Rules, Regulations, and Information for Students
Appendix 2: Complaints Procedure
- This procedure applies to complaints made by a student against an Academic Department, Faculty or non-Academic Department. Where complaints from a significant number of students are based upon disruption caused by circumstances beyond the University's control (for example, industrial action) the procedure set out in paragraph 13 below will apply.
- The following general principles apply to all cases.
- Disputes should be resolved at the lowest level possible in the procedure. In the interests of harmonious relationships informal procedures should, so far as is reasonably practicable, be exhausted prior to entering the formal procedure.
- At any stage in the formal procedure the parties may be accompanied by a friend, representative of the Guild or a Trade Union recognised by the University, or any other member of the University community.
- Any student who has a complaint should, in the first instance, seek to resolve the matter in an informal manner. This may involve his or her personal tutor, another member of the academic staff or other appropriate person. In the case of a collective complaint (not involving allegations against a named individual) the appropriate Staff Student Consultative Committee may be involved. These informal proceedings will not prejudice the formal procedure outlined below.
- Where informal proceedings have been exhausted without successful resolution of the matter the student may make a written complaint to the Head of the Department against which the complaint is made.
- Upon receipt of a written complaint the Head of Department must, within one week, interview the complainant and any other person who may be involved.
- Following such an interview:
- The Head of Department may seek to resolve the matter by mediation. He or she may act as mediator or arrange for an agreed third person to undertake this task. If mediation fails the Head of Department must immediately report the matter in writing to the Dean of the Faculty; or
- if the Head of Department feels that the matter involves him or her in a clear conflict of interests, or if he or she feels that the complaint is against the Faculty or the University, then he or she must immediately report the matter in writing to the Dean of the Faculty.
- Any referral to the Dean under paragraph 6 must be accompanied by a copy of the complaint, any written evidence that may have been submitted and the Head of Department's comments on the case.
- The Dean, upon receipt of a report under paragraph 6, must:
- determine the matter on the basis of the written documents; or
- interview (separately or together) the parties to the dispute and determine the matter; or
- where he or she feels that there is a conflict of interest, refer the case to the other Deans for them to proceed under 8(a) or 8(b); or
- establish a panel to hear the complaint and determine the matter.
- Within three days of a determination under paragraph 8 the Dean must prepare a report outlining the case and the reasons for the decision. Copies of this report must be sent to the relevant Pro Vice-Chancellor, the relevant Head of Department, the complainant and any other party to the dispute.
- Any party to the dispute may appeal to the relevant Pro Vice-Chancellor on one or more of the following grounds:
- the above procedure has not been followed;
- the principles of natural justice have not been complied with; or
- there is new evidence pertaining to the decision which was not originally submitted and that its absence materially affected the outcome.
- When hearing an appeal the Pro Vice-Chancellor may, in addition to consulting appropriate persons, invite the parties for interview. The decision of the Pro Vice-Chancellor is final, subject to the provisions referred to in paragraph 13 below.
- In the case of a complaint against a non-academic Department the reference to Head of Department means the person accountable to the Officers listed below for the running of that Department. The references to the Dean in paragraphs 6, 7, 8 and 9 are to be read as references to the Officers listed below. Accordingly 8(c) does not apply to complaints against non-academic Departments.
The relevant Officers are:
Pro Vice-Chancellor: Student Experience and International
Student Support Services
Pro Vice-Chancellor: Student and Staff Services
Careers Advisory Service
Human Resources Office
Residential and Hospitality Services
Pro Vice-Chancellor: Research, Enterprise and Engagement
Commercialisation and Consultancy Services
Pro Vice-Chancellor: Welsh Language and Culture
Welsh Language Services
Director of Planning
Recruitment and Admissions
Director of Finance
Director of Information Services
All sections of IS
Director of Student Support Services
All Resident Tutors in halls
13. Student complaints arising from industrial action by AU staff will be considered by a Panel of Deans in the first instance.
Deputy Deans will be able to serve on the Panel if a Dean is unavailable.
14. The Panel will operate on the basis of the procedure set out in Paragraphs 8(a), 8 (b) and 9 above.
15. Appeals against the Panel's decision may be made to the Pro Vice-Chancellor, as set out in paragraphs 10 and 11 above.
16. Once all internal procedures have been exhausted a candidate may submit a complaint to the OIA (Office of the
Independent Adjudicator). Any such complaint must be submitted by sending a completed Scheme Application Form
together with all relevant information to the OIA within three months of the date on the Completion of
Procedures Letter from the University on completion of the internal procedures. A Scheme Application Form can be obtained
from the Academic Secretary, downloaded from the OIA website www.oiahe.org.uk or by telephoning or writing to the OIA
at the following address:
Third Floor, Kings Reach
38-50 Kings Road
Tel: 0118 959 9813