How, where and to whom do I complain? 

(See appendix 1 & appendix 1.1 for a summary diagram of the procedure stages)

Before entering the Complaints Procedure

The first step is to try to resolve your complaint informally with the person(s) concerned at the point at which your problem arose. If your complaint is about treatment by a specific individual, then you should try to approach this person in the first instance. Alternatively, you may wish to talk informally with someone else or approach the person’s line manager.

Complaints Procedure: Informal Stage

Normally you should raise a complaint verbally or in writing as soon as possible after any informal attempts to resolve an issue have been completed.

You should normally expect to receive a response and hopefully a resolution within 30 working days.

The informal process will generally be an oral one and may not involve a written record.

All involved must try to reach a resolution before considering any formal procedures.

Formal Procedure - Stage 1

If you remain dissatisfied you should formalise your complaint to initiate Stage 1 of the Procedure. To do this you should either write a letter or e-mail or complete a ‘Complaints form’ and submit it to the Complaints Officer, who will forward it on to the appropriate person. You can also complete an online Complaint Form.

You should clearly outline the nature and grounds of the complaint and what outcome is sought; this should be received within 10 working days of the failure to resolve the issues informally.

The Complaints Officer should acknowledge receipt of your formal complaint within five days and then arrange for an investigation to be undertaken; this may involve holding meetings and interviews with relevant people. Written notes of such meetings should be made.

Should the complaint be against the Head of School/Unit, it will be dealt with directly at Stage 2 of the Procedure.

The investigation should be completed as quickly as possible and you and any other person(s) involved will be informed of the outcome by the Head of School/Unit or the Complaints Officer within 30 working days. If your complaint is likely to take longer to investigate, then you will be kept informed of progress.

If your complaint is upheld, then you will be informed of any action which Cardiff Metropolitan University intends to take, for example a formal apology, a statement on how systems will be changed in the future or a review of procedures.

When the investigation is concluded, the Head of School/Unit will submit a report of the enquiry to the Complaints Officer for monitoring purposes.

Formal Procedure – Stage 2

If you remain dissatisfied with the response from Stage 1 of the Formal Procedure, you may request that the outcome be reviewed by an investigator who will be independent of the School or Unit involved in the complaint; normally this is a senior Cardiff Metropolitan University manager. In order to initiate this process you should submit details in writing to the Complaints Officer within 10 working days from the date of notification of the outcome of Stage 1, reiterating the grounds for the complaint and the desired outcomes and outlining why the decision of Stage 1 is not satisfactory to yourself. You should request that Stage 2 be enacted within 10 working days from the receipt of your letter.

Taking into account the substance of the complaint and previous attempts at resolution, the situation will normally be reviewed by the Complaints Officer or her/his nominee as the independent investigator and you should be notified within five working days whether the investigation is to proceed.

The independent investigator will have access to all prior correspondence and the results of the Stage 1 investigation. S/he may wish to meet with you and any other parties involved, in order to reach a decision.

The independent investigator’s enquiry should be completed and the decisions/ recommendations communicated to you and any other parties involved within 30 working days of the start of the investigation. If the review is expected to take longer you will be kept informed of progress. At the end of the investigation the independent investigator will inform you of the outcome and, where appropriate, of any action which Cardiff Metropolitan University intends to take.

Formal Procedure - Stage 3

If the independent investigator determines that Stage 3 of the procedure is warranted and you agree or if you have good reason to be dissatisfied with the response from Stage 2, then your complaint may be considered by a Complaints Panel. In order to initiate this process, you should submit evidence in writing to the Complaints Officer within 10 working days from the date of notification of the outcome of Stage 2, reiterating the grounds for the complaint and the desired outcomes and outlining why the decision of Stage 2 is not satisfactory to yourself. You should request that Stage 3 be enacted within 10 working days from the receipt of your letter.

Taking into account the substance of the complaint and previous attempts at resolution, the situation will normally be reviewed by the Complaints Officer or the Director of Operations and you should be notified within five working days whether a Panel is to be constituted.

The Complaints Panel will normally be convened within 30 working days after a request for Stage 3 is accepted. The Director of Operations will co-ordinate the establishment of the Panel and keep you and all parties informed of the date of the hearing, the constitution of the Panel and the procedures to be followed.