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Stage 1: Frontline / Local Resolution

To be completed typically within 20 University working days

Complainants are encouraged to raise complaints as soon as they become aware of the problem and to raise it with the academic school, department or appropriate service area in which the incident or problem arose. Stage 1 complaints may be raised in person, by email, in writing or by phone. The purpose of Frontline / Local Resolution is to attempt to resolve as quickly as possible complaints which are straightforward and typically would require little or no investigation. Stage 1 can also be used, however, to try to resolve sensitive interpersonal matters raised by students in line with the Dignity at Warwick Policy.

Members of staff to whom Stage 1 complaints are made may consider the following questions:

  • What specifically is the complaint about and which area(s) of the University are involved?
  • What outcome is the complainant hoping to achieve?
  • Is the complaint straightforward and likely to be resolved or responded to with minimal investigation or by using an existing University policy?
  • Can another member of staff assist in seeking informal resolution if I am not in a position to do so?
  • What assistance or support can be provided to the student in taking this forward?
  • Should the Central Complaints Resolution Team be asked if facilitated discussion might be appropriate in this case?

Frontline / Local Resolution may be achieved by providing an on-the-spot explanation as to why the incident or problem occurred and/or an apology, as appropriate, potentially noting what will be done to stop a recurrence.

If responsibility for the incident or problem being complained about lies within the staff member’s area of work, every effort will be made to resolve the problem at source. If responsibility lies elsewhere, the staff member receiving the complaint will liaise with the relevant area in an attempt to resolve the problem for the complainant. If the staff member is not able to resolve or respond to the complaint themselves, they should agree with the appropriate colleague who will progress consideration of the complaint and communicate this to the complainant. The staff member responsible for resolving the Stage 1 complaint will typically keep a note of the resolution offered even if the complaint outcome was provided verbally.

Stage 1 Frontline / Local Resolution will typically be completed within 20 University working days, though a resolution should be sought as quickly as possible. In exceptional circumstances a short extension of time may be necessary to increase the possibility of resolving the complaint (for example by obtaining information from other areas of the University) at this stage. Where an extension is required this should be clearly communicated to the complainant before the end of the expected time period.

The outcome of the Stage 1 complaint can be communicated to the complainant in person or by phone but ideally in writing or by email through the student’s University email address. The response to the complainant will address all the key elements raised in the complaint and will explain the reasons for the determinations made, including any agreed resolutions. The student should be advised of their right to submit a formal Stage 2 complaint and reference given to the Procedure. The formal Stage 2 complaint must be received within 10 University working days following the outcome of the Stage 1 process being communicated to the complainant and, where appropriate, their representative, otherwise the complaint will be closed. The University collates information on Stage 1 complaints resolution to inform service development and students will be invited to confirm they give permission for information sharing for this purpose.

Go to Section 8 Stage 2 of the Procedure.