Complaints policy

Scope

This Complaints Procedure deals with complaints arising from:

  • Recruitment and Delivery (or lack of delivery) of services for education and training including teaching, course content, coaching, tutoring, assessment, feedback on progress and Apprentice support during learning programmes
  • Incorrect or misleading information about services provided by Multiverse
    Delivery (or lack of delivery) of support services provided by Multiverse including administration of fees, enrolment processes, Multiverse accommodation, health and safety and Apprentice resource services
  • Unacceptable actions or behaviour by Multiverse staff and/or other Apprentices in Multiverse.

Multiverse has separate procedures in place to resolve Assessment Appeals.

Purpose

  • Multiverse will deal with legitimate complaints in a fair, prompt and objective manner.
  • Complaints will be dealt with without recrimination and Apprentices will not be disadvantaged by raising a complaint.
  • Multiverse will be fair in the treatment of all those who complain irrespective of age, gender, ethnicity and disability.
  • Complaints will be dealt with promptly and constructively.
  • All complaints will be dealt with in confidence but shared with any person who may be the subject of a complaint.
  • The outcomes of any complaint will be shared with the complainant and any staff involved.
  • Complaints made which, on investigation, turn out to be malicious, may result in disciplinary action.
  • The General Manager will be responsible for the management of the Complaints Policy.

Policy statement

Multiverse is committed to providing a high-quality service for our Apprentices,
service users and external contacts, in a non-discriminatory way. It is our policy to
take all complaints seriously and to ensure that they are promptly investigated at an appropriate level. We are also committed, whenever possible, to act to reduce the likelihood of recurrence of similar problems.

Multiverse will take extra care ensuring any information identifying complainants is kept secure and confidential, processing information in accordance with our Data Protection, Copyright and Confidentiality Policy. Any records containing sensitive information and/or identifying the complainants will be kept secure and confidential for the retention period (see below) and will then be disposed of in a secure manner.

This Policy sets out rules on how to make a complaint and explains the process of
dealing with any complaints made.

The Complaints Policy and Procedure must be read in conjunction with other relevant Multiverse Policies and Appeals Procedure.

Complaints procedure

All complaints must initially be made in writing to the Head of Operations.
Support can be made available for all those involved in a complaint including parent, guardian, friend or supporter and help with completing the Written Complaint.

Informal complaints procedure

  • Multiverse aims to resolve most of the complaints by carrying out a discussion between the complainant and the appropriate member of staff.
  • The initial complaint may be made orally or in writing and the member of staff receiving the complaint should make a response within 10 working days, orally or in writing.
  • It is expected that staff are tactful and courteous in dealing with a complaint.
  • If the complainant is dissatisfied with the response received, they should then be guided to using the formal procedure.

Formal complaints procedure

  • As a rule, Multiverse requires that a formal complaint is made in writing within 15 working days of an incident or action from which the complaint arises, or from the date when the complainant received an oral or written reply to an informal complaint (see above).
  • In exceptional circumstances, a longer period will be considered.
  • The complaint should be sent to the Head of Operations.
  • If the complaint involves the Head of Operations, an alternative senior manager will be appointed to manage the process.
  • The complaint will be logged, and its receipt will be acknowledged to the complainant within 5 working days.
  • The Head of Operations will carry out an initial assessment of the complaint within 5 working days.
  • In most cases, complaints will be referred to the appropriate staff for investigation and report.
  • Multiverse will nominate a suitable member of the management team to carry out an investigation of the complaint. They may interview the complainant; the respondent; witnesses to the matter or events; and anyone they believe may have a role in establishing or disproving the complaint, as necessary.
  • They will prepare a summary and report back to the Head of Operations within 10 working days of the initial assessment.
  • The Head of Operations will record the outcome of the complaint and either arrange a meeting to deliver the outcome or notify all those involved in writing as appropriate.
  • All outcomes will be confirmed in writing to all those involved.
  • If the complaint involves an Apprentice, they will be offered support at the meeting.
  • All Apprentices will be encouraged to bring a supporter to the interview.
  • Vulnerable Adults must have the support of their care worker, or a person of their choice, who can act as their advocate and the Head of Operations must be informed.
  • The formal complaint should be resolved within 25 working days of the receipt of the original formal complaint.
  • If it appears that a decision will not be reached within the due period, those involved will be advised of the need for a longer period.
  • The decision made will be final, but this does not affect an individual’s legal rights and includes the right to complain directly to the End Point Awarding Organisation if the apprentice is not satisfied with the outcome of the complaint.

Each EPAO should be consulted for details of their own complaints or appeals processes and should be followed and documented accordingly.

Reviewing the complaints policy

Multiverse will review the Complaints Policy and Practice every 12 months to include:

  • Number of complaints of each type
  • Time taken to process complaints
  • List of outstanding complaints
  • Outcomes to complaints
  • Results of appeals
  • Analysis of complaints and outcomes by age, gender and ethnicity of the complainant.

Any changes to the Complaints Policy and Procedure, should these be required, will be communicated with all staff members, external contact and service users.

For audit purposes, Multiverse will keep a record of all complaints for the period of 3 years and will make these available to the relevant authorities upon request.