This section should be read in conjunction with the General Principles for Staff Dealing with Complaints.
A student may raise a Stage 1 complaint verbally or in writing with the person involved or the Head of School/Service within 10 working days of the incident occurring. The University encourages resolution at local level, although this may not always be possible or appropriate.
The student should be informed that the matter is being dealt with as a Stage 1 complaint and that a record will be taken and kept within the normal bounds of confidentiality and in accordance with Data Protection requirements.
If it is not clear that the student has submitted a prima facie case, the complaint should be referred to Academic Affairs (firstname.lastname@example.org) for consideration under the Prima Facie Screening process (see section 2.1 of the Student Complaints Procedure) prior to the case being investigated.
If it is deemed that the student has presented a prima facie case, the Head of School/Service should normally refer the matter to a senior staff member closest to the complaint, provided the complaint is not about that individual, for investigation and possible resolution. The Head of School/Service should not be by-passed without good reason, and a Head of School/Service should attempt to reach a decision on the complaint, rather than simply passing it up the line. If, having pursued the matter through Stage 1, the student remains dissatisfied with the response; they should be advised that Stage 1 has been concluded and that they may make a Stage 2 complaint to the Head of Academic Affairs. They should also be advised of the deadline for submission of a Stage 2 complaint (within ten working days of the Stage 1 outcome and not normally more than 25 working days after first becoming aware of the incident or issue(s)).
The School or Service should record the details of every student complaint investigated at Stage 1 on the Student Complaint (Stage 1) Pro-Forma. This information will be requested at the end of each academic year and Academic Affairs may request, for auditing purposes, to review the student complaint and any relevant documentation. A completed pro forma will also assist with a Stage 2 investigation, should the student wish to escalate the complaint beyond the School or Service.
Schools/Services should attempt to resolve Stage 1 complaints within five working days and the decision communicated to the student in writing, again within five working days of the date of the decision. The student should be advised of and kept updated if there is any delay