedures for government funding and Ofqual can be found:
- Education & Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) - Email: email@example.com or Website: www.gov.uk/government/organisations/education-and-skills-funding-agency
- Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation (OFQUAL) - Email: firstname.lastname@example.org or Website: www.gov.uk/government/organisations/ofqual/about/complaints-procedure
Managing and Recording Complaints
The Quality & Compliance Team will be responsible for the retention of complaints records.
Quality Assurance Review
The Quality & Compliance Team will monitor the level and nature of complaints, and review the outcomes on a regular basis to ensure the effectiveness of the procedure, making changes where necessary. Complaints information will be shared with relevant bodies as required.
As well as addressing an individual's complaints, the process of listening to and resolving complaints will contribute to continuous improvement. When individual complaints are heard, the Quality and Compliance Team may identify underlying issues that need to be addressed in other areas or across the company.
The complaints procedure will be reviewed annually, unless trends or issues require this to be conducted sooner.
Publicising the Procedure
The complaints procedure will be shared and publicised through:
- Course Handbooks
- This page on the Norton Webb Website
Full printable version of the Norton Webb's complaints policy and procedure.