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How to make a complaint about a service provided by the University

The following procedures apply if you wish to make a complaint about your experience at the University, including services and facilities provided by Schools or any support departments such as Residential Services, Catering, Estates, Security, Finance, Careers Advice, Student Services, Student Support, Counselling, Information Services Aston (ISA), Library/Learning Resources, Examinations Office and Registry (click here to access the full Student Complaint Procedures):

Principles

At any stage of the complaints procedures, you have right to seek advice from and be accompanied/represented by another person who may speak on your behalf (eg Students' Advice Centre in the Guild, Guild Officers, Personal Tutors, Residence Tutors, Chaplains, and Head of Student Services).

The University welcomes comments and suggestions from students as to how the University might improve its service. You are encouraged to send any suggestions in writing to the appropriate Head of School or Head of Support Department. The University will endeavour to respond to your concerns as quickly and fairly as possible.

The University will ensure that the service and care provided to any student making a comment, suggestion or complaint will not suffer in any way as a result of the action taken, but the University expects that you will not engage in frivolous or vexatious complaints.

The University will maintain the confidentiality of comments, suggestions and complaints as far as possible. However, the service provider should normally be informed that a complaint has been made and that it is being investigated.

Complaints Procedure

Informal Process:

It is hoped that many problems will normally be dealt with informally, in a spirit of conciliation without the need for recourse to a formal procedure. As a first step, if you are unhappy with the service you have received, you should try to resolve the matter with your tutor or with the immediate manager/supervisor of the service. In many cases, that person can best respond to the complaint.

If the response to the informal complaint is unsatisfactory you should use the formal School/Departmental process set out below. You should only use this more formal complaints procedure if you consider that the complaint is too serious to be dealt with informally or you are dissatisfied with the results of informal discussions.

School/Departmental Process

If you wish to make a formal complaint under these procedures, you should raise the complaint with the relevant Head of School or Support Department in writing, within one month of the event concerned (if you are not aware of who is responsible for the service you should seek advice from Alison Levey, Director of Registry and Student Planning (on extension 4665 or email a.levey@aston.ac.uk).

Written complaints involving the Head of School/Department should be submitted directly to Judith Whitaker, the Chief Operating Officer (email: j.whitaker1@aston.ac.uk)  

The Head of School/Department will normally respond to your letter within five working days, explaining how the complaint will be processed. The complaint will be investigated fully (normally this will involve an invitation for you to discuss the complaint in person with the Head of Department) and you will normally receive a written response within ten working days.

The Head of the School/Department will determine whether the Chief Operating Officer should be consulted or informed of the complaint.

If you are satisfied with the response received, and do not wish to take the complaint further, the information gained from the complaint will be used to improve the service provided by the University.

If the complaint is not resolved within ten working days or is subject to further investigation in a way which is unsatisfactory to you, you should use the University Process set out below.

University Process

If the School/Departmental process has not resolved the cause of the complaint to your satisfaction, you may submit an appeal to Alison Levey the Director of Registry and Student Planning a.levey@aston.ac.uk .

The Director of Registry and Student Planning will investigate the complaint (normally this will involve an invitation for you to discuss the complaint in person with the Director of Registry and Student Planning or nominee) and you will normally receive a written response within ten working days.

If you are satisfied with the response received, and do not wish to take the complaint further, the information gained from the complaint will be used to improve the service provided by the University.

If you are not satisfied with the response, the Director of Registry and Student Planning will convene a meeting of the Complaints Committee.

Complaints Committee

The Complaints Committee will have had no previous connection with the case and will comprise one Lay Member of Council (Chair), one Head of School or Head of Support Department, one Staff Member of Senate not being a Head of School, a Sabbatical Officer of the Students' Guild and the Chief Operating Officer or nominee (Secretary)

The Committee will consider your complaint and report its decisions to the University Council.

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