Rapid Response Medical Services Ltd.

 

Complaints Policy and Procedure (POL-004)

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1.0 Aims & Objectives

This policy relates to complaints received from learners or other customers of Rapid Response Medical Services Ltd.

 

The aim of this policy is to provide an opportunity for anyone who is or was registered as a learner at Rapid Response Medical Services Ltd. Academy to resolve any complaint in respect of different aspects of their relationship with the Academy. The term ‘student’ includes those who are or were enrolled or provisionally enrolled on any programme of study offered, as well as those who have left within the last three months.

 

The objective of this policy is to ensure that learner complaints are dealt with fairly and appropriately, by providing clear and accessible information to staff and learners on how the learner(s) concerned can make their views known and receive an appropriate response. All complaints will be managed with a regard to confidentiality as appropriate and in accordance with data protection legislation and company policy on data.

 

Whilst we always strive to provide our staff and customers with the highest level of service expected from a quality organisation and training provider, we recognise sometimes things don’t always go as planned. It is therefore imperative and good business practice to have an efficient and effective complaints process for all.

 

Our staff, learners and customers can make complaints in the following ways:

 

  • By telephone

  • By email

  • In writing

  • In person

  • By completing the Complaints Form on our website

 

However a complaint is received, it will be dealt with efficiently, with the aim of resolving the issue as quickly and as fairly as possible, to the satisfaction of the complainant.

 

Trainers or learners (who are undertaking awarding body accredited qualifications) should complain via their awarding body centre in the first instance before making a complaint to Rapid Response Medical Services Ltd. We are only able to accept a complaint after the Centre has had the opportunity to resolve it. However, if a trainer or learner does not want to deal with the Centre, they can act as an intermediary while still allowing the Centre to review the complaint and propose a resolution.

 

Learners and apprentices should note that complaints about assessment or enquiries about a result should be made using the appeals process, Policy POL-T02. For apprentices and their employers, it should be noted that appeals or complaints about end point assessment should be addressed to the End Point Assessment Organisation (EPAO).

 

The Complaints Form is available on our website

 

 

 

Customers are any individuals or businesses that purchase goods, training or other services from RRMS Ltd.

2.0 Policy Statement

We aim to resolve quickly and fairly any complaint that a learner may have about different aspects of their relationship with Regent’s University London. These aspects include relationships with academic or administrative staff, any complaints in respect of any services, such as Accommodation, Catering, Finance, and any complaints in respect of academic programmes or the delivery of such programmes.

 

Rapid Response Medical Services Ltd. is committed to managing complaints in a way that:

 

  • Is timely and efficient, to facilitate a speedy resolution

  • Is fair and transparent to all parties

  • Promotes informal conciliation where appropriate

  • Promotes feedback and best practice to inform service departments, faculties and institutes, and enhance the student experience.

 

A group of learners may use the procedure to make a collective complaint provided that one learner identifies themselves as the lead complainant and contact for purposes of communication. However, this does not mean that all learners within the group of complainants will receive the same outcome as a result of the complaint.

 

Any learner wishing to make a complaint is encouraged to do so personally. A complaint from a third party other than the learner will be considered only if the leaner is incapacitated for medical reasons or hospitalised. This may also be permitted in exceptional circumstances at the discretion of the Director of Education or nominee.

 

Anonymous complaints will not be considered.

3.0 What Complaints Does this Policy Cover?

We believe by knowing what people think about what we do, we can make changes and improvements and make sure we provide the very best service and support possible.

This policy is to cover complaints relating to the quality of teaching or supervision, or other services or circumstances that relate to the delivery of a programme of study, or learner experience. This may include relationships with academic or administrative staff, or complaints in respect of any of our services. Examples of such complaints can be found in Appendix 1.

The procedure to be followed under this Complaints Policy does not cover the following situations:

  • Complaints about other learners. These in the first instance should be directed to the lead tutor of the programme or directly to the Director of Education in extenuating circumstances.

  • Complaints about disciplinary matters or bullying and harassment from another learner.

  • Extenuating circumstances applications.

This policy focuses on how we will respond to concerns and complaints.

4.0 Policy Implementation

There will be 3 stages of complaint.

 

  • Informal level – Aim to resolve within 2 weeks.

