Complaints and Compliments
While CU Scarborough strives to ensure that it fulfils its role in the community in a positive and responsible manner, there may be occasions when that does not happen, and you need to let us know when it doesn’t.
We recognise the rights of students, staff, applicants and members of the public to raise concerns about the services that we provide. We value all feedback, good or bad, and aim to learn from any negative comment to help us improve the service that we offer.
Our commitment to you
Throughout the complaints process we will:
- take all complaints seriously;
- treat you with respect at all times;
- not treat you differently because you have made a complaint;
- take an open and accessible approach;
- be accountable and apologise if we are wrong;
- be fair to all parties involved;
- encourage local resolution in as many cases as possible.
What is a complaint?
In general terms it is an expression of dissatisfaction about a university’s action or lack of action or a specific concern about the provision of a course, support service, administrative system or policy operated by or on behalf of the university or any specific concern about the activities of university students whilst on university owned property or university staff engaged in university business.
Who can make a complaint?
- All current students.
- All former students.
- Any person affected by university services.
- Third party complaints will be considered. Although we encourage those with a complaint to approach us directly, if we are provided with clear authority that a representative is acting on your behalf, we can accept such a complaint.
- Anonymous complaints will be considered, dependent on the seriousness of the complaint and the likelihood of confirming the allegation from attributable sources.
What can I complain about?
An example of a complaint might be:
- the quality of facilities provided by the university;
- concerns about the delivery of a course, teaching or administration;
- misleading or incorrect information;
- the quality and standard of any service that we provide or our failure to provide such a service;
- the behaviour of a member of staff.
When do I complain?
It would be helpful if you could raise your complaint as soon as possible after the problem occurred as it will make it easier for your concerns to be resolved more quickly. Delays often mean it can be difficult to investigate properly.
The University will not normally accept complaints more than 3 months after the event in question.
How do I complain?
You can complain in person, by telephone, in writing by letter or by email.
What support is available to me in helping me with my complaint?
We do understand that raising a complaint can be stressful and that the process can sometimes seem difficult. We would strongly encourage students to contact Coventry University Students’ Union Advice Centre at any point in the complaint process so that you feel supported. This might be with:
- helping you find the right words to make your case as clearly as possible;
- explaining how the complaint process works and helping you decide whether this course of action is the best way of resolving your concerns;
- supporting you at any meetings that you need to attend in relation to your formal complaint.
Coventry University Students’ Union Advice Centre has an office in the Hub, or can be contacted by phone on 024 7679 5200 and by email on firstname.lastname@example.org
You may also wish to contact our Health and Wellbeing team if the issues have made you feel anxious or stressed. They can be contacted on 02477 659618 and email@example.com.
We are committed to making our service easy to use for all students. If you require us to make any reasonable adjustments in order to access the complaints process, please let us know what we can do to help.
Informal resolution via conciliation
When things go wrong, we would encourage students to raise any concerns or queries as soon as possible, as this typically means that they will be easier and quicker to resolve. We don’t want to discourage you from discussing any concerns with your course team or a member of staff in the appropriate department or within Registry, as this can resolve your concerns immediately. However, if this doesn’t help or you would like to talk to an impartial adviser, you may wish to immediately seek support from a Conciliator.
What is conciliation?
The university offers a Conciliation Scheme, which provides students with an informal, supportive route to resolving complaints. A Conciliator will be available to meet with you, listen to your concerns, and seek to resolve any issues or problems you have, whether it be about course details, assessment or even difficulties with another person
The role of the Conciliator will be to meet with both parties and work with them to find a solution. They will offer advice on what would be an appropriate resolution to either party, adhering at all times to the University regulations. The emphasis will be on face to face communication wherever possible.
Once you have requested to meet with a Conciliator you will be contacted as quickly as possible to arrange a meeting.
You can approach a Conciliator by email using the list below. There are a number of Conciliators who deal with issues related to your campus, and Conciliators within Group Resolution Unit and other areas of the university to resolve service area related issues or other complaints and concerns.
Find out more about:
Stage 1: Complaint to Pro-Vice-Chancellor and CEO of CU Group or manager of function
Although we hope that we are able to resolve complaints informally, we also recognise that students and any others who are affected by the university’s service may wish to pursue their complaint through the university’s formal channel.
Although we will accept complaints that are made in person or by telephone, we encourage you to complete the complaint pro-forma.
Please provide as much information as you can in letting us know what has gone wrong and how you would like the university to put things right. Where possible, you must provide any relevant evidence and this should be sent within 10 working days of submitting your complaint to firstname.lastname@example.org. You are also asked to tell us what steps you have taken so far to resolve the matter.
All formal complaints must be made within 3 months of the alleged incident, matter or concern. Complaints received outside of our advertised deadlines will be deemed out of time and the university reserves the right not to progress the complaint any further.
Your complaint will normally be acknowledged within the week and this will inform you who will be investigating your complaint. A comprehensive response will normally be made available to you within 20 working days. If for any reason it is going to take longer, we will let you know as soon as we can and keep you updated on our progress.
Stage 2: Complaint to Vice-Chancellor
If you feel that the university has still not addressed your concerns, you are able to take your complaint to the final stage in the University’s complaints process by making a direct report to the Vice-Chancellor. You can do this by emailing email@example.com and this must be within 10 working days of receiving the response to your stage 1 complaint, otherwise your complaint will be deemed out of time.
We will normally acknowledge your complaint by the next working day and inform you who will be investigating your complaint. The Vice-Chancellor will either investigate the complaint himself or ask one of his Senior Management team to investigate on his behalf.
A comprehensive response will normally be made available to you within 20 working days. If for any reason it is going to take longer, we will let you know as soon as we can and keep you updated on our progress.
Once you have received a reply, you have reached the end of the University’s internal procedures and shortly afterwards, the Registrar & Secretary will send you a Completion of Procedures letter. This will enable you (if you are a student), to take your complaint to the Office of the Independent Adjudicator for Higher Education (OIA) if you still feel that your complaint has not been resolved satisfactorily. You must do this within 12 months of the date of the completion of procedures letter.