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 Employer Complaints Policy and Procedure

This policy is to inform employers of apprentices that are engaged with White Rose of the process to follow in order to raise a complaint about the service provided.

Complaints will be treated seriously, and employers will not suffer any disadvantage or recrimination as a result of making a complaint in good faith. However, it is expected that employers will always conduct themselves responsibly and treat the process and any members of the White Rose team  involved in the process with respect.

Objectives

The aim of this policy is to ensure we always maintain a high standard of customer service, ensuring all complaints are handled promptly and politely, and where appropriate, confidentially. We aim to learn from complaints and use them to improve the services we are delivering.

Employers should raise any complaint as an informal or formal complaint within 10 working days of the date of the circumstances giving rise to the complaint. Unfortunately delays in submitting the details may result in White Rose being unable to effectively investigate the complaint.

Where your complaint is of a highly sensitive nature including bullying or harassment, or is about a specific member of staff, please contact the Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL). The DSL will then be responsible for escalating to the appropriate staff member(s), and if required to, will follow the Safeguarding and Prevent policy. Contact details for the DSL are at the end of this policy and can also be found in the apprentice and employer Commitment Statement.

Responsibilities

White Rose ensures the complaints policy and procedure is promoted and implemented through the following responsible groups or persons:

  • The Core Team
  • The Managing Director
  • The Programmes and Assessment Director
  • The Quality Director
  • The Centre Manager

Responsibility of White Rose:

  • Acknowledge the formal complaint in writing
  • Respond within the stated period
  • Deal reasonably and sensitively with the complaint
  • Take action where appropriate and agreed

Responsibility of Employer:

  • Raise the complaint in a timely manner
    • Explain the problem as clearly and as fully as possible, including any action taken to date
    • Allow White Rose a reasonable time to deal with the matter
    • Recognise that some circumstances may be beyond the control of the White Rose team

Monitoring and Review Policy

This policy will be reviewed annually and updated accordingly by the Core Team.  The Managing Director will hold overall responsibility and ownership for this policy. 

The Core Team meet monthly and meetings are chaired by the Managing Director. At each meeting feedback and complaints made by employers will be reviewed. The purpose of this is to ensure:

  • We asses all feedback and complaint records and data
  • Planned action is monitored to completion
    • We continually identify ways to improve how we respond to feedback and complaints
    • We continually improve the quality of service provided to minimise the number of complaints received

At each meeting the team will review the incident log, discuss any identifiable trends or areas for concern and set actions to work towards improving these areas. These meetings are minuted and must be signed off by the Managing Director. The Quality Director is responsible for risk rating and overseeing the execution of the actions set at the meeting, making sure the relevant staff members are aware of their duties and responsibilities in addressing the complaints or actions raised. Each meeting will discuss the actions from the previous meeting, with a focus on the high-risk actions as a priority.

Informal Stage

If you are considering making a complaint, in the first instance you should raise the matter informally with your White Rose contact. Your complaint will be acknowledged within 2 working days. The Quality Manager may work with the Managing Director on the issue raised to ensure it is resolved quickly and efficiently. We aim to resolve your complaint within 7 working days of acknowledgement. Where this timeframe needs to be extended you will be notified and told of the period within which we will have it resolved by. If this is not appropriate you can contact any member of the White Rose Team. We hope that most complaints can be resolved informally without need to use the formal process.

Formal Stage 

If after following the informal route you do not feel your complaint has been dealt with satisfactorily, or if you feel the informal route is not appropriate for your specific complaint, we ask that you follow a formal procedure by providing the following details via email to lucy@whiterosetraining.co.uk

  1. Date the matter occurred
  2. Consequences for you as result
  3. Remedy sought
  4. Supporting evidence

Any complaints received from individuals who are not part of an apprenticeship programme with White Rose will be directed to the Centre Manager.


 

Formal Stage

  1. We will acknowledge receipt of your complaint in writing within 2 working days, together with a copy of this procedure.
  2. We will then investigate the complaint. This may involve passing your complaint to the relevant departmental head who will review the complaint to identify the cause and may investigate or seek feedback where required from any associated teams, or indeed require further clarification from yourself.
    Every attempt will be made to ensure that a level of confidentiality is maintained. However, the circumstances giving rise to the complaint may be such that it may not be possible to maintain confidentiality. Should this be the case we will inform you of this before we act, unless there were exceptional circumstances, for example, where doing so could pose a risk of harm to you or others.
  3. We will respond to you within 14 days of your complaint being acknowledged to let you know, in writing, if your complaint has been upheld or not. If further information is required or we are likely to exceed the 14 days response period, you will be informed of the status of your complaint and the period within which we will have completed any investigations.

At any stage during the process you can try and resolve the complaint informally.

Appeal Stage 

If you are not satisfied that your complaint has been dealt with effectively you should advise us within 28 days of the date of the decision. We ask that you send the following details to Lucy@whiterosetraining.co.uk:

  1. Your original complaint and all reasons relating to this complaint
  2. The reasons why you are not satisfied with the outcome.

