Complaints

Royal Holloway hopes and expects that you will be satisfied with your experience in the College, and indeed is always pleased to hear about particularly good aspects of your experiences, but it also recognises that there may be circumstances where you may not be satisfied. 

This complaint process is intended to deal with circumstances in which, as a result of your experience at Royal Holloway, you have a complaint about the College’s provision of services or facilities that you wish to be investigated.

You must read the Complaint Procedure alongside the following guidance pages before submitting a complaint. 

If you have a justified formal complaint, you should submit this as quickly as possible and within three months of the incident or action being complained about.

 

Whether to make a complaint

How to have your views heard

There are many ways in which comments, concerns or suggestions about particular aspects of College life may be made:

  • Personal Advisers or Tutors who may be able to help with problems
  • Student Staff Committees can provide a general means of communicating and resolving difficulties. Each programme of study should have a designated Student Staff Committee Representative who can be contacted (details can usually be found on department webpages)
  • Feedback surveys on teaching , administration and other support services can be completed e.g. Feedback on individual courses and feedback at the end of the programme by NSS
  • The Students’ Union Advice & Support Centre can offer advice on how else to voice your concerns (tel. +44 (0)1784 276700)

Most problems should be resolved through these methods. The complaints procedure is only intended to deal with complaints that cannot be resolved this way or those for which a more formal procedure is appropriate.

Therefore, a clear idea of what you want to see happen as a result of your complaint is essential. This must be considered carefully along with whether this outcome could not be obtained through a more informal method.

What cannot be raised under the Complaint Procedure

The following complaints will not be investigated:

  • Complaints which are made more than three months after the incident or action you are complaining about (except for in exceptional circumstances)
  • Complaints made by others acting on your behalf (except for in exceptional circumstances)
  • Anonymous complaints - The effectiveness of any complaints procedure depends on the College being able to collect appropriate information from the parties involved in order to investigate the matter properly. Therefore, only the College Secretary can decide whether to investigate an anonymous complaint. If you are worried about revealing your identity, you can contact the Students’ Union who may be able to make initial enquiries for you.
The College will not consider any issues raised through the Student Complaint Procedure where:
  • the College has no control over the service or facility being provided
  • there is an alternative procedure that is more appropriate to the nature of the issue being raised (some specific examples of the latter and the appropriate alternative procedures to follow are set out below)

This complaints procedure only applies to matters which are not covered by other established systems or procedures:

Circumstance excluded from the Student Complaint Procedure

Permissible alternative

The outcome of Boards of Examiners, such as the outcomes of coursework, examinations or formal reviews, academic progression, degree classification or degree award, and  termination of registration by the College Board of Examiners

You may be able to appeal against the outcome of examinations or termination of registration on academic grounds. See the Academic Appeals Procedure in the Academic Regulations

If, however, the grounds of appeal are matters covered by this complaints procedure, the Investigating Officer of the appeal may at his/her discretion arrange for it to be investigated as a complaint in the first instance

Penalties for examination and assessment offences

You may be able to appeal against penalties for examination and assessment offences. See the Regulations on assessment offences

Reconsideration of requests for special assessment arrangements

You may be able to request a reconsideration of requests for special assessment arrangements. See the Regulations on special assessment arrangements

A decision made by a Fitness to Practise Panel 

 You may be able to appeal against the termination of registration on grounds of fitness to practice. See the Fitness to Practise Procedures

If disciplinary action has been taken against you under the disciplinary procedures relating to non-academic matters and you wish to appeal against such action

You should follow the relevant sections of the regulations, set out in the Student Handbook

If you feel that you have been subject to personal harassment

Please see the arrangements set out in the Code of Practice on Personal Harassment in the Student Handbook

If you have a complaint about the Students' Union

You should follow the procedures set out in the Students' Union complaints procedure

If you have a complaint about the Health Centre

You should use the Health Centre's complaints procedure. Complaint forms are available in the Health Centre Reception, the Student Services Office and the Students' Union

If you have a complaint about the Catering, Residential or Bus Services.

Please note that there are separate procedures, details of which can be obtained from any of the Customer Service points around campus for addressing the complaint informally

If you are experiencing problems with student fees, including non-payment of debts

You should contact student-fees@rhul.ac.uk

What can be raised under the Complaint Procedure

Complaints relating to the following areas can be addressed though the complaints procedure, but where appropriate must be raised informally with the relevant department or service first:

Category 1: Teaching and Assessment

(a)   Teaching

For example, complaints about the delivery of teaching including lecture preparation, content and resources

(b)   Tutorial and academic pastoral support

For example, complaints about tutorial support or academic pastoral care. This category also includes complaints about inappropriate staff behaviour, the provision of academic advice, guidance and supervision, particularly dissertation supervision at undergraduate and postgraduate level

(c)    Curriculum

For example, complaints about deviations from the programme specification regarding curriculum content, quality issues or withdrawal of courses

Category 2: University Services

(a)   School administrative services

For example, complaints relating to any aspect of school support services including technical support and non academic pastoral care

(b)   Central administrative services

For example, complaints about services offered by central administrative departments, for example, Registry or Student Services

Category 3: Other Services & General

(a)   Other

Complaints which do not fit into any of the above categories

(b)   General

Complaints which are more general

How to make a complaint

If you still believe that you have a justified complaint relating to an academic or administrative department or service not disqualified above, please follow the guidance pages and FAQ's on The Complaints Process.

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05/12/2016