Appeals and Complaints Policy

 

Author: Hayley Faulkner (Quality Director)

Review date: 13/4/2022

Next review date: 5/1/2023

Context & Scope

 

This policy relates to all activities of Swift ACI, referred to as “Swift” herein.

This policy includes all training provision provided by a Swift.

This Policy outlines the Complaints Procedure for Staff, Apprentices and Employers, with specific detail for apprentices on how to appeal assessment decisions detailed in sections 5 to 9 below.

Introduction

 

The Complaints Policy enables apprentices, employers and employees who have concerns and/or complaints to have them addressed efficiently and effectively in the interests of continually improving the service we offer.

Through the Complaints Procedure, Swift seeks to provide an accessible, fair and straightforward system which enables individuals to raise concerns and which ensures an effective, timely and appropriate response.

This will also enable Swift to monitor and manage the quality of service using feedback received from apprentices, parents/carers, employers, visitors and other members of the community.

What is a Complaint?

A complaint is the formal expression of dissatisfaction at the service or conduct received from Swift, its employees, apprentices or representatives.

Swift recognises that complaints can be made from any stakeholder and have trained all employees to resolve a large variant of complaints effectively.

All complaints will be dealt with on a case-by-case basis and the individual aspects of each situation will be thoroughly reviewed.

Safeguarding concerns or disclosures are not classed as complaints, and concerns relating to Safeguarding should be raised using the Swift Safeguarding Policy which is available on the Swift websites and Swift Operating System.

Complaints Policy

 

  • All apprentices have the fundamental right to learn, be assessed and work in an environment that is free from discrimination, bullying and harassment at all times.
  • All apprentices have the fundamental right to have equal access to training and assessment that enhances career progression and promotional opportunities through continuous professional development opportunities.
  • All apprentices will receive full support and guidance within their learning, assessment and working environment that recognises diversity, which promotes and safeguards the apprentice’s wellbeing at all times.

Supportive    Welfare   Impact   Focused   Trust


Supportive   Welfare   Impact   Focused   Trust

  • This complaints procedure provides all apprentices and their delivery staff with a formal and effective mechanism to complain without fear of victimisation and repression.
  • Apprentices who believe they are being subjected to, or are suffering because of victimisation, discrimination, bullying, harassment or being prevented from equality of opportunity will be encouraged and supported to execute these procedures to seek confidential guidance and support that is intended to resolve the issues that have initiated the complaint.
  • If you feel you are being discriminated against, bullied or harassed you should do the following and not remain silent: You should seek guidance and support immediately. Our procedures offer such guidance and support and can ensure any approaches to our employees will remain private and confidential.
  • We will also ensure staff are strictly discreet in their approach if you have a complaint or concern. You should in the first place approach your trainer/assessor. If you do not feel you can approach your assessor, you should contact your IQA Lead.
  • Swift Trainers/Assessors: Jack Edwards, Sara Lewis, Jemma Jones, Rachel Howard, Samantha      Freeman, Kerri Robinson, Tony Oxford, Faye Parkinson, Emily Such, Aretha Willis

Your IQA Lead: Jack Edwards (CC) / Emil Taswar (DM) / Phil Prosser (CI)

Academy Director (Childcare and Digital Marketing Provision): Jack Edwards Head of Apprenticeships (Continuous Improvement Provision): Chris Worwood

 Quality Director: Hayley Faulkner

  • If you do not feel you can approach your assessor or IQA Lead you should contact the Quality Director. This is the individual with ultimate responsibility within the company for delivery of all training and assessment. All apprentices are issued with the contact details for their trainer/assessor and IQA at induction.
  • Whoever you contact will then investigate your complaint or concern with your permission and extremely discreetly and in line with the Complaints Procedure outlined below.

Complaints Procedure

 

  • Complaints may be made in a variety of ways (telephone, email, face to face and letter). Contact details for making complaints can be found in section 12 at the end of this policy.
  • Complaints should be made to your trainer/assessor and will then be passed to the Quality Director or alternatively they can be made to the Quality Director directly.
  • Complaints should include the following information:
  • Name of complainant (person & organisation if appropriate)
  • Address
  • Telephone number
  • Training the complaint relates to
  • Details of complaint
  • Any specific action/outcome requested


