Group Policies & Procedures

Appeals and Complaints Procedures

Complaints Procedure

All learners have the fundamental right to learn, be assessed and work in an environment that is free from discrimination, bullying and harassment at all times.

All learners have the fundamental right to have equal access to training and assessment that enhances career progression and promotional opportunities through continuous professional development opportunities.

All learners will receive full support and guidance within their learning, assessment and working environment that recognises diversity, which promotes and safeguards the learners wellbeing at all times. 

This complaints procedure provides all learners and their delivery staff with a formal and effective mechanism to complain without fear of victimisation and repression.

Learners who believe they are being subjected to, or are suffering because of victimisation, discrimination, bullying, harassment or being prevented from equality of opportunity will be encouraged and supported to execute these procedures to seek confidential guidance and support that is intended to resolve the issues that have initiated the complaint.  

If you feel you are being discriminated against, bullied or harassed you should do the following and not remain silent. You should seek guidance and support immediately. Our procedures offer such guidance and support and can ensure any approaches to our employees will remain private and confidential.

We will also ensure they are strictly discreet in their approach if you have a complaint or concern. You should in the first place approach your assessor. If you do not feel you can approach your assessor you should contact your Curriculum Manager/IQA Lead.


Assessors: John Oliver, Claire Butler, Amanda Weaver, Lee Sharples, Rachel Newland

 IQA Lead: Bob McLeish

Academy Manager: Pat Souter (Worcester) /Jodi Feerick (Birmingham)

If you do not feel you can approach your assessor or Curriculum Manager/IQA Lead you should contact the Academy Manager. This is the individual with ultimate responsibility within the company for delivery of all pre-apprenticeship/apprenticeship training and assessment.

Whoever you contact will then investigate your complaint or concern with your permission and extremely discreetly.

Appeals procedure

This appeals procedure is designed to offer the learner with a formal and systematic process to make an appeal against an assessment decision and allow the assessment decision to be revisited, investigated and rectified.

The assessment processes, strategies and policies are intended to promote and maintain assessment practices that are fair for all learners and prevent any learner becoming disadvantaged through the assessment decisions and judgements being made.

The appeals procedure is a standardised process which provides the learner with a time bound, systematic and documented procedure that the centre, internal quality assurers, assessors and learners will implement and follow in the event of an appeal being made.



The learner: Will initiate the appeals procedure within the agreed time frames when they believe they have a reason to complain about or question an assessment decision/judgement.

The assessor: Is responsible for providing the learner with accurate and constructive feedback regarding their achievements and basis for their assessment decisions and judgements. The assessors will firstly discuss the nature of the appeal, which will remain confidential at all times, with the learner. The assessor will seek a satisfactory rectification to the appeal. When appeals become formal it is the assessors responsibility to process the learners appeal within the agreed time frames.

The Curriculum Manager/IQA Lead: Is solely responsible for judging whether the assessment decisions are valid, fair and unbiased.

The Academy Manager: is solely responsible for submitting the appeal in writing to the relevant awarding organisation, if the learner remains dissatisfied with the outcome of the centres internal appeals process will engage in the following systematic stages of this procedure.


  • The learners’ induction into their development programme will clearly communicate the principles and concepts of appeals procedures making up the elements of information, advice and guidance available to them.
  • The learners’ appeals procedures are a systematic and staged procedure which will determine whether the assessor has used assessment practices that are consistent with the internal and external assessment strategies agreed through the relevant awarding organisations. It will determine whether assessment practices have been applied correctly and fairly to arrive at fair and consistent assessment decisions/judgements about the evidence presented.

The appeals procedure stages

Informal: Learner consultation with the assessor within a defined period of time.

Review: Of assessment decisions/judgements by the Curriculum Manager/IQA Lead. The learner is formally notified of the appeals findings and agrees or disagrees in writing with the outcome.

Appeal hearing: The Academy Manager will appraise the appeal has the last stage within the centre systems and make decisions to forward the appeal to the relevant awarding organisation.

External appeal: The Academy Manager will formally report the appeal to the relevant awarding organisation, defining the grounds and reasons for the appeal and providing any relevant supporting documentation that displays the assessment decisions/judgements made. This formal external appeal will be submitted to the relevant awarding organisation within the agreed procedure time frames.


Formal stages

Stage 1: The learner should appeal in writing to the assessor, clearly stating the points of the disagreement and the evidence in their portfolio which the learner believes meets the requirements of the performance criteria, knowledge and range for claiming competence. The assessor will meet with the learner within 10 working days and go through the assessment process, clearly explaining how they have arrived at their conclusions. The assessor will confirm the findings to the learner in writing within the following 5 working days.

Stage 2: Learners who are not satisfied with the outcome of Stage 1 can then appeal in writing to the Curriculum Managers/IQA Lead. The appeal does not have to contain the detail given before as the documents from Stage 1 should be passed to the internal quality assurer. The Curriculum Managers/IQA Lead will meet with the learner and the assessor within 5 working days and will confirm the findings in writing to both the learner and the assessor within 5 working days.

Stage 3: The Academy Manager who will consider the appeal using all information gained from the learner, the assessor and the Curriculum Managers/IQA Lead involved in the appeal. The Academy Manager will make decisions and judgements to report the appeal to the relevant awarding organisation and inform the learner of the decision in writing within 10 working days.

Stage 4: The Academy Manager on behalf of the learner with their authorisation will have submitted the appeal to the relevant awarding organisation. The learner will receive confidential communications both verbally and in writing from the awarding organisation regarding the appeals procedures outcome.

At this point the Awarding Organisations appeals procedure will be followed and will involve the use of all the reports from Stages 1, 2 and 3. Your assessor can provide you with details of this procedure if needed, and will usually involve an investigation by the relevant External Quality Assurer and at least one independent person. The Awarding Organisations decision will be final and the appeal will be deemed to be closed.

Aims and objectives

  • To enable the learner to enquire, question and appeal against an assessment decision/judge that’s been made.
  • To offer a process that enables the learner to reach an amicable agreement with their assessor at the earliest opportunity.
  • To maintain and promote standardised procedures that allow appeals to be investigated, discussed and evaluated providing accurate and valid records of the processes followed.
  • To promote openness, fairness and confidence in the assessment practices.
  • To facilitate a learners ultimate right to appeal to the relevant awarding organisation where appropriate.
  • To protect the interests of the learners and maintain the integrity of centre procedures and the assessment of the various qualifications being delivered by the centre.

The centre will

  • Will clearly communicate the appeals procedure at learners induction.
  • Record, monitor and validate all appeals.
  • Submit the appeal to the relevant awarding organisation if the learner continues to consider that the assessment decision disadvantages them after all internal centre appeals procedures have been exhausted.
  • Keep accurate and legible records of all appeals for inspection by the relevant awarding organisation for a minimum of 18 months.
  • Have in place within the centre a formal and structured appeals procedure.
  • Will take all appropriate action to protect the interests of the learner and the integrity of the centre and the qualifications being delivered.
  • To have in place internal continuous professional development processes that support the centre assessment practices in the event of an appeal being upheld.
  • To have in place robust and monitoring processes that routinely reviews the appeals procedure.