It will then be escalated to the Managing Director who will be responsible for convening the complaints committee, which is made up of the following staff members (if appropriate):

  • Managing Director
  • Programmes and Assessment Director
  • Centre Manager
  • Quality Director

 

Where it is not appropriate for the Managing Director

to escalate the complaint, the Quality Director will do so.

Following the committee meeting, a member of the team will provide a written response within 28 days of receipt of the appeal. Please note this will be our final decision on the matter.

If you have any questions on our complaints procedure, please contact     Jane@whiterosetraining.co.uk

Designated Safeguarding Lead

The Designated Safeguarding Lead is Lucy Medes Hinken. You can contact Lucy by emailing lucy@whiterosetraining.co.uk or calling 01920 466552.

We also have Taha Mohamed who is a safeguarding officer who can be contacted on taha@whiterosetraining.co.uk or calling 01920 466552.

Further Actions

Following our appeal stage, if you wish to escalate your complaint you may contact the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA). Employers may make a complaint either on their own behalf or on behalf of their apprentice where permission has been given.  Employers can contact the apprenticeship helpline regarding apprenticeship concerns, complaints and enquiries by calling 08000 150400 or by emailing nationalhelpdesk@apprenticeships.gov.uk in the first instance.

There is also additional guidance on complaints published by the ESFA on the GOV.UK website: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/complaints-about-post-16-education-and-training-provision-funded-by-esfa

You can also email your complaint to complaints.esfa@education.gov.uk.

 

 

 

Apprentice Complaints Policy and Procedure

White Rose is committed to providing a high-quality service for our learners and apprentices, however we acknowledge that sometimes we may not always achieve the standards to which we aspire to work at. If something goes wrong we would like to hear from you; our apprentices, learners and customers. We will deal with your complaint fairly, efficiently and effectively and where you have been adversely affected by a service that does not meet our standards, we promise to put it right.

 

This policy document outlines the procedures put in place if an apprentice wishes to raise a complaint.

Apprentices should raise any complaint as an informal or formal complaint within 10 working days of the date of the circumstances giving rise to the complaint. Unfortunately delays in submitting the details may result in White Rose being unable to effectively investigate the complaint.

 

Where your complaint is of a highly sensitive nature including bullying or harassment, or is about a specific member of staff, please contact the Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL). The DSL will then be responsible for escalating to the appropriate staff member(s), and if required to, will follow the Safeguarding and Prevent policy. Contact details for the DSL are at the end of this policy and can also be found in the apprentice and employer Commitment Statement.

 Our complaints policy does not cover:

  • comments about our policies or policy decisions
  • dissatisfaction or complaints expressed with our policies or decisions about individual cases, funding, or requests for legal advice and assistance
  • matters that have already been fully investigated through this complaint’s procedure
  • anonymous complaints

 

Objectives:

 The aim of this policy is to ensure we always maintain a high standard of customer service, ensuring all complaints are handled promptly and politely, and where appropriate, confidentially. We aim to lean from complaints and use them to improve the service we are delivering.

This policy should be read alongside the following policies and procedures:

  1. Safeguarding and Prevent policy
  2. Code of conduct for staff
  3. Complaints policy
  4. Equality and Diversity policy
  5. Health and Safety policy

 

 

Responsibilities:

 White Rose ensures the complaints policy and procedure is promoted and implemented through the following responsible groups or persons:

  • The Core Team
  • The Managing Director
  • The Programmes and Assessment Director
  • The Quality Director
  • The Centre Manager

 

 

 

Responsibility of White Rose:

 

  • Acknowledge the formal complaint in writing
  • Respond within the stated period of time
  • Deal reasonably and sensitively with the complaint
  • Take action where appropriate and agreed

 

 

Responsibility of Apprentice/Learner:

 

  • Raise the complaint in a timely manner
  • Explain the problem as clearly and as fully as possible, including any action taken to date
  • Allow White Rose a reasonable time to deal with the matter

 

Our standards for handling complaints

  •  You will be treated with courtesy, respect and fairness at all times and expect the complainant to treat staff with the same values.  
  • We will treat your complaint in confidence.
  • We will acknowledge receipt of a written complaint within five working days.  

 

How to complain to us

 If you wish to make a complaint, you can do so by email or letter or phone call. 

 

Complainants may wish to have a third-party act on their behalf. A third party is any person or organisation acting on behalf of or making enquiries for the complainant. For example, third parties may include:

  • advice organisations
  • professionals such as social workers, community psychiatric nurses, doctors or solicitors
  • family members or friends

 

Where a third party is helping a complainant with a complaint, we need written consent to that effect.

 

Informal Stage

 

If you are considering making a complaint, in the first instance you should raise the matter informally with your tutor. If this is not appropriate you can contact any member of the White Rose Team. Your complaint will be acknowledged within 5 working days and be resolved within 20 working days of acknowledgement. Where this timeframe needs to be extended you will be notified and told of the period within which we will have it resolved by.

 

We hope that the majority of complaints can be resolved informally without the need to use the formal process.