  • Upon receipt of the complaint, the Quality Director will acknowledge receipt in writing to the complainant within 3 working days.
  • The Quality Director will inform the Managing Director that a complaint has been received and is being investigated upon receiving the complaint.
  • The Quality Director will aim to resolve and close the complaint in full within 10 working days of acknowledging receipt to the complainant. Where this is not possible, the Quality Director will advise the complainant of this and the expected timescale.
  • If the complaint is about a member of staff, HR will be informed and the appropriate HR action will be invoked if appropriate.
  • The Quality Director may investigate the complaint themselves or appoint an investigating manager to investigate the complaint. The investigating manager will:
  • Record their findings
  • Identify the actions that need to be taken to resolve the complaint
  • Put in place an action plan to address the issues raised
  • Confirm any actions required with HR if the complaint is about a staff member
  • Respond in writing to the complainant to detail the outcome of the investigation and the resulting actions to the complainant.
  • Any response to the complainant must be reviewed and authorised by the Quality Director. The Quality Director will respond to the complainant directly and will copy in the Managing Director.
  • If actions have been identified and an action plan put in place, it is the responsibility of the Quality Director to ensure that the actions have been completed and to confirm this to the complainant.
  • Feedback about Swift can be given at any time via email to the email address feedback@swiftcc.co.uk. This email address is monitored and managed by the Quality Director.

Referral and Review

 

  • Where a complainant is not satisfied with the outcome of their complaint, they must respond and confirm why they are unhappy with the result.
  • This referral should be passed to the Managing Director who will carry out a further investigation within 10 working days.
  • Where a complainant still remains dissatisfied with the resolution to their complaint, and where this concerns education specifically, they can contact the ESFA as detailed in the Contacts section below,
  • Learners also have the right to complain directly to their Awarding Body if they remain dissatisfied with Swift's resolution of their concern.

Supportive    Welfare   Impact   Focused   Trust


Supportive    Welfare   Impact   Focused   Trust

Reflecting and Improving

 

  • Any complaints and investigations and resolutions resulting from these should, where appropriate, be reflected in the Swift Quality Improvement Plan to ensure they are used to inform future planned improvements and drive forward the quality of provision in the spirit of continuous improvement.

Appeals procedure

 

  • This appeals procedure is designed to offer apprentices with a formal and systematic process to make an appeal against an assessment decision and allow the assessment decision to be revisited, investigated and rectified.
  • The assessment processes, strategies and policies are intended to promote and maintain assessment practices that are fair for all apprentices and prevent any apprentice becoming disadvantaged through the assessment decisions and judgements being made.
  • The appeals procedure is a standardised process which provides apprentices with a time bound, systematic and documented procedure that the centre, internal quality assurers, assessors and apprentices will implement and follow in the event of an appeal being made.

Responsibilities

 

  • The apprentice: Will initiate the appeals procedure within the agreed time frames when they believe they have a reason to complain about or question an assessment decision/judgement.
  • The assessor: Is responsible for providing the apprentice with accurate and constructive feedback regarding their achievements and basis for their assessment decisions and judgements. The assessors will firstly discuss the nature of the appeal, which will remain confidential at all times, with the apprentice. The assessor will seek a satisfactory rectification to the appeal. When appeals become formal it is the assessor’s responsibility to process the apprentices appeal within the agreed time frames.
  • The IQA Lead: Is solely responsible for judging whether the assessment decisions are valid, fair and unbiased.
  • The Academy Manager / Head of Apprenticeships: is solely responsible for submitting the appeal in writing to the relevant awarding organisation, if the apprentice remains dissatisfied with the outcome of the centres internal appeals process will engage in the following systematic stages of this procedure.

Procedures

 

  • The apprentices’ induction into their development programme will clearly communicate the principles and concepts of appeals procedures making up the elements of information, advice and guidance available to them.
  • The apprentices’ appeals procedures are a systematic and staged procedure which will determine whether the assessor has used assessment practices that are consistent with the internal and external assessment strategies agreed through the relevant awarding organisations. It will determine whether assessment practices have been applied correctly and fairly to arrive at fair and consistent assessment decisions/judgements about the evidence presented.


The Appeals Procedure: Stages

 

  • Informal: Apprentice consultation with the assessor within a defined period of time.
  • Review: Of assessment decisions/judgements by the Curriculum Manager/IQA Lead. The apprentice is formally notified of the appeals findings and agrees or disagrees in writing with the outcome.
  • Appeal hearing: The Academy Manager will appraise the appeal has the last stage within the centre systems and make decisions to forward the appeal to the relevant awarding organisation.
  • External appeal: The Academy Manager will formally report the appeal to the relevant awarding organisation, defining the grounds and reasons for the appeal and providing any relevant supporting documentation that displays the assessment decisions/judgements made. This formal external appeal will be submitted to the relevant awarding organisation within the agreed procedure time frames.

