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Customer Feedback Policy

Training 2000 is committed to providing a high quality experience for all its customers through its teaching and its range of professional support services. It encourages a positive environment in which informal contact and feedback from customers which includes Apprentices, learners on Traineeships, their employers/placement providers and commercial customers is welcomed and where complaints can be dealt with effectively.

The Feedback & Complaints procedure outlines the processes to be used when a customer has cause for concern. Attention is drawn to this document through the learner handbook, employer guide and course inductions.

Aims of the Policy

  • To provide a clear framework to help anyone who is not satisfied with Training 2000 services to raise their concerns and to ensure that Training 2000 responds effectively and in accordance with legislation.
  • To ensure that Training 2000 has systems in place to make improvements happen as a result of a complaint.
  • To encourage prompt resolution at an early informal stage.
  • To ensure that all complaints are dealt with seriously, fairly and sensitively, with no resultant victimisation of a complainant.
  • To raise awareness of the policy and procedures and ensure that staff understand the processes through appropriate training.
  • To define responsibilities and allocate duties to individual members of Training 2000 staff in relation to the procedures set out.

Scope

This procedure should be used by anyone who wishes to formally complain about our services, including learners, employers, schools, partners, parents/guardians of learners under 18, local residents and other users.

A complaint is an expression of dissatisfaction by one or more members of the public about an organisation’s action or lack of action, or about the standard of service provided by or on behalf of the organisation. Requests for services or changes to services, comments and suggestions, focus group and questionnaire feedback and assessment, disciplinary appeals are not considered as complaints and therefore do not fall within this process.

Parents/guardians, or other third parties with a close connection to the learner, wishing to complain on the behalf of the learner (including those under 18 years of age) must produce a written agreement from the learner that they can act on their behalf.

There are separate procedures for allegations under Safeguarding & Child Protection, Awarding Body appeals, staff grievances and for GDPR:

  • If the complaint is an allegation relating to safeguarding or Child Protection the matter should be reported immediately to the Designated Safeguarding Lead or a Designated Safeguarding Officer via telephone 01254 54659 or by email info@t2000.co.uk
  • Learners wishing to appeal against assessment outcomes should use Training 2000 Candidates Appeal Vocational Qualifications (FM/TR.108)
  • Staff wishing to complain about any aspect of their employment should use the Grievance Procedure (PR/HR.18)
  • If the complaint relates to a potential data protection / GDPR matter the concern should be immediately reported by emailing info@t2000.co.uk
  • Those wishing to feedback (comment, compliment or make suggestions) on our services should use the feedback form found at the bottom of this page or by emailing info@t2000.co.uk

Roles and responsibilities:

The Business Assurance Manager receives all formal complaints and is responsible for logging and monitoring the complaints in accordance with the procedures below. The Business Assurance Manager supported by the Head of Quality & Contracts and the Head of Business Development is responsible for assigning lead investigators for complaints.

All staff have a responsibility for receiving complaints, treating them seriously and dealing with them appropriately. Whenever possible, complaints should be dealt with informally and promptly. All complaints (formal and informal) received by a member of staff must be forwarded to the Business Assurance Manager to be processed and recorded.

Delivery managers have a responsibility to take a lead role in resolving complaints through investigation (when appropriate) and responding to the complainant.

The CEO of Training 2000 is responsible for resolving complaints that have reached the appeals stage.

The ESFA does not usually get involved with complaints. Any learner or parent who is unhappy with how Training 2000 has handled a complaint e.g. an application for bursary funding should follow our own complaints procedure.

Confidentiality

All complaints will be handled sensitively and with discretion. If a learner makes a complaint against a member of staff, that member of staff may be informed about the substance of the complaint so that they are in a position to make a response. In exceptional circumstances and for justifiable reasons, if a complainant wishes to remain anonymous from the individual about whom the complaint is made, this will be considered.

Training 2000 will not normally investigate anonymous or malicious complaints.

Procedure

Informal complaints

  • It is hoped that most complaints can be dealt with using informal means.
  • Concerns should be raised in the first instance with the person or area concerned as soon as possible. If appropriate, a meeting will be offered between the person complaining and the area they are complaining about to arrive at an agreed resolution.
  • If a complaint is about a member of staff it should be referred to the relevant line manager, unless the complaint is an allegation of inappropriate behaviour under Safeguarding and Child Protection, when as per that named policy the Designated Safeguarding Lead must be informed immediately.
  • If a learner reports a fault with accommodation (e.g. dirty floor, broken furniture etc.) the tutor or front line member of staff should report this to the Facilities Team via intranet.
  • At this informal stage complaints may be made in person, by phone or by email.
  • All informal complaints, even when satisfactorily resolved, should be forwarded to the Business Assurance Team to be logged.

Formal complaints procedure

Where complaints have not been resolved informally, the complainant should raise a formal complaint under the following procedure.

