Safe Hands First Aid Training Ltd

Complaints & Appeals Policy

Introduction

This document sets out the policy of Safe Hands First Aid Training Ltd with respect to complaints, enquiries about results, and appeals. 
We hope that delegates and others who use our services will have no cause to complain about the quality of the service or the results which they receive; but nonetheless, we will act fairly, courteously, legally and without bias or prejudice in all such matters, and those who choose to submit a complaint, enquiry about a result, or appeal will not be disadvantaged in any way by so doing.

Definitions

An enquiry about a result questions on whatever grounds, the mark awarded to a delegate or group of delegates.

A complaint records dissatisfaction with assessment procedures and processes, but does not explicitly question marks awarded.  If a complaint subsequently develops into an enquiry about a result, the matter will be treated as an enquiry about a result from that point onwards.

Customers who are dissatisfied with the outcome of a complaint or an enquiry about a result may, if they have grounds for so doing, lodge a formal appeal.  An appeal may not be lodged until an enquiry or complaint has been processed.

All communication received by Safe Hands First Aid Training Ltd concerning complaints and enquiries about results is in the first instance reviewed by the Director. Where necessary, the Director will decide, on the basis of the content of the communication, whether the communication is to be treated as a complaint or an enquiry about a result, and will co-ordinate/direct the subsequent investigations, processes and responses accordingly.

Eligibility

The following people are eligible to lodge a complaint or enquiry concerning Safe Hands First Aid Training assessments/examinations:

  • a delegate
  • where a delegate is under the age of 18, the parent / carer of the candidate
  • an employer of a delegate (if they have a vested interest in the result)
  • a member of the Awarding Organisation

Where the complaint or enquiry about a result relates to a specific assessment or examination, only those with a direct and vested interest may lodge the complaint or enquiry. For example, a person may only lodge a complaint or enquiry about a result in respect of a delegate where they have been named on the registration form for that delegate.

Complaints, enquiries about results, and appeals should be made within 28 days of the event referred to. Normally, it will not be possible to investigate satisfactorily matters which took place more than 28 days before the date of correspondence. However, in the interests of good customer service, every effort will be made to do so where possible.

Complaints

Complaints about, or related to, assessments, trainers, assessors, Centre approval, Reasonable Adjustments, Special Consideration, malpractice, and all services provided by Safe Hands First Aid Training Ltd should be made in writing to the Director, setting out in detail the nature of the complaint and the reasons for making it.

  • All complaints must be made on record; anonymous complaints will not be processed.
  • Complaints must be addressed to the Director, Safe Hands First Aid Training Ltd.
  • Complaints in respect of qualifications accredited by Ofqual may be sent directly to the Awarding Organisation ‘Qualsafe Awards’ at any stage. In this event Safe Hands First Aid Training Ltd undertakes to comply fully with any investigation undertaken by Qualsafe Awards in respect of the complaint.
  • Complaints should be submitted within 10 working days of the circumstances relating to the complaint.
  • All complaints submitted to the Director by letter will be acknowledged within 7 working days of receipt and all complaints submitted by email will be acknowledged within 2 working days of receipt.
  • Complaints will be investigated according to the procedures set out below.

Enquiries about Results

Clerical Check:

All results are clerically checked and reviewed before issue; therefore enquiries concerning their accuracy should not normally be necessary. However, delegates may apply for a further administration, data entry and monitoring check to ensure that all procedures have been carried out appropriately and that results have been accurately reported.

  • Applications for a Clerical Check should be made to Safe Hands First Aid Training Ltd within 10 working days of receiving the result(s).
  • The Director will carry out the check and respond within 10 working days.

Clerical Check and Report:

If a delegate wishes to have further information regarding the reasons for a result, a Result Enquiry Report may be requested.

  • Result Enquiry Reports are available for all FAW / EFAW / RFAW and Paediatric courses.
  • This request should be sent to Safe Hands First Aid Training Ltd within 10 working days of receiving the result.
  • The Director will acknowledge the request within 7 working days and respond within 28 working days. This will include a clerical check as above and a written report on the candidate concerned.
  • A fee may be payable for a delegate report.

Other enquiries about results:

Where communication is received which questions a result or results received, the the procedures outlined above must be followed.

Where the communication refers to results received by a group of candidates, and/or where the communication raises other substantive matters of concern, and/or if the Clerical Check procedures have already been completed, the Director may, at their sole discretion, decide to bypass the initial Clerical Check and proceed with an investigation as outlined below. In these circumstances, the Director will respond to the person raising the enquiry within 7 working days (for enquiries submitted by letter), or 2 working days (for enquiries submitted by email) indicating that a full investigation will be carried out.

  • Communication must be made on record; anonymous communication will not be processed.
  • Communication must be addressed to the Director, Safe Hands First Aid Training Ltd.

Investigations

All complaints, and (where appropriate) enquiries about results, will be investigated thoroughly, and conducted in a fair and impartial manner.

The investigation will be co-ordinated by the Director and Internal Quality Assessor, who will seek advice and input from the Awarding Body as necessary and appropriate.  Evidence will be gathered from relevant sources including trainers and assessors, together with detailed consideration of any points raised by the complainant. Where appropriate, evidence will also be gathered from statistical and/or contextual analysis of the results.

A response to all complaints and enquiries will be sent within 28 working days of receipt. The response will address all substantive points made by the complainant, as well as indicating any action to be taken as a result of the complaint or enquiry.

If the complainant is dissatisfied with the response, they may lodge an appeal, provided they have grounds for doing so.

