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Complaints and Appeals

CECOS is committed to providing an environment that is conducive to study and provides academic and support services that will facilitate the achievement of your target award. However, we recognise that from time to time learners may wish to raise concerns regarding the services provided or other aspects of Centre life.

All complaints are taken seriously and learners are not penalised for making a genuine complaint. The procedure is also an important source of information to help the Centre improve the services it provides.

If the complaint is inadequate with the investigation and outcome of his/her complaint, an appeal may be lodged in writing and will be considered by the centre complaints appeal panel. Appeals will only be considered on the grounds of procedural error or unreasonable conclusions of the initial investigation of the complaint.

The appeal should be addressed to the Director of the Centre, within seven working days of the complainant being informed of the outcome of the investigation into his/her complaint.

Any member of the Complaints Appeal Panel already involved in any capacity in a particular complaint will not take any part in the process.

The Complaints Appeal Panel will meet to consider such appeals and communicate its decision on the outcome of the appeal to the Director of Centre who will inform the appellant, within 30 working days after the receipt of the appeal.

If the student wants the complaint / suggestion to remain anonymous, he/she can put it in the ‘Suggestion and Complaint Box’ available in the student’s area. The box is only opened by the Director.

PROCEDURE

Stages of the Procedure

The following stages are involved in resolving a complaint

Stage 1:
As much as possible, the complaint should be resolved in between the student and the member of staff in question. In case, if the issue is not resolved, the issue can be taken further by filling a student complaint form and arranging meeting with the student welfare officer. The complaint form is available at the reception.

Stage 2:
If the matter cannot be resolved with the Student Welfare Officer, the complaint can be forwarded to the relevant middle managerial staff. All academic complaints should be forwarded to the Programme Manager and non academic complaints should be forwarded to the Office Manager.

Stage 3:
If your matter is still not resolved to the satisfaction, the student can appeal to the Director by filling an appeal form. The appeal form is available with either the Office Manager or the Programme Manager. The director will respond within seven working days of the receipt of appeal form.

Stage 4:
If the student is still dissatisfied with the outcome of the complaint, the matter will be taken to an external adjudicator. The role of external adjudicator is to deal with the issue on independent basis and give an impartial decision. Mr David Robertson who is an Educational Adviser will be the external adjudicator. His details can be provided on request.

The student can also contact the Citizens Advice Bureau who can provide assistance. More details can be found on their website www.citzensadvice.co.uk. In case of academic appeals, the student can contact the awarding bodies (Pearson / NCFE /Highfield) should all the internal processes be exhausted.
The Centre will also advise the student to contact the appropriate agency that monitors compliance of standards and quality operated by the Centre.