Principal Skills is committed to ensuring that all learners and employers are aware of the complaints and appeals procedure and process, have access to a responsive procedure system; and that this is a key feature to assessment of all qualifications.
The purpose of this policy is to provide clear guidance regarding the complaints and appeals process and associated procedures.
The complaints and appeals policy is applicable to all learners, employers and Principal Skills staff.
Except in exceptional circumstances, we will try to ensure that your complaint remains confidential but in some cases the circumstances giving rise to the complaint may make it impossible to maintain confidentiality. In these situations, we will discuss this with you.
- Informal Discussion with a representative of Principal Skills
- It is always useful to talk through your complaint with the person responsible, either by telephone or face to face. Principal Skills may request that you make an appointment, as this will ensure we can listen to your concerns fully and allocate an appropriate amount of time.
Cause of action where an amicable solution has not been reached during an informal discussion
- You will be asked to confirm the complaint in writing to the Directors of Principal Skills which will be acknowledged in writing within 5 working days of receipt of the complaint.
- A director of Principal, Skills will then look into the complaint and contact you when it has been investigated with a solution to the complaint.
Cause of action where a solution has not been reached between the complainant and Principal Skills.
- The next step would be to make a formal complaint to the relevant governing body, depending on the nature of the complaint.
- You should contact the governing body by letter and you may wish to send him or her a copy of your original letter as well as giving a reason why you are dissatisfied with the service provided by Principal Skills.
All complaints are reported and reviewed internally each month. They are also reviewed by the directors.
We aim to improve our business processes and our response to customers in the light of learning from the feedback we receive.
The appeals procedure.
It is the responsibility of the assessment team to consider the appeals process and where appropriate, improvements to the assessment system.
The consideration of appeals will help the internal verifier (I.V) to monitor the assessment process and improve it where appropriate. This process will contribute to the standardization of assessment and used to inform the quality improvement plan (QIP).
- Principal Skills places emphasis upon ensuring that all learners are aware of the appeals process. Learners are encouraged and expected to express the basis of the disagreement to the assessor during the feedback session should they disagree with the criteria that have not been met. This type of ‘negotiation’ does not constitute a formal appeal.
- If, after such a feedback session the disagreement has not been resolved, both the assessor and learner request advice promptly from the internal verifier (IV). The IV will closely examine any disputed evidence, which is part of the continuous sampling process and seek to find agreement between the learner and assessor.
- Where allocated I.V’s are unable to reach agreement between the assessor and learner. Principal Skills has a formal appeals procedure in place which will be followed.
- The Quality manager has overall responsibility for the appeals policy and procedure; including the recording of appeals and outcomes.
- All assessors and internal verifiers are made aware of the policy and procedure from standardization meetings, NVQ code of practice and assessor/IV induction packs.
All appeals will be discussed at I.V and standardization meetings
- Action following will be used to identify support and development needs of assessors and internal verifiers. Assessors support logs will be updates and used to inform personal development reviews/plans.
Monitoring and Evaluation
- The Quality manager will monitor all appeals and use information as part of Principal Skills internal continuous improvement process.
- This policy and its implementation will be monitored on an annual basis by the Quality manager in conjunction with the internal verification and assessment team.
Formal Appeals Procedure
- Should a learner wish to make an appeal following informal discussion with the I.V, they must make a request for re-assessment in writing. This must be done within 5 working days of receiving the original assessment result and addressed to the lead I.V.
- Learners can appeal against the following:
- Assessment planning – the learner can appeal if they do not agree with the suggested methods, location, time and criteria.
- The assessment – the learner has the right to appeal if they feel that the assessment differed for what was agreed on the assessment plan or if they feel that they did not receive a fair assessment.
- The assessment decision – the learner can appeal if they feel the assessors’ judgment was unfair.
- On receipt of the formal appeal from the learner, the lead I.V. will;
- Attempt to negotiate a solution between the relevant assessor and learner.
- If it is not possible to reach an agreement then a date will be set for an I.V. appeals panel to meet.
- The I.V team will then meet within 10 working days of the receipt of the appeal by the lead I.V, with re-assessment, if deemed necessary taking place within 5 working days of the appeals meeting.
- The IV team should ensure that full original details are obtained in writing from both the learner and assessor involved.
- The outcome of the appeal may be as follows;
- Confirmation of the original decision.
- A re-assessment by an independent assessor.
- A judgment that adequate evidence of competence has been shown.
- An opportunity to re-submit for assessment within a revised agreed timescale.
- If the learner is still not satisfied with the decision at this stage and the procedure has been exhausted, then the learner can contact the awarding body.
NB – The awarding body should only be contacted once the appeals procedure has been FULLY exhausted.