External Complaints and Positive Feedback Procedure
1.1 The Centre is responsible for all aspects of the Learn Welsh sector - from curriculum and course development to resources for tutors, research, marketing and e-learning. The Centre operates at arm's length from Welsh Government, which funds it, and is part of the University of Wales Trinity Saint David group. The Centre funds 11 local course providers which provide services to learners throughout Wales.
1.2 The Centre welcomes constructive feedback on its activities, whether positive or negative, and recognises that, from time to time, people or organisations external to the Centre may feel their expectations have not been met by the Centre, or that expectations have been exceeded. The Centre welcomes feedback in Welsh or English and will respond to such feedback in the preferred language of the correspondent.
2.1 The principles underpinning this procedure are that the Centre will:
- consider external complaints impartially and professionally within reasonable timeframes;
- encourage informal conciliation where possible;
- give fair and full consideration of complaints made in good faith;
- respect the privacy of complainants and disclose only the information necessary in order to process the complaint.
3.1 The procedure may be used by anyone external to the Centre who has been affected by the activities of the Centre, except where the matter raised falls within one of the categories listed in 3.2 below.
3.2 The procedure does not extend to:
- Matters which involve the learner’s relationship with one of the Centre’s course providers, where separate procedures exist. It is not possible to present a complaint to the Centre if a learner is unhappy with the result of a course provider’s complaint procedure.
- Complaints by or regarding members of Centre staff, where separate procedures exist.
- Release of information under the Data Protection, Freedom of Information Acts and/or Environmental Information Regulations, where separate procedures exist.
- Complaints by learners registered on courses provided by one of the Centre’s course providers, where separate procedures exist.
- Contracts, insurance claims and other commercial and financial transactions.
3.3 The Centre reserves its rights not to investigate or take any action in relation to a complaint received anonymously or received on behalf of an anonymous complainant through a third party.
3.4 The Centre will consider complaints which are made in good faith and reserves the right to decline to consider any complaints it considers frivolous, vexatious, defamatory, abusive and/or motivated by malice, or to enter into continuing correspondence about such complaints, and reserves its rights to take any further action which it regards as appropriate in respect of such complaints.
3.5 In the event that the Centre receives a group complaint, or a complaint from a member of a group, then the Centre requires that one person be appointed to act as correspondent and spokesperson for that group for the purposes of this procedure.
3.6 Data Protection legislation prevents the Centre from handling complaints made by a third party, unless the person wishing the complaint to be made in this way has given express permission.
4. Informal resolution
4.1 Complaints can usually be resolved quickly and satisfactorily on an informal basis. If possible, you should contact the member of staff most directly involved with the situation with a view to resolving the issues informally. Such contact should be made as soon as possible and in any event within 20 working days of the situation arising. Advice on the appropriate member of staff to contact is available from the Centre’s office.
5. Making a formal complaint
5.1 To lodge a formal complaint you must:
- Where appropriate, have attempted to resolve the issue informally (see 4.1) by approaching the individual directly responsible for your area of concern, and have good reason to consider that the matter has not been satisfactorily resolved.
- Write to the Centre with details of the complaint and submit this within 30 working days of the situation arising.
5.2 The Centre’s office will acknowledge receipt of your form normally within five working days, and will arrange for your complaint to be investigated by an appropriate Centre officer, usually a member of the Centre’s Senior Team.
5.3 The officer appointed to investigate your complaint is responsible for determining the actions needed to investigate and bring the complaint to a satisfactory conclusion. These may or may not include meeting the parties directly involved. S/he will provide a full written response to your complaint, normally within 20 working days. Where the investigation cannot be completed within that time for good reason (such as staff unavailability, or because the matter is complex), you will be provided with a revised timescale.
6. Final Review
6.1 If you are dissatisfied with the written response to your formal complaint, you may request that the matter is referred to the Centre’s Chief Executive or Deputy.
6.2 The Centre’s office will acknowledge receipt of your form normally within five working days, and will arrange for the outcome of your complaint to be reviewed by the Chief Executive or Deputy.
6.3 The Chief Executive or Deputy is responsible for determining whether the complaint outcome was sound. Her/his conclusions will be provided in writing, normally within 20 working days. Where the review cannot be completed within that time for good reason (such as staff unavailability, or because the matter is complex), you will be provided with a revised timescale.
6.4 The decision of the Chief Executive or Deputy is final and there will be no further avenue of review in the Centre.
7.1 The Centre’s Board of Directors monitors the nature and frequency of complaints about the Centre made by external parties. The Centre will also keep a record of positive feedback.