Guidelines on the Conduct of a Complaints Panel 

The purpose of the Complaints Panel is to hear the complaint and the response. Taking into account previous attempts to resolve issues and satisfy the complainant, the Panel shall determine whether the complaint is justified and whether the School/Unit/individual has provided a reasonable response and/or resolution.

Each Complaints Panel will normally have four members and be constituted as follows:

  • One member of the Vice-Chancellor and Principal’s Board (VCPB) who will chair the committee.
  • At least one member drawn from the Management Board, who does not have any prior knowledge of the case or any connection with the complainant.
  • One staff or student member nominated by a relevant Union, who has not been involved in advising the complainant during the procedure and who does not have prior knowledge of the case.
  • One external member with experience in this area.

You may be accompanied by a friend, adviser or representative, who may speak on your behalf, but may not be a solicitor or barrister acting in a professional capacity.

The Order of Panel Proceedings will be as follows:

  • Chair to introduce all present.
  • Chair to explain the purpose of the complaint hearing.
  • Chair to reference letter and written statements by complainant and School/Unit/individual.
  • A4 written synopsis summarising the main points of their case distributed by both parties (optional).
  • Complainant or representative makes oral presentation
  • Opportunity to question complainant’s presentation by Panel members and School/Unit/individual.
  • School/Unit makes presentation
  • Opportunity to question School/Unit/individual by Panel and complainant (or representation).
  • Complainant and/or representative summarises. No new evidence can be presented as this time.
  • School/Unit/individual summarises. No new evidence can be presented at this time.
  • Adjournment – Chair and Panel to consider the submission in private.

Either side may be required to be available to provide further information or clarification of matters to the panel.

The Panel will decide the outcome. In the event of a split decision the Chair will have a casting vote.

Witnesses are not permitted to appear at the Hearing. However, the complainant and the School/Unit/individual are permitted to provide written witness statements in advance of the Panel hearing, which will be considered with the previous documentation.

The Panel may decide to:

  • uphold the complaint and make recommendations to the School/Unit or any of Cardiff Metropolitan University’s Committees, as appropriate:
  • dismiss the complaint and determine that the School/Unit/individual has acted reasonably during the informal and formal process of the Complaints Procedure;
  • consider that there have been faults on both sides and propose a compromise agreement between the parties involved.

The decisions/recommendations of the Complaints Panel will be communicated to you and the relevant School/Unit/individual within 10 working days. Where the Panel reserves its decision, you will be informed of the expected date on which its decisions/recommendations will be made.