Complaint Procedure

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Policy Statement

The Trade Academy is committed to providing the best possible service for all of its learners (and for visitors and partners). Nevertheless, we acknowledge that learners can at times feel dissatisfied and are entitled to have their concerns listened to and addressed. In such cases, the Academy wishes to respond quickly and effectively. Normally, learners are invited to raise their concerns in the first instance with the appropriate tutors, managers or services staff, as a complaint can often be resolved quickly and simply in this way. However, if learners are not satisfied with the response made by staff, or do not wish to use this route, they may make a formal complaint instead. The procedure for making a complaint is set out below and is also available in the student handbook. This is available from reception or can be emailed or posted to learners by staff, on request. Where learners wish to register a comment or compliment, rather than make a complaint, they can do so by email or in writing, marked for the attention of Head of the Academy.

Scope and purpose

At theTRADE ACADEMY we are always open to suggestions, both positive and constructively critical. It is important for us to know when we get things right but most importantly, when there is a need to improve.

All courses and services at the Academy are reviewed regularly and your comments will help the teams and managers to prepare and, where necessary, redesign or change the provision.

Feedback is central to this process of continual quality improvement. We want to hear from you if you feel we have done something well or, alternatively, if you think we have not met the standards you expected from us.

It is our commitment to listen and to respond to the views of all users of the Academy and its services.


This procedure is designed to provide guidance to any student, visitor or other parties such as parents or employers who are dissatisfied with any aspect of the Academy, or have positive suggestions /comments.

Our aim is to respond quickly and positively and to reach an outcome that is satisfactory and fair for all concerned. We also aim to keep you informed of our progress in dealing with the complaint and the personnel involved.

The purpose of the complaints procedure is to provide an opportunity for complaints to be resolved as quickly as possible by carefully logging and analysing complaints, to provide a means of identifying problems and potential faults in the services provided by the Academy.


The Head of Quality is responsible for monitoring complaints and to look for trends and patterns. The Head of Quality, in consultation with the Head of Curriculum, will present an annual report to the Head of Academy on the nature of the complaints received and the manner and speed with which they have been resolved. An annual report on complaints will be presented to the Advisory board that represent the interests of the local community and the public in general.

Student responsibilities

Responsibility is a two way process and if you are a student and you are making a complaint about your course, you also have responsibilities. We will expect you to have complied with the Academy’s ABC standards summarised as the Code of Conduct in the student Disciplinary Procedure:-
A = Attendance
B = Behaviour
C = Commitment (meeting deadlines etc).


Our complaints procedure is designed to help customers register their concerns and to help the Academy respond effectively and appropriately. Complaints are dealt with in two ways:- 1. Informal – by talking to us 2. Formal – by putting the complaint in writing. How you can complain If you are not satisfied with the service you receive you can:-
  • Speak to your Subject or Personal Tutor or the Programme Coordinator
  • Provide feedback via student questionnaires, focus groups etc.
  • Complete an Academy feedback form (available in all reception areas)
Where a complaint is fully or partially upheld, the Academy will take positive actions to put things right, make every effort to prevent it from happening again and will ensure the complainant is kept informed throughout. If a complaint is not upheld, the complainant will be advised accordingly.

Once a complaint has been received, the Academy endeavours to acknowledge receipt of that complaint within three working days.

The Academy will appoint an appropriate manager to conduct an investigation. The manager will then contact the complainant to discuss the situation and work towards achieving an acceptable solution.

The Academy will ensure that your complaint is dealt with impartially and confidentially.

Outcome of the investigation
On completion of the investigation, the complaint will be classified in one of three ways:-
  • Upheld – the complaint was fully justified and will result in the Academy taking corrective action, e.g. an amendment of management/service procedures, staff training, improved communications
  • Partially upheld – certain aspects of the complaint were considered justified and will result in the Academy conducting some follow-up action
  • Not upheld – the complaint was not justified.
Concluding action
On completion of the investigation, the investigating manager will:-

1. Ensure the Head of Quality is in possession of all necessary information and paperwork to officially record and log the process
2. Inform any members of staff who have been involved in the complaint of the outcome and any follow-up action
3. Make sure the complainant has been fully briefed about the outcome
4. Ensure if the complaint is about equality and diversity, safeguarding or disability that the appropriate Academy manager has been notified.


If you are unhappy with the outcome of the complaint, you can request a review of the matter, which will be undertaken by a different manager and overseen by the Head of Academy.

A further investigation will be undertaken to try to reach a solution acceptable to both the complainant and the Academy.

If you are still not satisfied with the outcome, you can contact:-
The Skills Funding Agency, Floors 4-7, St Lawrence House, 29-31 Broad Street, Bristol, BS1
The Department for Education, Castle View House, East Lane, Runcorn, Cheshire, WA7 2GJ
Ofstead, Piccadilly Gate
Store Street
M1 2WD

Please Note: if your complaint directly concerns the Head of Academy you should send your complaint form directly to: Advisory Board, Excellence-Solutions T/A Trade Academy, CEME, MarshWay , RM13 8EU

Time period

The time period as set out in this procedure are for guidance and under some circumstances may be subject to extension. Where any such extensions are made, the complainant will be notified in writing.

Serial and vexatious complainants
A serial and/or vexatious complainant is someone who acts in an unreasonable manner, is unreasonably persistent in the manner in which they raise their complaint, for example, shifting goalposts, not accepting what is being said. The Academy has a duty of care for its employees; when dealing with a serial and/or vexatious complainant we reserve the right to refuse to investigate a complaint and may, if appropriate, refer the matter to the Academy’s legal team.