Complaints, Comments & Compliments

  • Complaints, Comments & Compliments

Furness College is committed to improving its services and welcomes suggestions for improving them.

Purpose and Scope

Furness College and Barrow Sixth Form College recognise their duties under the Data Protection Act and this policy outlines the responsibilities of the Data Controller and members of staff.

As part of this commitment to this improvement there is a complaints procedure which is described below.

A complaint can be received by anyone who obtains a service from the College, as a student or otherwise, or who is affected by the College’s activities.

Any expression of dissatisfaction about the standards of service or the actions of the College or its staff which affect individual learners, clients or groups of them. (There are separate appeals procedures relating to course and examination assessment for students.  Information about these can be obtained from Course Tutors or Student Services).

To provide balanced approach to the views of service users, comments and compliments are also covered by this policy.

Policy Statement

If at all possible, a complaint should be made directly and as soon as possible to the person responsible for the course or service or to their immediate manager, so that any misunderstandings or minor problems can be resolved without delay. If this is not considered appropriate, or the outcome is not satisfactory, a more formal complaint can be made by completing the complaint form, handing it to Reception or returning it to the Deputy Principal. Alternatively complaints can be made via email to the Deputy Principal: mark.nicholson@furness.ac.uk

If a complaint is anonymous, made by a phone call or through social media, the Deputy Principal will make the decision whether to treat it as formal complaint or whether to direct it to another manager through the informal process. For anonymous complaints it will not be possible to follow the complaint procedure.

The complaint will be investigated by the Deputy Principal, or another responsible person nominated by the Principal, who will attempt to resolve the matter in a way that is satisfactory to the person who is making the complaint. An acknowledgement will normally be sent within 2 working days of receiving the complaint.  Under normal circumstances the complaint will be resolved within 15 working days and a response letter will be sent to the complainant.  If we are unable to resolve the complaint within 15 working days a letter will normally be sent to the complainant informing them the reason for the delay and the progress made to date.

If the complaint results in action being taken which falls under one of the other college policies and procedures, then a final response will be sent to the complainant when the process has been completed.

If the complainant is not satisfied with the outcome s/he may complain to the Principal for consideration and then the Skills Funding Agency or Education Funding Agency if unsatisfied with the final outcome.  Students on a higher education course can contact their Partner University if unsatisfied with the outcome, as long as the College’s internal procedures have been exhausted.  HE students have a right of access to the OIA (Office of the Independent Adjudicator), as long as the provider’s internal procedures and Partner University’s procedures have been exhausted.

Learners who have undertaken a NEBOSH course delivered by Furness College, should follow the Furness College complaints procedure; if there is then dissatisfaction with the outcome of the complaint the learner can escalate their complaint to NEBOSH. At conclusion of the NEBOSH complaints process, if the NEBOSH qualification is accredited by SQA Accreditation and the assessment took place within the UK, the student may also seek regulatory advice from SQA Accreditation.

Compliments and comments will generally be dealt with through informal processes.

The Deputy Principal will keep records of complaints, compliments and comments and their associated actions and outcomes. These records will be monitored by the Learner Experience Sub-Committee of the Board of Governors.  Any trends that are identified as a result of reporting through the college senior team and governors will be shared with mangers across the college and actions put in place to prevent future recurrence.

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