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Complaints Procedure As a student you can raise a complaint to the University on a number of issues, including service provision, course delivery and concerns of inappropriate behaviour of staff members. You should, in the first instance, immediately raise the issue informally to the person responsible for that area either verbally or in writing (any verbal conversations should be followed up on writing). This member of staff will then investigate and get back to you as quickly as possible. Any collective course related complaints should in the first instance be raised with the course team immediately. If the issue is not satisfactorily resolved, it should be raised at the next staff-student consultative committee. Following this investigation they may advise you to submit a stage 1 complaint and you can also raise a stage 1 complaint if you feel that the matter has not been satisfactorily resolved at this informal level.

Stage 1 Complaint Stage 1 formal complaints should be submitted in writing within 20 working days of the incident or the date of the last contact of the informal investigation. This complaint will need to be sent to the student complaints co-ordinator of that faculty/department. In your written complaint you should include the following; •

Your name and contact details

Any reasonable adjustments that you require due to a disability

Clear details of what you are complaining about

Detail of any informal complaint and discussions

Attach any supporting evidence

Details of the outcome you would like from making a complaint Once the complaint has been received and acknowledged by the student complaints co-ordinator, they will normally complete their investigations within 15 working days* of receipt of the complaint. The investigation may include an invitation to a meeting with the student complaints coordinator, details of your complaint and letter being disclosed to staff that are required to provide responses including staff who you have mentioned in your complaint.


Following the investigation the student complaint co-ordinator may decide to uphold the complaint in part, full or dismiss it. If your complaint is upheld in full or part, examples of resolutions that maybe offered include; •

An apology

Payment/refund of any costs incurred by the student

An ex-gratia payment

Request that current policy/procedure is revised If your complaint is submitted out of time without a good reason for it being so, your complaint will be dismissed and you will be issued with a completion of procedures letter (Please see section regarding OIA) Payments due to the student will normally be paid within 20 working days of acceptance of the offer. Any acceptance of a financial offer is normally considered to be a full and final settlement of your case and therefore you will not be able to take your complaint further. Any complaint is partially or fully upheld regarding staff conduct, disciplinary or remedial action will be carried out in accordance to the staff procedures. Stage 2 Complaint If you believe that the stage 1 response was unreasonable or that here has been a failure during the stage 1 investigation, you may submit a stage 2 complaint. A stage 2 complaint is submitted to the Student Affairs Office/Human Resources (If regarding staff conduct) who review the investigation undertaken at the stage 1. To submit a stage 2 complaint you have 10 working days from the stage 1 outcome and will need to send the following;

A letter explaining why you feel the stage 1 outcome was unreasonable and or why you consider there was a failure in the investigation. You will also need to provide details of what your preferred outcome is.

Your stage 1 complaint letter (including all evidence)

The stage 1 outcome letter Once the stage 2 complaint has been received and acknowledged, Student Affairs Office/Human Resources have 20 working days* to issue you a report with its findings and whether they are upholding your complaint in full, part or dismissing it. If fully or partially upheld, examples of resolutions that maybe offered include but are not limited to;

An apology

Payment/refund of any costs incurred by the student

An ex-gratia payment


Request that current policy/procedure is revised If your stage 2 complaint is submitted out of time without a good reason for it being so, your complaint will be dismissed and you will be issued with a completion of procedures letter (Please see section regarding OIA) Payments due to the student will normally be paid within 20 working days of acceptance of the offer. Any acceptance of a financial offer is normally considered to be a full and final settlement of your case and therefore you will not be able to take your complaint further. Any complaint is partially or fully upheld regarding staff conduct, disciplinary or remedial action will be carried out in accordance to the staff procedures and human resources Stage 3 Complaint You may appeal the decision of the stage 2 appeal and this will need to be put in writing to the University Secretary within 10 working days of the date of the stage 2 outcome. However your appeal needs to fall under one or more of the following grounds;

There were procedural irregularities in the stage 2 review

Based on the evidence at the time, the outcome is perverse (i.e. the outcome is grossly inconsistent with the evidence presented)

New information at the University Secretary’s department considers relevant and not could not be presented earlier. This may result in a referral back to stage 2 of the process for further consideration. Unfortunately dissatisfaction of the stage 2 outcome does not constitute grounds for appeal. Your stage 3 appeal needs to include the following

A letter of appeal including the grounds of appeal and the reasons why they are relevant, and your preferred outcome

A copy of the stage 1 complaint and evidence

A copy of the stage 1 outcome

A copy of the stage 2 letter

A copy of the stage 2 outcome Once the stage 3 appeal has been received and acknowledged, the University Secretary will review the case and determine whether the appeal relates to one or more of the grounds. If the University Secretary decides that there are no grounds for appeal or it is submitted out of time with no good reason, then you will be issued with a completion of procedures letter from the University (Please see section on OIA).


If you do have grounds for appeal then a complaints appeal committee will be convened. This committee is convened within 30 working days of receipt of the appeal and will consist of the following members of staff who have had no exposure to the complaint previously; •

A senior member of staff (As Chair)

KUSU representative

A senior academic or a manager of a professional grade The University Secretary will act as the clerk to the panel. The Appeal Committee will consider the following documentation and this will be circulated to the Complaint Appeal Committee, the student and Student Affairs/Human Resources no less than 5 working days before the Appeal Committee meets;

Stage 1 complaint and any supporting evidence

Stage 1 outcome

Stage 2 complaint

Stage 2 outcome

Letter of appeal

Written response to appeal from Student Affairs/Human Resources investigator The Appeal Committee will look at the grounds for appeal and seek clarification on points from you and the Student Affairs/Human Resources representative. You will also have the opportunity to raise any issues that you do not heel have been adequately addressed so far. The Appeal Committee will then meet in private to make a recommendation to the Vice Chancellor who will make the final decision. They can either decide to;

Uphold the appeal in full or in part and, if appropriate, make recommendations to the Vice-Chancellor regarding resolution of the complaint. This may include remedies to prevent a recurrence of such events; Dismiss the appeal The Vice Chancellor then will make his final decision and write to you within 10 working days of receipt of the Appeal Committee recommendations. If the appeal is dismissed, you will be sent a completion of procedures letter (please see section on the OIA). If the appeal is upheld in full or in part, you will be offered a resolution which you can decide to accept or reject within a stipulated time frame. Acceptance of an offer is normally considered full and final settlement of your case and you will not be able to take your complaint further. If you decide to reject the


offer or do not respond with the time frame set, you will be issued with a completion of procedures letter and you can, if you wish, progress your complaint further to the OIA (Please see the OIA section) A full copy of the students complaint procedure can be found here. If you would like help with making a complaint and would like to speak to an advisor, please contact an advisor atsusupport@kingston.ac.uk or 0208 417 2947

*Occasionally, a long time scale is required to complete the investigation and you will be advised if this is to happen.

Complaints Procedure  

Complaints procedure policy for KUSU (Kingston University Students' Union

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