8. The Three Stages of the University’s Procedure
The University’s Student Complaints Resolution Procedure is intended to provide a streamlined process with a focus on early resolution. The Student Complaints Resolution Procedure has three stages:
- Stage 1: The Frontline / Local Resolution stage is the stage where straightforward concerns should be resolved swiftly and effectively at the point at which a complaint is made, or as close to that point as possible. Stage 1 can also be used for difficult interpersonal matters where early resolution strategies such as facilitated discussion may be beneficial prior to escalation to a formal complaint.
- Stage 2: The Formal Departmental Investigation and Resolution stage is appropriate where a student is dissatisfied with the outcome of informal resolution attempted at Stage 1, or where informal resolution is not possible or appropriate due to the complexity or seriousness of the case.
- Stage 3: The Formal Institutional Review and Final Resolution is where the student can appeal to a higher body within the University for a review of the process to ensure that appropriate procedures were followed and that the decision made was reasonable.
While there are three clear stages in the Procedure, seeking resolution may potentially be an iterative process within each stage, with active engagement by student complainant and relevant others prior to the final complaint outcome for that stage being communicated to the complainant.
All parties involved in investigation and determination of an outcome of a complaint at this stage will be offered appropriate support by the University, through services established to enable the University to meet its duty of care towards staff and students. For students these include: Wellbeing Support Services, including the Disability Services team, the Mental Health team, the Counselling Service, the University's Dean of Students, departmental Personal Tutors, the Students' Union Advice Centre, and the Chaplaincy. Human Resources will be able to direct staff members to the appropriate support available.