Learner Complaint Procedure

Introduction

The majority of issues raised by learners are concerns rather than complaints.  CareShield is committed to taking concerns seriously, at the earliest stage, in the hope of keeping the number of formal complaints to a minimum and without needing formal procedures.  However, depending on the nature of the complaint, you may wish or be asked to follow the CareShield formal complaints procedure.  For CareShield to be able to investigate a complaint, it needs to be made within one year of the incident occurring.  If a complaint is older than a year it will not be investigated unless it relates to a criminal offence, safeguarding, racism, sexism, discrimination, civil legal proceedings or health and safety.

The aim of the CareShield Complaints Policy is to resolve the complaint as fairly and speedily as possible. Formal complaints will be dealt with in a sensitive, impartial and confidential manner.  Malicious complaints may incur appropriate action by CareShield.

What is a complaint?

A statement that something is unsatisfactory or unacceptable.

The following details outline the stages that can be used to resolve and manage complaints.

The CareShield Complaints Policy has three main stages:

In summary they are as follows: -

Stage 1: A concern is raised informally with a staff member or Tutor/Assessor.

Stage 2: Formal complaint is heard by the Apprenticeship Manager/Head of Funded Learning.

Stage 3: Complaint is heard by the COO or CEO.

 

Stage 1
Raising a concern.

Concerns can be raised with CareShield at any time and will often generate an immediate response, usually by telephone, which will resolve the concern.  CareShield requests that learners make their first contact which will normally be their Tutor/Coach. On some occasions the concern raised might require investigation, or discussion with others, in which case you will receive and informal but informed response within two working days. The majority of concerns will be satisfactorily dealt with in this way. However, if you are not satisfied with the result at Stage 1, please write or call CareShield Head Office (Human Resources) within 10 working days and state what you would like CareShield to do.  CareShield will then look at your complaint at the next stage.  We will keep all people who make a compliant informed of the next step and timelines.  All people making a complaint will be protected as per CareShield Whistleblowing Policy, including learners.

Any staff member that takes responsibility for dealing with a complaint from a learner must inform the Team  Leader, who will log it on to our Complaints Form  and pass on to the Apprenticeship Manager/Head of Funded Learner, who will add onto our tracker within 24 hours of receiving the complaint ensuring that they collect all applicable information, evidence or data.  In most instances, minor complaints are resolved within this time however, all complaints must be logged, even if they have already been resolved.

Throughout the procedure, the complaint and resulting actions will be followed up by Human Resources at Head Office. 

Stage 2
Formal complaint is heard by a member by Apprenticeship Manager/Head of Funded Learning

Formal complaints shall  be put in writing and addressed to Apprenticeship Manager/Head of Funded Learning. The complaint will be logged, including the date it was received. CareShield will normally acknowledge receipt of the complaint within 2-working days of receiving it. In many cases this response will also report on the action CareShield has taken to resolve the issue.   Alternatively, a meeting may be convened to discuss the matter further.  This meeting will normally take place within 10 working days. The aim will be to resolve the matter as speedily as possible.  However, if the person making the complaint is not satisfied with the result at Stage 2  then they will inform to write or call the COO at CareShield within 10 working days of receiving our response.

Stage 3
Complaint heard by the CareShield COO or CEO.

If the matter has not been resolved at Stage 2, the COO or CEO will arrange further investigation.  Following the investigation, the COO or CEO will normally give a written response within 10 working days.

Stage 4


Complaint heard by the relevant Awarding Organisation.

If the matter has not been resolved at Stage 3, and the complaint relates to the learner's work, then the COO will arrange for the Awarding Organisation to investigate.  This will normally be the final stage and their decision will be final.

Findings and Recommendations.

The hearings are intended to make findings and recommendations that will be sent using electronic mail or given to the complainant in the form of a letter and where relevant, to the person complained about.

Written Records

A written record will be kept of all complaints made at all stages of the complaints process (from the preliminary stage to panel hearing).  Records will indicate whether complaints have been resolved at the preliminary stages or whether they proceeded to a later stage hearing.

 

All correspondence, statements and records relating to individual complaints will be kept confidentially secured on the CareShield head office premises available for inspection by the proprietor or quality inspection organisation conducting an inspection for government agencies and governmental bodies who may require access to them.

Note: In cases where the matter concerns the conduct of CareShield employees, the Apprenticeship Manager, COO or CEO will be informed of the complaint. The Apprenticeship Manager will arrange for the matter to be investigated.

Procedure

  1. All learners and staff must be informed of our complaints policy at induction and should be included in learner's personal folders and employee's personnel folders.

  2. Al learners and staff should know how to complain and who to complain to and that they are protected by our Whistleblowing policy.

  3. All learners and customers must be informed that our complaints policy does not take away or affect their rights under English, EU, and international laws.

  4. All learners and customers should be informed of external agencies which they can share their compliant such as funding organisations and awarding bodies.

  5. How to complain is available on our website and where possible posters displayed.

  6. All staff must record all complaints as CareShield will monitor and evaluate complaints to make sure we are getting it right and to make it better through our continuous improvement process.

  7. Safeguarding and Health & Safety complaints must be recorded and the Head of Funded Learning informed Immediately.

 

This Policy will be handed to all learners and staff at induction.

Review

This policy will be reviewed annually.

Updated: March 2022 (Policy CSAQP004 issue 3)

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