Advice for Investigators 

Advice for Investigators

Student Complaints Procedure

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Arranging Interviews:

1. When asked to undertake an investigation, obtain and peruse a copy of the procedure, before contacting any of the parties;
2. If you have any queries regarding the procedure, please contact the Dean of Students & Complaints officer for advice;
3. Contact the complainant (reminding them of availability of the Procedure ) and interview to ascertain full details of the allegation(s) and outcome sought;
4. Contact the subject of the complaint (reminding them of the availability of the procedure) and explain the details of the complaint.  Arrange an interview with the subject of the complaint ;
5. Contact any witnesses to the complaint (reminding them of the availability of the procedure) and explain the details of the complaint.  Arrange an interview with the witness(es);

Conducting Interviews:

1. If possible, arrange for a note taker to record key details of interview (this does not need to be a verbatim account).  If not possible, take a contemporaneous note yourself;
2. Ask interviewee to recount in their own words the sequence of events on the day in question;
3. Ensure the interviewee
4. Once they have given their account, ask them any specific questions you may feel are relevant to ascertaining the facts of the situation;
5. Offer them an opportunity to ask you any questions – if unsure of answers, state that you will check and let them know, then seek advice from Dean of Students at earliest opportunity;
6. At the end of the interview, ask them to sign and date the notes taken to confirm that it is an accurate record of the interview.

Writing the Report

1.  The report must be factual in all sections except conclusions and recommendations;
2. The report should include an introduction (details of complaint and steps taken to investigate), findings (summary of the factual findings or lack of factual evidence found to support the allegations, from documents and witnesses) and conclusions (whether facts support allegations, whether action is required and what action is recommended, bearing in mind the outcome sought by the complainant);
3. The report should be submitted to the Dean of School/Head of Unit and Dean of Students, who will determine appropriate action to be taken.