Complaints made more than three months after the incident will not normally be investigated, unless they are regarding a legislative matter or there are other extenuating circumstances. The Business Assurance Manager shall determine, if investigation is required supported by the Head of Quality & Contracts.

Filling out a complaint form: the complainant should fill out a Complaint Form (at the bottom of this page) having read the Complaints Policy and Procedure (both available from Training 2000 Reception or website).Training 2000 will accept feedback without a Complaint Form however if a compliant requires escalating and investigating we will ask require the complaint to be in writing.

All complaints received directly by a member of staff should be passed on immediately to the Business Assurance Manager.

Acknowledgement: the Delivery Manager or Business Assurance Manager sends an acknowledgment (normally within 1 working day), stating who will be investigating the complaint and that a response will be provided following an investigation; which should take place within 7 working days.

Logging the complaint: the Business Assurance Manager maintains a record of all complaints and their progress on the customer feedback database.

Investigation of the complaint: The Business Assurance Manager will notify the Head of Quality & Contracts and the Head of Business Development on receipt of a complaint and a decision will be made as to who the most appropriate Manager / Leader will be to lead the investigation and respond to the complainant. At this stage if applicable the Business Assurance Manager, Head of Quality & Contracts or Head of Business Development will notify HR for relevant guidance. The Business Assurance Manager forwards the complaint (clearly identifying timescales) to the most appropriate manager, normally the Manager of the area the complaint is concerning. An independent manager may be asked to conduct the investigation if appropriate. During this stage the complainant may be contacted for further information or to be invited to meet with the investigating manager. (The complainant may be accompanied by a friend or family member. An accompanying person cannot take active part in the proceedings, but can offer support to the complainant). Investigations should be carried out in full compliance with data protection and GDPR.

Resolution: the investigating manager will consider the complaint thoroughly and will present a detailed account and the outcome of the compliant. Once all evidence has been gathered, then this along with the detailed account must be sent to the Business Manager for filing.

The investigation manager will make a judgement based on evidence gathered and will decide either to:

  • Dismiss the complaint as unfounded, giving reasons.
  • Uphold or partially uphold the complaint, propose an amicable settlement, take appropriate steps to address the issue and to avoid a similar problem arising in future.

The investigation outcome will normally be communicated to the complainant by the investigating Manager (or relevant person nominated by the Business Assurance Manager, Head of Quality and Contracts or the Head of Business Development), a copy of the response will be filed by the Business Assurance Manager.

Monitoring the complaint: the Business Assurance Manager will monitor all logged complaints to ensure they are resolved within the allotted working days. The Business Assurance Manager will inform the investigating manager of any unresolved complaints and will notify the complainant if they are unable to meet the agreed timescale.

Quality improvement: the investigating manager along with the Business Assurance Manager will ensure that relevant action is taken to change procedures or implement staff training to prevent recurrence of the complaint.

Evaluation: a record of complaints and outcomes will be recorded on the customer feedback database. A summary of complaints and their outcomes will be presented at each SMT management review meeting and will be summarised for Governance & Audit Committee and Board Reports. Operational Quarterly Performance Review Meetings will monitor complaints per sector of our delivery.

Appeals

If the complainant is dissatisfied with the response they receive as an outcome of the investigation, they may appeal to the CEO of Training 2000. The appeal should be made in writing stating reasons for the appeal and any action they are seeking.

The CEO will investigate the complaint or delegate the investigation to a member of the Senior Management Team and decide to either:

  • Uphold the original decision/dismiss the complaint as unfounded. Uphold or partially uphold the complaint, recommend appropriate steps are taken to address the issue and to avoid a similar problem arising in future.
  • Invite the complainant to attend an appeal hearing (they may be accompanied by a friend or family member (An accompanying person cannot take an active part in the proceedings but can offer support to the complainant).

A written notification of the result of the appeal will normally be sent within 7 working days of Training 2000 receiving the appeal.

The CEO may delegate responsibility for the appeal to a member of the Senior Management Team.

Document Retention: Documentation and correspondence relating to a complaint will not be retained longer than is necessary and will be destroyed in accordance with Data Protection regulations after a period of 3 years.

ESFA complaints procedure

Before making a complaint to the ESFA about Training 2000 the complainant should have exhausted our own complaints procedure, including any appeals process. ESFA may get involved if there is an allegation that this guide is being seriously disregarded.

The ESFA outline in their guidance which complaints they will investigate which include:

  • the quality, management or experience of education and training
  • undue delay or non-compliance with published procedures
  • poor administration by the provider
  • equality and diversity issues (except where there is a more appropriate mechanism for dealing with the matter through the court, tribunals or other organisations)

The ESFA complaints procedure is available on GOV.UK.

The latest version for Page 4 of the Customer Feedback/Complaints Policy and Procedure.

Dealing with complaints about providers

Complaints about post 16 education and training provision funded by ESFA

Issued by: Business Assurance

Reference: FM/GN.141/11

Date: November 2021