Complaints Procedures

1.  Overview

1.1 ITC and APPLIED FIRST AID is committed to providing an open and accountable quality service for all. One way in which we can continue to improve is by listening and responding positively to all complaints and by correcting mistakes and instigating preventative actions.

1.2 We aim to ensure that:

  1. Making a complaint is as easy as possible
  2. We deal with complaints promptly, politely, fairly, factually and confidentially [where appropriate]
  3. We deal with complaints as an expression of dissatisfaction with our services which calls for prompt response
  4. We respond in the right way, with explanation, apology or information as appropriate
  5. We review and learn from complaints, improving our service

 

1.3 We recognise that many concerns to be raised informally and dealt with quickly. However if concerns cannot be resolved informally, immediately or the matter is serious then the formal complaints policy will be followed.

1.4 Complaints regarding teaching, assessment, administration and quality assurance at APPLIED FIRST AID who offer ITC qualifications should be referred to APPLIED FIRST AID cin the first instance, who will investigate the matter following their internal complaints procedures.

1.5 If you are dissatisfied with a decision made by APPLIED FIRST AID then ITC Appeals process must be used, detailed in ITC document ‘P5 Appeals Policy’

 

2. Complaint or Appeal?

2.1 An appeal occurs when a judgement decision has been made. E.g. Candidates may appeal assessment decisions and centres may appeal external verification decisions.

2.2 Any individual or organisation that is affected by an assessment decision made by ITC First or APPLIED FIRST AID is eligible to take advantage of the appeals process.

2.3 ITC Appeals Policy [document P5], found on the home page of the ITC website, details the appeals process.

 

3Formal Complaints to ITC

3.1 This formal complaint procedure is intended to ensure all complaints are handled fairly and consistently.

3.2 A formal complaint should be instigated if informal methods did not resolve the concern.

3.3 ITC will:

  1. Respond to all formal complaints in writing within 5 working day from receipt
  2. The time period for a response that requires investigation with 3rd parties involved, being 4 weeks [20 working days].
  3. Log complaints and expressions of dis-satisfaction (Appendix 1) which will be shared with the Policy Committee for trends and appropriate actions to mitigate further occurrences
  4. Deal reasonably and sensitively to the complaint.
  5. Take action where appropriate.

3.4 The complainant should:

  1. Complain in writing. Where candidates are unable to do this and have special considerations, telephone will be considered.
  2. Use the word ‘complaint’ to avoid any misinterpretation of any comment, or other statements or correspondence received.
  3. Raise concerns and explain clearly all details, consequences as a result and the form of redress or change in operations that are sought.
  4. Complain within 8 weeks of the occurrence.

3.5 ITC will investigate the subject matter of the complaint and issues an initial reply in writing within 5 working days or 20 working days depending upon the nature of the investigation.

3.6 If the complainant is not satisfied with the response then they can write directly to the Awards Manager who will acknowledge the request within 2 working day of receipt and respond fully within 4 weeks.

3.7 Escalation Routes

It the complaint has not been resolved or if you have a complaint against the operating systems of the Awarding Body then please contact the Regulators of Qualifications in England (Ofqual), Wales (Qualifications Wales) or Scotland (SQA Accreditation).

3.8 Further Education Colleges in Scotland – Users of public bodies (inc. FE Colleges & SQA) in Scotland have the right to complain to the Scottish Public Service Ombudsman (SPSO) as the final arbiter of any complaint. The College, ITC and SQA complaints procedure must be exhausted before the SPSO will consider a complaint, and it must usually have been raised within the previous 12 months. The complaint cannot be under consideration in a court of law

Ofqual – http://www.ofqual.gov.uk/

Qualifications Wales – http://www.qualificationswales.org

SQA – http://www.sqa.org.uk/

SPSO – http://www.valuingcomplaints.org.uk

 

Appeals to APPLIED FIRST AID

1.1       Appeals

Any individual or organisation that is affected by an assessment decision made by APPLIED FIRST AID and their assessors is eligible to take advantage of the appeals process.