The possible outcomes of any investigation are as follows:

  • No further action to be taken
  • An apology made and an undertaking to take the issues raised into account
  • An offer of free Result Enquiries for one or more candidates
  • An offer made to re-examine candidate(s) at no additional charge and as soon as possible.
  • In all cases detailed reasons for the conclusions arrived at will be given.

Appeals

Safe Hands First Aid Training Ltd will endeavour to resolve all complaints and enquiries about results without recourse to the formal appeals procedure; however, where progression to appeal becomes necessary, all appeals will be dealt with in an impartial and transparent manner.

An Appeal may only be lodged following the completion of either the Complaints or Enquiry procedures outlined above and where at least one of the grounds for appeal (see below) is cited.

Grounds for appeal

The appellant has grounds for appeal if s/he alleges, contends, or can provide evidence that:

  • there have been procedural or professional irregularities, bias, prejudice or lack of professional standards on the part of an assessor or member of Safe Hands First Aid Training staff;
  • there have been circumstantial irregularities, or factors outside the control of either the appellant or Safe Hands First Aid Training Ltd, which have led to an unfair or inaccurate decision having been made which disadvantages a candidate or candidates;
  • Safe Hands First Aid Training Ltd did not apply procedures consistently or procedures were not followed properly and fairly;

Appeals which are made solely on the basis of disagreement with an assessor’s professional judgement will be referred to the Internal Quality Assurer and the Awarding Organisation.

Eligibility

Only the person who made the initial complaint or enquiry about a result may lodge an appeal.

Types of appeal

  • An appeal against the response to a complaint may only be lodged where there are appropriate grounds for appeal as defined above. The appeal must be lodged within 10 working days of receipt of the response.
  • An appeal against the outcome of an enquiry about a result may only be lodged if the procedures outlined above have been completed in full, and where there are appropriate grounds for appeal as defined above. The appeal must be lodged within 10 working days of receipt of the response to the enquiry.

Submission of an appeal

Appeals must be made in writing to the Director and Internal Quality Assessor of Safe Hands First Aid Training Ltd. Receipt of the appeal will be acknowledged within 7 working days where it is sent by letter and within 2 working days where it is sent by email.

Content and form of the appeal

Communication from the appellant must:

  • clearly set out the grounds for appeal
  • include all information which the appellant wishes us to consider in the course of the investigation
  • be accompanied by any relevant documentary evidence
  • specify the action the appellant wishes us to take and/or the redress which they consider appropriate

Consideration of Appeals

  • The evidence for all appeals will be considered by the Internal Quality Assessor;
  • The person(s) investigating an appeal will not include any individual who has any personal interest in the decision being appealed;
  • Safe Hands First Aid Training Ltd aims to resolve an appeal within 40 working days of receipt of the appeal. It may, however, be necessary to extend this period in some circumstances. In this case, the appellant will be notified in writing;
  • The appellant will be notified of the outcome in writing within 7 working days of the decision being made.

Outcome of Appeals

For appeals against the outcome of an enquiry about a result, the possible outcomes are as follows:

  • the appeal is denied
  • the appeal is upheld, and an offer is made to re-examine delegates(s) at no additional charge and as soon as possible. The assessor for a re-examination will not be the assessor who conducted the original examination
  • the appeal is upheld, and an adjustment is made to the result awarded

For appeals against the response to a complaint, the possible outcomes are as follows:

  • the appeal is declined
  • the appeal is upheld, and suitable action is taken by Safe Hands First Aid Training Ltd in accordance with the nature and circumstances of the complaint and the grounds for appeal
  • in all cases, a letter will be sent to the appellant which clearly sets out the detail of the investigation, and includes a full explanation of the outcome

Depending on the nature of the appeal, and if the circumstances forming the grounds for the appeal are deemed to have also affected other candidates, action will be taken to ensure that such candidates are afforded the same treatment as the candidate who is the subject of the appeal.

Should there be no response from the appellant within 28 working days of communicating the outcome of the appeal, the appeal will be considered closed.

Where the application of the appeals process leads Safe Hands First Aid Training Ltd to discover a failure in its assessment processes, we will take all reasonable steps to:

  • identify any other learner who has been affected by this failure
  • correct, or where it cannot be corrected, mitigate as far as possible the effect of the failure; and
  • ensure that the failure does not recur in the future.

 

 Ofqual Accreditation

Where the subject of the appeal relates to a qualification accredited by Ofqual Accreditation, the appellant may progress the matter to the Awarding Organisation Qualsafe Awards.
An independent person not connected with Safe Hands First Aid Training Ltd will conduct a final review. 
The findings of this review will be final.

 

Data Protection

All communication related to complaints, enquiries and appeals will be treated with appropriate confidentiality and details will only be disclosed to those who, by virtue of their role, have a need to be informed of the nature of the enquiry and/or the outcome.

The records of any communication will be kept on file and destroyed at a time appropriate and in line with the Privacy Policy of Safe Hands First Aid Training Ltd.

Anonymous details of complaints, enquiries and appeals may be kept separately for reference at a later date in order to ensure consistency of decision making in future cases.

In accordance with the requirements of the qualifications regulators, information and records related to complaints, enquiries and appeals may be made available to the regulators on request.

 

Monitoring & Review

The procedures set out in this policy will be widely promoted and are mandatory for everyone involved in Safe Hands First Aid Training Ltd. Failure to comply with the policy and procedures will be addressed without delay and may ultimately result in dismissal/exclusion from the organisation.

We will monitor all of the feedback that we receive in relation to the issues affected by this policy and will amend the policy as necessary.

This policy will be reviewed annually as well as following:

  • changes in legislation and/or government guidance
  • as a result of any other significant change or event.

 

Dated: 18.02.2016

Next review:  February 2017