Complaints policy and procedure

Admissions complaints procedure

The University is dedicated to operating a fair and consistent admissions process that safeguards the interests of the applicants. In the event of a dispute it is anticipated that in the first instance applicants will be able to successfully resolve such matters by way of informal discussion with the relevant Admissions Team and/or Faculty.

Where this is not possible, more formal action can be taken through the Complaints Policy. Applicants can be assured that formal submission of a complaint will not prejudice any opinion of the applicant, or be used to adversely affect any later dealings with the applicant including any future applications.

Complaints policy

1. Scope

This policy and procedures apply to all applicants of the University and staff administering them. Applicants are advised to read the following information carefully before submitting a formal complaint under this procedure.

Complaints should be completed by the applicants themselves; letters and other correspondence from other parties will not be considered unless the University has received written and signed authorisation from the applicant that the third party acts on their behalf. If the applicant is under 18 years of age, a parent or legal guardian may act as their representative.

All written correspondence should always include the applicant’s full details including name, address, contact details and UCAS or other application reference number where applicable. Applicants are expected to treat all members of University staff with respect. Applicants who abuse, threaten or mistreat members of staff either verbally, in writing or physically will not be tolerated and will be subject to the policy on staff safety and will have their application and complaint automatically rejected.

2. Definition of Complaints

Complaints are defined as relating to the services offered by the University or the actions or behaviour of a member of staff during the admissions process. This could involve concerns around a procedural error, irregularity or maladministration in the admissions process. If a complaint were upheld, the likely outcome could be a formal or informal apology or decision to review procedures.

3. Grounds for making a complaint

A complaint may be made about any stage of the admissions process, where there are adequate grounds for doing so. The procedure may not be used simply because an applicant has been unsuccessful with his or her application at any of the stages.
Complaints will only be considered valid if they relate to the following:

  1. The actions of a member of staff
  2. The conduct of a member of staff
  3. The services offered by the University.

Claims for financial compensation will not be entered into.

4. The Complaints Procedure

There are two routes for complaints:

Informal (verbal)

Informal complaints may be made verbally to the appropriate member of Admissions staff/Academic Admissions Officers, normally within five working days of the event or incident to which they relate and no more than ten working days. This would enable the Admissions staff to quickly gather information about the event or incident.

Formal (written)

Applicants who remain dissatisfied or have a more serious complaint may make a formal complaint in writing. The complainant should download and complete the complaint investigation form and email it to or post it to the Admissions Operations Manager at the address given on the form. It should be submitted no later than ten working days after the event or incident.

Please note that all relevant information should be submitted at this time and that it is not possible to consider information that is submitted at a later point in the complaints process without good reason. The complaint will be investigated by the Admissions Operations Manager who will reply to the applicant in writing, normally within ten working days.

If the applicant remains dissatisfied with the decision she/he may write to the Head of Recruitment and Admissions explaining why they remain dissatisfied and, in respect of the complaint, what she/he would have hoped the outcome would have been. The Head of Recruitment and Admissions will normally respond within ten working days. This decision is final and the applicant does not have further recourse under these procedures.

If the complaint is regarding the Head of Recruitment and Admissions, the Applicant may, in the event they can offer evidence that the University has failed to follow the complaints procedure as stated in this document, write to the Academic Registrar within ten working days of dispatch of the formal response. The Academic Registrar will then assess the validity of any complaints at this stage and will respond within ten working days by letter or email to inform the applicant whether the complaint was upheld. The Academic Registrar’s decision will then be considered as final.

5. Storage of information relating to Appeals and Complaints

By signing your letter of Complaint, you agree that the University can process information it contains for all the purposes relating to the Complaints procedure for applicants and to your application to the University. Information will be stored and processed in accordance with the University’s registration under the Data Protection Act. It may be disclosed to members of the University who have a need to see it and will be stored as part of your application to the University.

6. Monitoring of Complaints

The University regularly monitors the numbers and outcomes of Complaints and reports this to internal quality assurance forums with a view to improving customer service. Monitoring reports will not contain any personally identifiable information. The University regulations for registered students contain a formal complaints procedure, which can be accessed here.

7. Admissions feedback

Due to the large volumes of applications the University receives, it is not possible, as a matter of routine, to provide detailed feedback to all unsuccessful applicants. However, we will provide general feedback to unsuccessful applicants upon written request (via KentVision/email/letter) to the Information and Admissions Operations Manager or the Head of the Recruitment and Admissions.

The request for feedback should be received within thirty days of the University’s communication of the decision to reject an applicant. The University will normally acknowledge requests within five working days and respond to requests for feedback within twenty eight days.

8. Collaborative provision

Where the application process is being handled directly by a collaborative partner, complaints should be addressed to the administering institution responsible for admissions and will be dealt with under their relevant complaints procedure.

(Note: Degree applications to the Medway School of Pharmacy (MSoP) and the Kent and Medway Medical School (KMMS) for 2020/21 will be administered by the University of Kent.)

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