The College is committed to delivering a high quality service and encourages its users to tell it where there is cause for concern and a case for improvement.
At the same time it is expected that in raising possible issues of complaint, Learners will have observed their obligations as members of the College, through meeting their course commitments and a level of general behaviour that accords with College regulations and reasonable consideration for others.
Other users will be expected to have observed an acceptable level of behaviour and consideration for others.
We aim to handle complaints in a way that:
Is fair and efficient
Treats complaints with seriousness, sympathy and confidentiality
Facilitates early resolution
Allows the College or a particular section to benefit from the experience
How to Complain
This procedure outlines a number of simple routes to be used by any learner or user depending on the seriousness of the complaint. The following list indicates examples of the type of complaint covered by this procedure:
Misinformation about your course
Poor teaching or supervision
The behaviour of a member of staff
The behaviour of another learner
A failing in a College service
Do remember that complaints will not always produce the outcome you are looking for. For instance, policy decisions or resourcing beyond the College's control may affect the level of service provided.
However, whatever the decision, we undertake to inform you of the result of a complaint and the reasons for it.
If you have an issue which is not about the College’s services or teaching but instead relates to a more sensitive and personal issue such as harassment, you can refer to the College's separate procedures on equal opportunities which sets out what action you can take. Copies are available in Learner Services and on the website. Alternatively you can contact the College counsellor who will talk with you in confidence, you can then decide how to proceed.
The College Guarantee
If you have a concern, do not hesitate to raise it. We would like to hear from you as early as possible to resolve the problem and to put things right for the future.
We welcome your views and suggestions. We will monitor all comments and complaints, treat them seriously and follow our procedures and timescales. We will always endeavour to continuously improve our service.
If we do something really well, we want to know, but if something goes wrong, it is of equal importance that we are told. We would welcome your feedback - simply print off the form above (pdf), fill in and return to Learner Services.
The Complaints Procedure
Complaints of a minor nature should be raised immediately with the member of staff responsible with the aim of resolving the problem directly and informally. It is anticipated that the vast majority of complaints will be resolved in this way. If you are on a course or programme managed by Kidderminster College Training (KCT), you can approach the College Training Officer/Co-ordinator.
We also have a number of learner representatives in place who serve on the Learner Development Committee and on the Equal Opportunities Committee. They can be approached about an issue of general concern to a number of learners. Our feeling is that the majority of complaints/issues/problems are capable of being resolved at Stage 1 within a target of 10 working days.
For users of the College that are not learners, you may approach the member of staff concerned, alternatively follow Stage 2 of these procedures.
Stage 1 will generally be an oral process any staff involved will be encouraged to share the experience where the effectiveness of the section could benefit. If you are still not satisfied with the response to your complaint, you should use stage 2 of the procedure outlined below.
The College appreciates that there may be occasions where the above process is inappropriate and that a more formal approach is necessary.
Where it has not been possible to resolve matters to your satisfaction under Stage 1, you should write to the Learner Services Manager. This can be by letter or by using the College's Complaints, Compliments and Comments Form which is available from Learner Services or from the website.
Your complaint must be specific and comprehensively documented. You should present full details, including your name and address, any relevant documentation, and dates, locations and witnesses as appropriate. You should also detail any previous unsuccessful attempts at resolution. Finally, you should state what reasonable steps should be taken to resolve the complaint.
The Learner Services Manager will then approach the relevant lecturer, course co-ordinator, personal tutor, training officer/co-ordinator or service manager on your behalf to try to facilitate the resolution of your complaint.
You should expect to receive an acknowledgement from the Learner Services Manager of your written complaint within 10 working days. It is our aim that most complaints under Stage 2 should be resolved within 28 days. You will be informed if there is likely to be any delay in the process.
The Learner Services Manager will notify you in writing of the result of your complaint and the reasons for the decision. If your complaint is about the Learner Services Manager, you can approach the Principal who will designate another manager to try to resolve the issue.
If the complaint remains unresolved under Stage 2 to your satisfaction, you can write directly to the Principal. Please provide full details of your concern in your letter which will be acknowledged prior to an investigation. Normally you will receive a full response within 10 working days.
If despite the best efforts of managers and the Principal you still remain concerned, you can ask the College Governors (via the Clerk to the Governors) to investigate your complaint. However, you must have the followed stages 1-3 above before doing so.
If you remain unhappy, there may be a final right of complaint to the Learning & Skills Council or the Higher Education Funding Council and Learner Services will give you full information about how to proceed. Kidderminster College Training (KCT) learners may have the right of appeal to the Connexions Service.