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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 Process Explained

    If a student is dissatisfied with the conduct of the investigation or the decision of the FPVC/Director, they may appeal to the Director of Education and Student Services on specific grounds, on the Student Complaints Appeal (Stage 3) Form‌. 

    The grounds of appeal are as follows:

    1. Procedural irregularity in the conduct of the investigation which had a demonstrable impact on the Stage 2 decision.
    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 Education and Student Services on the appropriate appeal form within 10 working days of the written notification of the Stage 2 decision of the FPVC/Director. Late appeals will not normally be considered, unless the student can demonstrate circumstances beyond their control which meant they were unable to submit the appeal (e.g. hospitalisation).  

    If it is not clear that the student has submitted sufficient evidence and/or presented a sufficiently compelling case, the appeal will be considered by a Screening Panel  (see section 2.1 of the Student Complaints Procedure), prior to the case being investigated.

    The Director of Education and Student Services 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 Education and Student Services, 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 FPVC/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.    

  • Appeal Outcome

    The Appeal Panel may:

    1. Dismiss the appeal; or
    2. Uphold the appeal, in part or in full; and/or
    3. Make any such recommendation/s or proposed resolution as they deem fit.

    The student will normally receive formal notification of the outcome of their appeal within eight working days of the decision being made.

    There is no further internal right of appeal. However, a student may submit a complaint about maladministration in the process to the Northern Ireland Public Services Ombudsman within six months of the Panel’s decision.