Compliments and Complaints Procedure and Process
Next Step welcomes feedback from all learners, employers and other customers who use our services. We encourage suggestions, compliments and complaints.
We aim to respond to all complaints in a timely and courteous manner to ensure we continue providing the highest standards of teaching, learning, assessment and customer service.
Next Step is committed to taking all complaints seriously by:
1. Encouraging a culture of openness
2. Making the process as straightforward as possible
3. Carrying out a fair and thorough investigation
4. Keeping the complainant informed throughout
5. Using the information to improve our services and provide staff training if required
This procedure will be available on the Next Step website and explained to both employer and Apprentices at the start of their programme.
All compliments, where possible, will be acknowledged and the customer thanked for their feedback. Compliments will be shared with the member(s) of staff and their Line Manager. Sometimes, Next Step will use compliments for use in publications with permission from the customer.
Next Step takes all complaints seriously and there is a staged approach through which we aim to resolve any concerns as quickly as possible.
All complaints are centrally recorded and monitored and reported through the management reporting system every quarter to review process and outcomes.
Stage 1 – Informal
Rather than let an issue of concern or an area of dissatisfaction become a complaint, we hope that you will try to resolve your issue by:
1. Talking to the person involved. If you feel the person is approachable, please approach her/him directly and explain your concern.
2. Apprentices-talk to your Trainer. They may be able to assist you with either personal or course problems and will also refer you to specialist support if necessary. If this is still not resolved please talk to your employer.
3. Employers- talk to your Business Skills Adviser who will try to resolve your issue or signpost the issue to the Quality Director.
Stage 2 – Formal
Next Step appreciates that there may be occasions when a more formal approach is necessary. Formal complaints must be made in writing. The key 3 stages through which a complaint is processed are outlined below.
Next Step are committed to equal opportunities and our aim is to make our procedures easy to use and accessible. We will always make reasonable adjustments to enable access to this procedure.
If you write to us, please outline your concerns as clearly and in as much detail as you can. Please include your name and address, dates, locations and witnesses (if appropriate). You should outline any previous unsuccessful attempts at resolution and what reasonable steps you feel could now be taken to resolve the complaint. Please write to:
Name: Next Step Quality Director
Address: Mocatta House
Your complaint will be acknowledged within 2 working days of receipt. The Quality Director will conduct a thorough investigation and will notify the complainant in writing of the outcome of the investigation within 10 working days of receipt. If there is a delay, due to the complex nature of a complaint, the complainant will be advised and kept informed of progress.
Stage 3 – Appeals Procedure
If you are dissatisfied with the response to your formal complaint (Stage 2), you have the right to escalate your complaint to the appeals procedure. You should outline in writing, the reasons for your dissatisfaction and send to the Managing Director, who will investigate. You will receive a response within 5 working days and we will tell you how we plan to investigate and when you might expect a detailed response. This will usually be within 15 working days of receipt of our acknowledgement response. If there is a delay, due to the complex nature of a complaint, you will be advised and kept informed of progress.
The Managing Director will review the nature of the complaint and analyse the investigating officer’s findings. On completion of the appeal and review, the Managing Director will choose one of the following three options based on the evidence:
1. Uphold the original decision
2. Change the outcome based on the evidence presented
3. Continue and extend the investigation
At the end of the investigation, the Managing Director will make a final decision. The complainant will be informed in writing of the outcome. The decision of the Managing Director is final.
If you believe this decision is unreasonable or that Next Step has not followed its procedures, you may refer the matter to the Education and Skills Funding Agency. You must contact the ESFA within 12 months after the issue happened.
Email or post your complaint to the ESFA complaints team.
ESFA complaints team
Education and Skills Funding Agency
The ESFA will respond to let you know what will happen next.
Date of issue: January 2019
Next Review Date: January 2020
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