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Introduction

This procedure is intended to ensure that any complaints received by OCN London are dealt with quickly, fairly and effectively. OCN London aims to resolve complaints promptly. However, these matters can be complex and may require scrutiny of extensive documentation. OCN London will aim to reach its final conclusion within three months of receiving the written complaint. A complaint will normally be made in writing although, where this presents difficulty, other means of communicating will be accepted.

This procedure may be used for complaints about OCN London’s processes, the application of these processes or the conduct of any OCN London staff, contractors or agents, which may for example relate to:

  • a Centre’s application to deliver an OCN London Qualification or units of a Qualification n
  • a Centre’s experience of quality review or external verification
  • a learner’s experience of an internal assessment process, once the Centre’s own appeals process has been exhausted
  • a learner’s experience of an external assessment process, including on the basis that procedures were not applied consistently or not followed properly and fairly
  • a Centre’s and/or a learner’s experience of making a request for Reasonable Adjustments or Special Consideration
  • a Centre’s or a learner’s experience of any action taken in the course of an investigation into malpractice or maladministration
  • a Centre’s experience of the implementation of the sanctions process in relation to its approval to deliver an OCN London Qualification or units of a Qualification.

Complaints should be made as soon as possible after the event or experience concerned and, at the latest, within four weeks. Complaints relating to a Centre’s internal assessment processes should be made within four weeks of the Centre’s own process being exhausted.

OCN London will consider complaints from individual learners or their advocates, groups of learners or their representatives, or from a Centre or a group of Centres.

Procedure

When a complaint is made to OCN London concerning its Qualifications or Units of its Qualifications the Chief Executive or another Representative of OCN London will acknowledge the complaint within five working days of receipt. S/he will also determine whether the matter falls within the scope of OCN London’s remit as outlined above. Where the complaint is not within its scope, the Chief Executive or Representative will write to the complainant giving the reasons why the complaint cannot be acted upon. If the complainant should follow an alternative complaints procedure, the matter will be referred as appropriate. The Chief Executive or any other Representative dealing with a complaint will not have any personal interest in the subject or outcome of the complaint.

Informal consideration

Where the complaint is within the scope of OCN London’s remit, the Chief Executive or Representative will first consider whether the subject of the complaint may be resolved informally without recourse to the complaints procedure. If there appear to be reasonable grounds to believe that this may be achievable, the Chief Executive or Representative will contact the complainant with a proposed response to the subject of the complaint. If the complainant is satisfied with the proposed response the complaints procedure will not need to be invoked.

Formal consideration of a Complaint

If the matter cannot be resolved informally, the appeals procedure will be initiated.

Within 15 working days the Chief Executive or Representative will seek relevant information and documentation from both the complainant and any other parties, for example OCN London staff, contracted External Verifiers or staff at recognised centres or other third party agents.

Within ten working days of receiving the full documentation, the Chief Executive or Representative will consider whether the evidence presented is sufficient to reach a decision. If it is not, further documentation may be requested from relevant parties, or further clarification from the complainant.

Once the Chief Executive or Representative is satisfied that all relevant documentation is present, s/he will reach an initial conclusion on the matter and write to the complainant providing a judgement on each point raised and referencing this judgement with relevant evidence. The initial conclusions will, if appropriate, identify any recommendation or implications of the outcome. The complainant will be invited to comment on the factual accuracy of OCN London’s initial conclusion within ten working days.

The Chief Executive or Representative will consider any additional information provided before reaching a final conclusion. A final conclusion will be confirmed to the complainant within ten working days.

If the complaint is unresolved or if the complainant is dissatisfied with the decision s/he may take the matter to Appeal using the OCN London Appeals Procedure.

Ofqual’s complaints process

OCN London will implement the requirements of any complaints process established by Ofqual in the form in which it may be published by Ofqual and revised from time to time, and will give due regard to the outcome of any such complaints process in relation to a qualification which it makes available.

In any case where Ofqual notifies OCN London of failures that have been discovered in the assessment process of another awarding organisation, OCN London will review whether or not a similar failure could affect its own assessment process. Where that review identifies such a potential failure, OCN London will take the same action as if a failure has been discovered in relation to it by virtue of the application of Ofqual’s appeals complaints process.