  • Formal level – Aim to resolve within 5 weeks.

  • Appeal – Aim to resolve within 3 weeks.

 

In exceptional circumstances we may extend the deadlines outlined above provided that there are clear and justifiable reasons for doing so. In such cases the learner will be notified of the extension in writing and a revised deadline for resolution will be provided. Rapid Response Medical Services Ltd. is committed to ensuring that all complaints are resolved to completion within 90 days of the initial complaint being received if all stages are required.

 

Complaints should always start at the informal level wherever possible. At all stages of the complaints process, learners are encouraged to keep a record of action taken to resolve the complaint and keep copies of any relevant correspondence. All complaints will be regarded as informal until a learner Complaints Form has been received.

 

If a disabled learner making a complaint requires any reasonable adjustments to be made during the complaints process, all efforts will be made to facilitate this.

5.0 Process and Procedure

There will be 3 stages of complaint.

 

  • Informal level – Aim to resolve within 2 weeks.

  • Formal level – Aim to resolve within 5 weeks.

  • Appeal – Aim to resolve within 3 weeks.

 

In exceptional circumstances we may extend the deadlines outlined above provided that there are clear and justifiable reasons for doing so. In such cases the learner will be notified of the extension in writing and a revised deadline for resolution will be provided. Rapid Response Medical Services Ltd. is committed to ensuring that all complaints are resolved to completion within 90 days of the initial complaint being received if all stages are required.

 

Complaints should always start at the informal level wherever possible. At all stages of the complaints process, learners are encouraged to keep a record of action taken to resolve the complaint and keep copies of any relevant correspondence. All complaints will be regarded as informal until a learner Complaints Form has been received.

 

If a disabled learner making a complaint requires any reasonable adjustments to be made during the complaints process, all efforts will be made to facilitate this.

6.0 How we Handle a Concern or Complaint?

When anyone tells us about a concern or a worry, staff must listen and try and resolve as soon as possible. Finding the answer to a problem can sometimes be achieved easily and quickly. For example, in situations where there has been a misunderstanding, clarifying the facts or taking quick action can resolve the issue.

Staff, Trainers and Managers should always aim to manage any concerns in this way. That is; by listening to the concern and understanding what will resolve the matter and then taking the action (if within their authority to do so) as soon as possible.

Many concerns can be resolved this way, although of course there will be concerns and complaints which require others to be involved or require a more formal approach and may require escalation to another Manager, Regulator or AO.

All concerns and complaints should be recorded together with the outcome.

Our complaints procedure has three distinct stages as stated.

6.1 Making a Complaint

Stage 1: Informal Level

 

Learners are expected to try to resolve complaints directly, informally and quickly with the person concerned. In a minority of cases it may be more appropriate for the learner to contact their Lead Tutor. In the case where a complaint relates to one learner complaining about another, the complainant should approach the relevant Lead Tutor or Head of Programme.

 

All complaints should be made within two weeks of the perceived unsatisfactory circumstances occurring. We reserve the right not to progress any complaint which is submitted outside of this deadline.

 

The learner is expected to explain clearly what the problem is and what outcome they are seeking, and the member of staff is expected to listen to the complaint. Staff dealing with complaints are encouraged, whenever practical, to meet with the learner to establish the precise cause of dissatisfaction, to explore the remedy sought by the learner and to foster a mutual understanding of the issues involved. Complaints will, as far as is reasonable, be treated confidentially.

 

Although the complaint is considered to be informal at this stage, the member of staff will take reasonable action to remove the cause of the complaint and prevent recurrence. It may be, however, that further discussion about the overarching principles of a complaint is required in meetings before the matter can be resolved. Specific details of complaints or complainants will not be discussed at such meetings. Where appropriate, the complainant will be informed of the outcome of any discussions relating to their complaint.

 

We will not formally respond to informal complaints in writing. If their complaint is not upheld, or if the learner feels that the resolution of their complaint is not satisfactory, they can move to Stage 2 of the complaints process. It is expected that most complaints will be resolved at this informal level.

