1. What is a complaint?
A complaint is defined for this Procedure as “an expression of significant or sustained dissatisfaction where a student seeks action to address the problem”.
3.1 Types of complaint
A complaint may relate to:
- the quality and standard of service provided by the University, including teaching and learning provision;
- failure to provide a service;
- unsuitable facilities or learning resources;
- inappropriate behaviour or treatment by a staff member, student or individual associated with the University (including contravening the University’s Dignity at Warwick Policy);
- failure of the University to follow an appropriate administrative or academic process.
3.2 What is NOT classed as a complaint under this procedure
Although the above list is not exhaustive, not every concern raised with the University can be categorised as a complaint. The following examples are not complaints and would not be eligible for consideration under this Student Complaints Resolution Procedure:
- a routine, first-time request for a service;
- a matter relating purely to academic judgement (including marks awarded for formative or summative academic assignments unless on the grounds that appropriate marking procedures were not followed);
- an academic appeal against a decision by an examination board that should be dealt with through processes set out in the University’s Regulations and associated appeals processes;
- a request under the Freedom of Information Act or Subject Access Requests;
- a request under the Data Protection Act;
- a request for information on University policy or practice;
- a response to an invitation to provide feedback or when feedback is given through general web forms or surveys seeking feedback;
- an insurance claim;an attempt to have a complaint reconsidered when the University has already given its final decision;
- a grievance by a student who is also a member of staff where the case is handled through the appropriate Human Resources procedures;
- an accusation of research misconduct;
- a challenge to an admissions decision;
- a complaint about the Students’ Union (see 3.4 below); and
- complaints about matters which have already or are under consideration by the Office of the Independent Adjudicator for Higher Education (“OIA”), a court or tribunal.
Such issues should be raised and considered under the appropriate alternative University procedures as follows:
- Student Academic Appeals Procedures outlined in University Regulations
- Freedom of Information and Subject Access Requests
- University Data Protection Policy
- Human Resources Grievance Procedure or Statute 24 Academic Staff
- Insurance Services
- University’s Code of Practice for the Investigation of Research Misconduct
- University’s Whistleblowing Code of Practice
- Student Admissions and Recruitment Office Complaints Procedure
Should a complaint include serious allegations of misconduct against another individual or individuals, it may be that the relevant staff or student disciplinary process may need to be used for investigation or determination of the outcome in conjunction with this Procedure.
3.3 Assessing eligibility under the Procedure
A student complaint may involve elements of the above or other elements that may potentially be relevant to other University Regulations and processes. The Academic Registrar will assess such complaints on a case-by-case basis and will determine the appropriate sequence in which each key element will be investigated and outcomes determined.
3.4 Complaints under the Students’ Union
Complaints relating to the Students’ Union services, facilities, societies and staff are not typically eligible for consideration through the Student Complaints Resolution Procedure. Further details of the Students’ Union Complaint Procedure can be found at the following link:
Complaints relating to the quality of support or guidance provided by the Students’ Union in relation to a complaint are conducted through the Students’ Union’s procedure.
Any student or groups of student who are dissatisfied in their dealings with the Union or who claim to be unfairly disadvantaged by reasons of having exercised the right of non-membership should complain in the first instance to the President of the Union who will investigate the complaint under the Students’ Union Complaints Procedure. If the complainant(s) is not satisfied at this stage they may refer the complaint to the University’s Secretary to Council pursuant to the Education Act 1994 Part II; Students’ Union. The Secretary to Council will nominate a senior colleague on behalf of Council who will investigate and respond within a reasonable time frame. In exceptional circumstances the Secretary to Council may appoint someone external to the University to investigate. If the complaint is upheld the Secretary to Council will, to the extent practicable, recommend an appropriate resolution. Recourse to the Secretary to Council does not constitute a further appeals process. Complaints should be referred to the Secretary to Council within three months of the date of the completion of the Students’ Union complaints procedure.
Go to Section 4 of the Procedure.