In many cases the concerns a student raises can be resolved with an immediate explanation and/or solution at the local (i.e departmental) level. Stage 1 of the complaints procedure is therefore in place in order to facilitate this.
When a department is contacted by a student who has concerns, the underpinning principle that should be assessed is what was promised compared to what was delivered. Any concerns that involve academic judgment, such as the quality of academic provision, are out of scope. Further guidance for stage 1 complaints have been developed for departments which also answers a number of questions around the stage 1 process, including how to consider the complaint and what should be included in the outcome response. A document has also been developed to answer some specific questions around the forthcoming industrial action. Departments should read these for support in responding to concerns raised by students.
Students are expected to raise a complaint as soon as possible after the matters giving rise to the complaint have occurred. This is to ensure that it can be investigated effectively and that any action can be implemented as quickly as possible to set things right. There isn’t a time limit set for stage 1; however, stage 2 of the complaints procedure is clear that a complaint should be made, at the latest, within three months of the matters being complained about having occurred. Therefore students should raise their concerns under stage 1 before the three months’ timeframe. If the stage 1 consideration will take it beyond three months, the student or department should discuss this with the Proctors' Office.
If a student is dissatisfied by the outcome of stage 1 they have the right to bring this matter to the Proctors' consideration under stage 2 of the University Student Complaints Procedure.