Formal Stages

 

Stage 1: The apprentice should appeal in writing to the assessor, clearly stating the points of the disagreement and the evidence in their portfolio which the apprentice believes meets the requirements of the performance criteria, knowledge and range for claiming competence. The assessor will meet with the apprentice within 10 working days and go through the assessment process, clearly explaining how they have arrived at their conclusions. The assessor will confirm the findings to the apprentice in writing within the following 5 working days.

Stage 2: Apprentices who are not satisfied with the outcome of Stage 1 can then appeal in writing to the IQA Lead. The appeal does not have to contain the detail given before as the documents from Stage 1 should be passed to the internal quality assurer. The Curriculum Managers/IQA Lead will meet with the apprentice and the assessor within 5 working days and will confirm the findings in writing to both the apprentice and the assessor within 5 working days.

Stage 3: The Academy Manager who will consider the appeal using all information gained from the apprentice, the assessor and the IQA Lead involved in the appeal. The Academy Manager will make decisions and judgements to report the appeal to the relevant awarding organisation and inform the apprentice of the decision in writing within 10 working days.

Stage 4: The Academy Manager on behalf of the apprentice with their authorisation will have submitted the appeal to the relevant awarding organisation. The apprentice will receive confidential communications both verbally and in writing from the awarding organisation regarding the appeals procedure’s outcome.

At this point the Awarding Organisations appeals procedure will be followed and will involve the use of all the reports from Stages 1, 2 and 3. Your assessor can provide you with details of this procedure if needed and will usually involve an investigation by the relevant External Quality Assurer and at least one independent person. The Awarding Organisation’s decision will be final and the appeal will be deemed to be closed.

Learners have the right to appeal directly to their awarding body within 20 working days of the assessment if they remain dissatisfied with the outcome of the appeal raised with Swift.

 

 

  • Promoting the Appeals & Complaints Policy

 

 

 


  • This policy will be promoted by the organisation during the induction of both staff and apprentices.
  • This policy is available on the organisation’s website for all to view as they require.
  • Where changes are made to this policy, Staff are made aware of this at scheduled communications days or via formal notification of policy change – whichever occurs first.
  • Swift commits to recording, monitoring and validating all appeals.
  • Swift commits to submitting the appeal to the relevant awarding organisation if the apprentice continues to consider that the assessment decision disadvantages them after all internal centre appeals procedures have been exhausted.
  • Swift commits to keeping accurate and legible records of all appeals for inspection by the relevant awarding organisation for a minimum of 18 months.
  • Swift has in place internal continuous professional development processes that support professional practices in the event of an appeal or complaint being upheld.

Engaging and Training Employees and Apprentices in implementation of this Policy

  • Where staff are involved in the training and assessment of apprentices, the Internal Quality Processes safeguard against unfair or inconsistent assessment decisions.
  • Apprentices and Employees are trained in the implementation of this Policy as part of their inductions to Swift.
  • Where there are any changes to this policy, Staff and Apprentices will be made aware via formal communication channels to ensure full transparency.

Monitoring and Review

  • The Senior Leadership Team will be responsible for monitoring and reviewing the Policy, with the Quality Director holding overall responsibility for maintaining this policy.
  • Monitoring will include assessing how this policy and any supporting action plan, are working in practice, reviewing them annually, and considering and taking action to address any issues.

Contact Details

 

07966 494946

  • Academy Address: Swift Apprenticeships, York House, Great Charles Street Queensway, Birmingham B3 3JY

Academy Director (for Childcare and Digital Marketing queries):

 

Jack Edwards je@swiftcc.co.uk


Head of Apprenticeships (for Continuous Improvement queries):

 

Chris Worwood cw@swiftci.co.uk

Monitoring and Review

 

  • The Senior Leadership Team will be responsible for monitoring and reviewing the Policy, with the Quality Director holding overall responsibility for maintaining this policy.
  • Monitoring will include assessing how this policy is working in practice, reviewing this annually, and considering and taking action to address any issues
  • Any improvements identified as a result of any complaints made will be added to the Swift Quality Improvement Plan to ensure they are completed, followed up and reviewed as part of the business’s commitment to continuous improvement.

 

Version: 2

Board Approval:

Managing Director Name: Gregory Morrall 

Signature:  

Date: 16/8/2021

 

Reviewed on 13/4/2022

 

Reviewed by: Hayley Faulkner