 

Formal Stage 

 

If after following the informal route you do not feel your complaint has been dealt with satisfactorily, or if you feel the informal route is not appropriate for your specific complaint, we ask that you follow a formal procedure by emailing the following details to lucy@whiterosetraining.co.uk:

 

  • Nature of the complaint
  • Date the matter occurred
  • Consequences for you as result
  • Remedy sought
  • Supporting evidence

 

We will acknowledge receipt of your complaint in writing within 2 working days, together with a copy of this procedure.
 

We will then investigate the complaint. This may involve passing your complaint to the relevant departmental head who will review the complaint to identify the cause and may investigate or seek feedback where required from any associated teams, or indeed require further clarification from yourself.

Every attempt will be made to ensure that a level of confidentiality is maintained. However, the circumstances giving rise to the complaint may be such that it may not be possible to maintain confidentiality. Should this be the case we will inform you of this before we take action, unless there were exceptional circumstances, for example, where doing so could pose a risk of harm to you or others.

In the case of apprentices under the age of 18 raising a complaint, depending on the nature of the complaint, we may be obliged to inform their parent/guardian.
 

We will respond to you within 20 days of your complaint being acknowledged to let you know, in writing, if your complaint has been upheld or not. If further information is required or we are likely to exceed the 20 days response period, you will be informed of the status of your complaint and the period within which we will have completed any investigations.

 

At any stage during the process you can try and resolve the complaint informally.

 

Appeal Stage 

 

If you are not satisfied that your complaint has been dealt with effectively you should advise us within 28 days of the date of the decision. We ask that you send the following details to Lucy@whiterosetraining.co.uk

 

  • Your original complaint and all reasons relating to this complaint.
  • The reasons why you are not satisfied with the outcome.

 

It will then be escalated to the Managing Director who will be responsible for convening the complaints committee, which is made up of the following staff members (if appropriate):

  • Managing Director
  • Programmes and Assessment Director
  • Centre Manager
  • Quality Director

Where it is not appropriate for the Managing Director to escalate the complaint, the Quality Director will do so.

Following the committee meeting, a member of the team will provide a written response within 28 days of receipt of the appeal. Please note this will be our final decision on the matter.

If you have any questions on our complaints procedure, please contact     Jane@whiterosetraining.co.uk

 

Where it is not appropriate for the Managing Director to escalate the complaint the Quality Director will do so.

 

Following the committee meeting, a member of the team will provide a written response within 28 days of receipt of the appeal. Please note this will be our final decision.

 

Following our appeal stage, if you wish to escalate your complaint you may contact the Education Skills Funding Agency (ESFA).  Employers may make a complaint either on their own behalf or on behalf of their apprentice where permission has been given.  Apprentices and their employers can contact the apprenticeship helpline regarding apprenticeship concerns, complaints and enquiries by calling 08000 150400 or by emailing nationalhelpdesk@apprenticeships.gov.uk in the first instance.

 

There is also additional guidance on complaints published by the ESFA on the GOV.UK website: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/complaints-about-post-16-education-and-training-provision-funded-by-esfa

You can also email your complaint to complaints.esfa@education.gov.uk.



 

 

Record keeping of complaints

 Quality of service is an important measure for us of our effectiveness. Learning from complaints, including non-service complaints (complaints not covered by this policy), is a powerful way of helping continuous improvement at White Rose and enable us to better deliver to our values and standards. All non-service complaints will be looked at by a responsible manager from the appropriate team, and a response, if required,

sent to you directly within 20 working days where possible. Non-service complaints should be sent to the Head of Quality.

As well as learning from your complaints we are also interested in ideas you may have on how we might do things better. We would also like you to tell us when we do things well.

Your comments will be passed on to the relevant team and we will use them to help improve our service and the way we do things. You can make your comments by contacting any members of our staff, or you can e-mail the Quality Director.

 

Complaint details, outcomes and actions taken are recorded by us and used for service improvement. We record all complaints we receive and collate data from them to help us understand what types of problems are most prevalent, and how well we are doing to resolve them.

We value your feedback and expect to use it to help us to:

 

  • get things right in the future if we have not done so already
  • become more customer focused
  • be more open and accountable
  • act fairly and proportionately
  • seek continuous improvement

 

We will handle your information so that it is only processed and retained appropriately and legally, in line with GDPR.

 

Reasonable adjustments and alternative formats

 White Rose is committed to equal opportunities and our aim is to make our complaints policy easy to use and accessible to all our customers. We will take reasonable steps to accommodate any reasonable adjustments you may have to enable you to access this policy or receive responses to complaints in other formats and provide such assistance as you may reasonably require.

 

Designated Safeguarding Lead

The Designated Safeguarding Lead is Lucy Medes Hinken. You can contact Lucy by emailing lucy@whiterosetraining.co.uk or calling 01920 466552.

We also have Taha Mohamed who is a safeguarding officer who can be contacted on taha@whiterosetraining.co.uk or calling 01920 466552.

If you have any questions on our complaints procedure, please contact Jane @whiterosetraining.co.uk            

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