Apprenticeship Complaints Policy and Procedure
The purpose of this procedure is to ensure that any apprenticeship complaints are dealt with in a timely and appropriate manner. The apprenticeship complaints policy and procedure is accessible to all apprentices. It is available in hard copy and online to learners and employers at the commencement of each apprenticeship. All complaints will be handled in a fair, consistent and timely way. The policy allows all stakeholders and learners to log a formal or informal complaint should they feel that they have a grievance.
The Head of Academy is responsible for this policy, ensuring that it complies with ESFA and OFSTED rules and oversees the management of the process with all stakeholders involved.
Scope & Definition
Provision of apprenticeships in England is regulated by the ESFA and inspected by OFSTED. Our complaints procedure aligns to the requirements within the applicable funding rules, contract requirements and inspection frameworks. All apprentices’ employers and parents where applicable will be made aware of the complaint procedure. The process is embedded into our apprentice induction, within employer contracting and published on our website. All complaints will be dealt with the appropriate discretion and sensitivity.
A complaint written or verbal all will be investigated. The person making the complaint will not necessarily refer to it as a complaint but it will be treated as such were the definition applies.
Complaints concerning assessment practice will be dealt with through our appeals procedure which is aligned to awarding body requirements.
Complaints from partners will be dealt with alongside contracting terms.
Complaints can be raised informally e.g., in day-to-day conversation with staff, which should be dealt with immediately to prevent any escalation of dissatisfaction. However where this is not possible our escalation process will look to resolve complaints to a satisfactory outcome.
Apprentices will be encouraged to refer complaints and disputes to the first point of contact. Although they have the option to refer complaint to any other member of staff if they should choose. Complaints can be received in several ways e.g. being face to face, email, phone and formal letter. It is therefore important to know the correct way to deal with any complaint either written or verbal in the correct way to ensure a satisfactory resolution.
Apprentices will be made aware of the Apprenticeship Helpline Service, should they wish to access any independent and impartial advice about apprentice entitlements and obligations.
If a complaint is received it should be documented and forwarded by a member of staff who has received the complaint to a member of the Management Team. The complaint will then be formally logged and investigated.
Complaints will receive an acknowledgement within 5 working days of receipt of the complaint and a response within 30 working days outlining suggestions to resolve the complaint. They must be kept informed should their complaint take longer than 30 days to investigate and respond to. A manager allocated by the Management Team will investigate the complaint. Where a complaint is made against a specific member of staff the investigating team will ensure that the complaint is dealt with in line with our internal HR policies and procedure. Managers cannot investigate a complaint were the grievance in question relates to their own conduct.
The investigating manager will seek to establish all the pertinent facts regarding the grievance. On completion of the investigation the manger will send a formal response in writing to the complainant. The response will detail the findings and any resolution offered if applicable.
All stages and decisions will be recorded, logged, and retained of the investigation. If no formal correspondence is received within one month of the formal response from the investigating manger the complaint will be closed.
Signed By: Alan Appleyard
Head of Logistics Academy
Review date: 01/08/2022
Every apprentice has the right to appeal against a decision made under this procedure, if they are not satisfied with the outcome or the resolution offered. Any appeal should be within 1 month of the complainant being informed of the initial decision and must be in writing. The complainant may approach any member of staff for help in formulating their appeal. The appeal will then be passed to the Head of Academy to review.
The Head of Academy will review the original complaint and response, conduct a further investigation, if necessary, which will be undertaken within 30 days of the appeal being submitted. If an outcome cannot be reasonable reached within this timescale, then the Head of Academy will notify all parties of the indicative time required to reach a resolution, ensuring that this is achieved at the earliest opportunity.
Where a complaint cannot be resolved through the internal procedure the apprentice has the option to escalate their complaint to the ESFA. The ESFA will not normally investigate a complaint until our procedure has been exhausted. ESFA complaints team can be contacted by email at: email@example.com
Or in writing to:
Customer Service Team. Education and Skills Funding Agency,
Each investigating manager must log the complaint information. The Head of Academy will regularly review the number of complaints received. The category and nature along with the resolutions derived will be provided to the senior management team. The Head of Academy will then be responsible for adding them to the Quality Improvement Plan to reduce the likelihood of any similar complaints arising.
Confidentiality and Safeguarding
All complaints will be treated with due sensitivity and confidentiality, with any undue fear of reprisal or repercussion. All apprentices and employers must feel confident to make a complaint where they have any perceived grievance. Where the complaint relates to a safeguarding issue the Lead Safeguarding Officer will be informed and were appropriate the complainant’s anonymity will be reasonable protected. Any personnel or sensitive data which may be obtained in the course of the investigation will be securely stored and processed in strict accordance with the provisions of the General Data Protection Regulation