 

Stage 2: Formal Review

 

An appointed investigator will make all reasonable inquiries to establish the facts of the case. Prior to any investigative meetings, it will be made clear to any person whose co-operation is sought that questions, answers, comments, or the production of documents, relate to an investigation into a formal complaint. Any student or member of staff participating in an investigation arising under this procedure has the right to be accompanied by a:

 

  • Relative, parent, friend, or disability advocate

  • Trade Union or professional association representative or work colleague.

 

The appointed investigator must keep all interested parties updated at all stages of the investigation. The appointed investigator will be advised through the process by HR where necessary.

 

The investigation and its outcome will be fair and reasonable.

 

If the investigator decides to uphold the learner’s complaint, they will confirm this with their investigation report to the management panel who will then decide any action they deem reasonable and appropriate to resolve the complaint, bearing in mind the outcome(s) sought by the learner. A written response will be sent to the complainant to confirm the outcome of the investigation.

 

Where the upheld complaint either expressly or by implication infers incompetence or misconduct by a member of staff, then the matter may be referred to the Human Resources department for further investigation. Under the staff disciplinary procedure, the findings of the complaint investigation will not constitute incontrovertible statements of fact, but merely evidence in that investigation. The learner will be informed of the next stage of the Complaints Procedure if their complaint is not upheld or if the learner feels that the resolution of their complaint is not satisfactory.

 

Complainants, and individuals named in complaints, can request an update of the progress of the complaint at all stages by contacting the appointed investigator who is leading the investigation.

 

Stage 3: Appeal

 

Where a learner believes that the complaint procedures have not been followed correctly or new evidence has been produced that was not considered as part of the original complaint or their complaint has not been appropriately addressed, or the decision regarding the outcome of their complaint is unreasonable they have the right to appeal against the decision of the Stage 2 investigator.

 

New evidence may be considered at the discretion of the academy provided that there is a justified reason as to why the evidence was not provided at the beginning of the formal investigation stage. The Deputy or Director of Education will review the appeal form in consultation with any other required parties and decide whether there is any new evidence that has come to light or whether the learner Complaints Procedure has not been followed correctly.

 

All appeal should be submitted within 5 working days of notification of the outcome of Stage 2 of the complaint’s procedure. We reserve the right not to progress any appeal which is submitted outside of this deadline. An appeal form submitted without adequate grounds and/or evidence will be dismissed and the appellant informed.

 

Any appeal may lead to the reopening of an investigation and the calling of witnesses. An appeals panel will be formed to oversee any appeals. The panel will have the following options available to them:

 

  • Uphold the appeal and decide upon an appropriate resolution - in which case, both the learner and the Stage 2 investigator will receive a written explanation of the decision.

  • Uphold part, but not all, of the appeal and decide upon an appropriate resolution – in which case, both the learner and the Stage 2 investigator will receive a written explanation of the decision. A "Completion of Procedures" letter will also be issued to the complainant.

  • Dismiss the appeal – in which case the learner will receive a written response giving reasons, and a "Completion of Procedures" letter will be issued to the complainant. The complainant will be notified in writing of the Appeals Panel’s decision within ten working days of the panel meeting.

 

If the complainant is not satisfied with any outcome of the appeals process, they have the right to escalate their complaint further. The complainant has the right to make a formal complaint to a regulator or an Awarding Organisation.

 

The Awarding Organisations details are:

 

  • FutureQuals:

    • Future (Awards and Qualifications) Ltd, EMP House, Telford Way, Coalville, Leicestershire, LE67 3HE.

    • Email: info@futurequals.com  

 

 

7.0 Record Keeping

Throughout this process it is important to:

  • Keep detailed, legible records of the concern/complaint raised and dates of meetings, phone calls or interviews.

  • Keep clear notes of any interviews held, which must be read by the interviewee, signed and dated by them.

  • Always keep records in the chronological order that things happen.

  • Record details of outcomes

Note the complainant’s response to the outcome, as well as all the investigation details as this may be needed by more senior managers at a later date.

8.0 Review

Rapid Response Medical Services Ltd. will review this policy annually as part of our annual self-evaluation arrangements and revise it as and when necessary in response to feedback, changes in our practices or the outcome of investigations.

 

In addition, we may update this policy in light of policy changes from our regulators (including awarding organisations etc.) to make sure our arrangements for dealing with complaints remain effective and fit for purpose.