1.2       Candidate appeals

Appeals may be made regarding areas of concern from candidates, including but not limited to:

  • Administration and assessment errors
  • Perceived discrimination
  • Request for reasonable adjustments or special considerations
  • Failure to take into account any special circumstances
  • Decisions relating to malpractice or misconduct

Candidates are strongly recommended to informally pursue any appeal, enquiry, or grievance by making a telephone or email enquiry to APPLIED FIRST AID, before following formal systems, as many appeals can be resolved satisfactorily through these informal means.

There is a time limit for making appeals of 3 weeks from course completion.  There is a time limit of a further 3 weeks for APPLIED FIRST AID to review this appeal.  An appeal review fee is payable to APPLIED FIRST AID  (refundable if the appeal is upheld).

Disagreement with an assessment judgement is not normally grounds for an appeal. APPLIED FIRST AID assessors follow strict criteria when making their assessment decisions in accordance with ITC assessment specifications.

Appeals generally fall into the following broad categories:

  1. Administration error – perhaps a mistake in recording results.
  2. Assessment error – perhaps using criteria other than those specified in the qualification.
  3. Discrimination – the method of assessment was not fair and reasonable under the circumstances, or the assessor was biased or prejudiced.
  4. Decisions regarding reasonable adjustments and special considerations

 

1.3       Specific point of contact

Ask for            JOY Martin Wild Rose Cottage Church Walk Lode Cambridge CB25 9EX 01223 811132

1.4       Summary of appeals process

The full appeals process is summarised below. It is anticipated that most queries will be resolved informally by APPLIED FIRST AID with a minimum of delay.

  1. Clarification of the original decision
  2. Informal dialogue to review the context and criteria of the decision.
  3. If informal methods are unsuccessful then a formal appeals in writing can be initiated by the affected individual.
  4. APPLIED FIRST AID to contact and discuss the assessment decision with the course assessor and review all available and relevant evidence.
  5. Reference may be made to ITC First for guidance, if specialist expertise is required.
  6. Appellant informed of decision and any subsequent actions by the Centre.
  7. Where the decision is over turned the affected individual will be informed.
  8. Where the decision remains unchanged or the affected individual is dissatisfied, the candidate may refer directly to ITC First using their Appeals Procedure that is available as a download from the website or by request to the ITC Office.
  9. All candidates have the right to escalate their appeal to the external regulators of the qualification they are enrolled upon. If candidates are not satisfied with how their appeal has been handled by ITC First then the appeal can be escalated to the appropriate external national regulator Ofqual, WG or SQA.

Ofqual – www.ofqual.gov.uk

SQA – www.sqa.org.uk

Note:  Regulators will scrutinise APPLIED FIRST AID and ITC First against their published procedures.  The regulators cannot overturn assessment decisions or academic judgments.

1.5       Monitoring, reporting and evaluating appeals decisions

Candidates appeal enquiries will be dealt with according to the timescales contained in APPLIED FIRST AID Customer Charter.  Should the result of an appeal call into question the accuracy of other APPLIED FIRST AID results then each questionable result will be investigated by the Centre Director.  Appropriate and proportionate action will then be taken which may include:

  1. An increased level of scrutiny in the relevant area.
  2. Reporting to our Awarding Organisation/Body

1.6 Personal interest

All appeals decisions made by APPLIED FIRST AID will follow these published procedures and will be taken by individuals who have no personal interest in the decision(s) being appealed.

1.7  Appeals against APPLIED FIRST AID decisions

These maybe referred to ITC First only after the full Centre appeals process has been followed.

 

1.8 Escalation Routes

It the complaint has not been resolved or if you have a complaint against the operating systems of the Awarding Body then please contact the Regulators of Qualifications in England (Ofqual), Wales (Qualifications Wales) or Scotland (SQA Accreditation).

3.8 Further Education Colleges in Scotland – Users of public bodies (inc. FE Colleges & SQA) in Scotland have the right to complain to the Scottish Public Service Ombudsman (SPSO) as the final arbiter of any complaint. The College, ITC and SQA complaints procedure must be exhausted before the SPSO will consider a complaint, and it must usually have been raised within the previous 12 months. The complaint cannot be under consideration in a court of law

Contact:

ITC First Awards Manager

0845 370 7610

www.itcfirst.org.uk

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