International Correspondence Schools Limited - Complaints Policy and Procedure
ICS Learn is committed to providing a quality service and achieving the highest standards of support to our students. One of the ways in which we can continue to improve our service is by listening and responding to the views of our students.
Therefore we aim to ensure that:
- making a complaint is as simple as possible;
- we treat a complaint as any clear expression of dissatisfaction with our service which calls for a response;
- we deal with it promptly, politely and professionally;
- we respond in the right way - for example, with an explanation, or an apology where we have got things wrong, or information on any action taken etc; and
- we learn from complaints and use them to improve our service.
How do I make a complaint?
If your complaint relates to an assessment or exam result/procedure that you wish to query please refer to the appeals policy.
For all other matters
Complaints should be raised as soon as possible after the problem occurred.
Complaints must be made in writing and sent to:
The Complaints Management Team
ICS Breckenridge House 274 Sauchiehall Street Glasgow G2 3EH
Our complaints procedure has 5 possible stages
Stage One: Initial complaint to the ICS Complaints Management Team
Stage Two: Formal escalation of the complaint to the Head of Department
Stage Three: Formal escalation of the complaint to the Director of Department
StageFour: Escalation of complaint to the Complaints Review Board
Stage Five: Refer to regulatory body (academic complaints only)
Stage One - Initial Complaint
1.1 We hope that any issues you encounter whilst studying with ICS can be addressed quickly by our experienced advisors and mentors. We understand, however, that sometimes you may wish to draw our attention to an issue more formally. If such an instance does arise please raise your complaint in writing to the Head of Student Services
1.2 The Head of Student Services will acknowledge receipt of your complaint and be responsible for drawing your complaint to the attention of the person/department who is directly concerned in the matter giving rise to the complaint as soon as possible. We will seek to resolve the matter within 14 working days of receipt of the complaint.
1.3 If it is not possible to give you a full reply within this time, for example, if your complaint requires more detailed investigation, we will give you an interim response telling you what is being done to deal with your complaint, when you can expect the full reply and from whom.
1.4 We anticipate that your complaint will be satisfactorily resolved at this stage but if this is not the case we would encourage you to consider Stage Two of the procedure.
Stage Two - Formal Complaint to Head of Department
2.1 If you are not happy with the response to your initial complaint you can request the complaint is escalated to the relevant Head of Department.
2.2 If the Head of Department is personally involved in the matter of complaint, the Director to which they report will deal with the complaint.
2.3 The Head of Department (or the Director to which they report) will investigate the complaint by:
- making investigations as appropriate;
- ask any person being the subject of the complaint for their view on the alleged failure/ deficiency;
- keep you and all other people involved informed of the progress of the investigation
2.4 The Head of Department (or the Director to which they report) will seek to complete these investigations and respond to your complaint within 14 working days.
Stage Three - Formal Complaint to the Director of Department
3.1 If you are not happy with the response to your complaint by the Head of Department you can request the complaint is escalated to the Director of Department.
3.3 If the Director of Department is personally involved in the matter of complaint or dealt with Stage Two of the procedure your complaint will be dealt with by the Chief Executive Officer.
3.4 The Director of Department (or the Chief Executive Officer) will investigate the complaint as detailed in Stage Two. They will also ensure that the original investigations from Stages One and Two have been carried out appropriately.
Stage Four - Complaints Review Board
4.1 If you are not happy with the response to your complaint by the Director of Department you can request that we convene our Complaints Review Board to consider the matter further. Prior to the Board meeting you will be asked to outline in writing the matter(s) you consider to be outstanding
4.2 The the Department Director will convene a Complaints Review Board to include a representative from each of the following groups:
- ICS senior management
- Academic team
The Department Director and Senior Academic Adviser will also attend the event as appropriate.
4.3 The outcome of the Complaints Review Board may be:
- to find the complaint justified and make an appropriate offer of redress to the complainant;
- to suggest an amicable settlement to the matter; or
- to dismiss the complaint.
Stage Five - Refer to the relevant regulatory body (academic complaints only)
5.1 We would hope to resolve all complaints at the earliest possible stage in our procedure but should you be unhappy with the outcome of a complaint of an academic nature after utilising the first four stages of the procedure, you can escalate your complaint further to the relevant regulatory body (i.e. the University partner or Awarding Body partner)
5.2 At this point you will have to follow the complaints procedure of the relevant regulatory body for your programme. If you are unsure as to whom the regulatory body is let us know and we will provide you with the appropriate details. You will be able to access their complaints procedure from their website.
5.3 We will continue to co-operate with any investigation that results from you initiating this stage
Stage Six - Appeal to Ofqual
If a student is unhappy with the outcome of an appeal to the relevant regulatory body, then there is the opportunity for a final appeal to Ofqual. If you are unsure of the procedures for this then please contact ICS and we will provide you with the appropriate details.
Updated February 2015