Which procedure should I use?

The University has a number of different procedures that allow people to raise concerns. The Procedure to use depends on who you are and on the nature of the issue that you wish to raise.

This guidance is for:

  • Members of staff
  • Students or former students
  • Others in the community – e.g. applicants, visitors, local residents.

I am a student or a former student and I wish to raise a concern

A concern regarding Services provided by the University (teaching, research supervision, accommodation, administrative services etc.)

Generally, if you wish to raise your dissatisfaction with the services provided by the University you should use the Complaints Procedure.

Alternatively you may raise the issue through normally available feedback mechanisms without having to refer to the Complaints Procedure. E.g. if the issue relates to a particular course or to facilities in the School, you could ask your class rep to raise the matter at a Staff-Student Liaison Committee meeting. Many areas of the University regularly seek feedback from students (e.g. course monitoring, focus groups, questionnaires issued by service areas) and you may prefer to raise issues in this way.

The behaviour towards me of a member of staff

Your concerns may include the behaviour of a member of staff towards you. You may choose to include this in a complaint. However, if you believe that the behaviour includes unfair treatment, bullying or harassment, you may wish to consult the Dignity at Work and Study Policy. This includes a procedure for informally addressing the situation with the member of staff in question. You may wish to discuss your situation with a Respect Adviser. If such an approach does not resolve the situation, you may of course bring a complaint under the Complaints Procedure.

The behaviour towards me of another student

If you are concerned about the behaviour of another student towards you, please speak to a member of staff. The situation may be investigated under the Code of Practice on Unacceptable Behaviour or a referral may be made to a Senate Assessor under the Code of Student Conduct. You may also find it helpful to speak to contact the SRC Advice Centre.

I have a concern regarding my degree result or the grades awarded to me

If you wish to challenge an academic decision regarding your assessment, progression or award, you should raise an academic appeal, not a complaint.

I am a member of staff and I wish to raise a concern. Which Procedure should I use?

Something has happened to me as a ’service user’ of the University e.g. as a customer of a catering facility or as a member of the Sport & Recreation Service.

Use the Complaints Handling Procedure 

However, issues relating to services which are provided to you in connection with your employment (such as the payment of a salary, maintenance of your office PC) should not be raised under the Complaints Handling Procedure. These are viewed as internal administrative matters and should be raised in the normal way by contacting the area concerned.

There is an issue arising in my place of work relating to my duties of work

  • Generally anything relating to your duties of work should be discussed with your line manager. Ultimately issues may be addressed under the Grievance Procedure. However,
  • If you believe that you are experiencing unfair treatment, bullying or harassment by a colleague then consult the Dignity at Work and Study Policy (this includes an informal stage through which such issues may be addressed) You may wish to discuss the situation with a Harassment Adviser. If the issue cannot be resolved in this way, the Grievance Procedure should be followed.

The behaviour of a student

  • Do you believe that the student’s behaviour towards you constitutes unfair treatment, bullying or harassment?
  • If yes, consult the Dignity at Work and Study Policy (this includes an informal stage through which such issues may be addressed). If the issue cannot be resolved in this way, discuss the situation with your line manager. There may be a referral  for consideration under the Code of Student Conduct. Your line manager may consider the behaviour within the terms of the Code of Practice on Unacceptable Behaviour.

A concern about possible research misconduct by a student or a member of staff?

This should be raised with the Head of School / RI for consideration under the Code for Investigating Allegations of Misconduct in Research.

A concern regarding other malpractice or impropriety by a colleague

Please see the Code on Public Interest Disclosure (Whistleblowing)

I am not a student, a former student or a member of staff

You may, for example, be an applicant, a visitor to the University or a local resident. If you have a concern regarding the activities of the University you may raise a complaint using the Complaints Handling Procedure.

Applicants may raise a complaint regarding the way that their application has been administered but the academic judgment applied to your application cannot be challenged.

From time to time parents of students may wish to raise concerns with the University. Data Protection legislation prevents the University from discussing issues relating to your son or daughter unless he or she gives their consent.