Stage 3: Right of Appeal

This section should be read in conjunction with the General Principles for Staff Dealing with Complaints.

Stage 3: Right of Appeal

If a student is dissatisfied with the conduct of the investigation or the decision of the Faculty PVC/Director, they may appeal to the Director of Academic and Student Affairs on specific grounds, on the Student Complaint Form (Stage 3)‌. 

The grounds of appeal are as follows:

  1. Procedural irregularity in the conduct of the investigation (The student should demonstrate the impact of any such procedural irregularity on the outcome of Stage 2 and should submit any relevant evidence in support of the appeal)
  2. Evidence is available which was not reasonably available at the time of the Stage 2 determination.

The student must submit the Stage 3 appeal to the Director of Academic and Student Affairs on the appropriate appeal form within 10 working days of the written notification of the decision of the Faculty PVC/Director.  The Director of Academic and Student Affairs will consider whether the student has met either one or both of the grounds above and may:

  1. Uphold the appeal on the basis of the written evidence presented
  2. Refer the appeal to an Appeal Panel.

The Appeal Panel will comprise a Chair nominated by the Director of Academic and Student Affairs, a Sabbatical Officer of the Students’ Union and two senior members of staff not previously involved in the complaint.

The Chair of the Appeal Panel will normally request the attendance at the Panel hearing of the Faculty PVC/Director who made the decision at Stage 2, the student or any other person, who in the Panel's judgement may have relevant information to contribute. The investigating officer may, therefore, be requested to attend.  If the attendance of any witness is requested, the student and any person against whom a complaint has been made will be so advised.

A copy of the papers to be circulated to Panel members, the student and any person against whom a complaint has been made, will be sent to the Chair of the Appeal Panel in advance.  The Chair will advise Academic Affairs whether the attendance of any witness is required or whether any further information is required.  Academic Affairs will make the appropriate arrangements or gather the necessary information, where possible.    

Protocol for the Conduct of an Appeal Panel meeting

See the Guidance to Students.

There is no further internal right of appeal.  However, a student who remains aggrieved by the Appeal Panel’s decision may submit a complaint to the Northern Ireland Public Services Ombudsman within six months of the Panel’s decision (see below).