Section 1 Introduction
1.1 Scope of the policy
This policy applies to all apprentices and employees of DNA Skills.
The purpose of this policy is to provide apprentices and employees with an understanding of the process of making a complaint.
This policy underpins DNA Skills’ core values and will be used objectively and free from discrimination in accordance with the DNA Skills Equality and Diversity Policy.
1.2 Purpose of the policy
DNA Skills places a significant emphasis on feedback and views the complaints process as a valuable tool to drive improvements in the quality of our services. The policy of DNA Skills is to respond to all suggestions, whether positive or negative, in a prompt and courteous manner. All complaints will be treated seriously with a full investigation process in place to seek a resolution which all parties are satisfied upon an outcome.
In all circumstances, individuals and groups are positively encouraged to raise their concerns with the member(s) of staff directly in the first instance.
1.3 A shared responsibility
It is important that all approved staff within a centre who are involved in the delivery of DNA Skills End-Point Assessments and/or regulated qualifications are made aware of this policy and its range of possible outcomes, should they fail to comply with DNA Skills requirements as described above.
1.4 Reviewing the policy
We will review this policy regularly and where otherwise necessary and may revise it as required in response to the findings of any review.
Section 2 Sanction Levels
DNA Skills takes complaints about our work, staff and apprentices, including our levels of service, very seriously. If you are not satisfied with any aspect of DNA Skills including staff or associates, please follow the process below for raising a complaint. If you are making a complaint about an experience you have had with an approved centre (as an apprentice)*, or apprenticeship End-Point assessment experience, you may also use this policy and process:
(* you will need to have exhausted the centre’s own internal complaints process prior to DNA Skills undertaking a formal complaint)
We will need you to provide us with the following:
Wherever possible, complaints should be raised through Creatiogreen using a ‘Complaint Form’. Here you can detail all requested information as set out above and attached any relevant documentation. If this is not possible, please send details of the above to the address or email address within Section 5 of the policy, clearly marking the subject matter of your correspondence as: Complaint; this will then be directed to a member of our complaints handling team who will allocate to the correct department or member of staff.
You will receive notification of receipt of your complaint within 48 hours. If this is not via Creatiogreen, you will receive an email from a member of the Senior Management Team. The handling of any complaint has three stages. Again, this process will be managed through Creatiogreen where possible but if not, we may need to contact you in writing to seek further information relating to your complaint.
2.1 Complaints Stage 1
Complaints will go to the line manager of the individual or team that your complaint references. The team leader will investigate, with a target of responding to your complaint within 10 working days. Should the complaint not be resolved in this Stage it will then move to Stage 2.
2.2 Complaints Stage 2
Complaints are investigated by the Senior Manager responsible for the team that your complaint references. They will investigate with a target of responding to your complaint within 10 working days.
2.3 Complaints Stage 3
Should a complaint reach Stage 3 they will be investigated by a Senior Manager who is independent of the individuals or team that your complaint references. They will investigate with a target of responding to your complaint within 10 working days.
If you are unhappy with the outcome to your complaint, please contact: Jade Davies (Head of Quality and Compliance) on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Your complaint and the process followed will then be reviewed to ensure that viable measures have been actioned accordingly to resolve your issue to the best of DNA Skills’ ability. Please note due to regulations applicable to employment law and GDPR, you may not always be informed of the outcome of your complaint if it directly applies to a member of staff. We will, however, strive to give you as much information as possible regarding the measures DNA Skills has taken to address your complaint.
If you are intending to make a complaint about a final assessment decision, then please refer to DNA Skills Enquiries & Appeals Policy, found on our Creatiogreen Platform.
Where a complaint is made as well as, but separate from an ongoing related appeal, then the appeal will be dealt with as a priority.
Section 3 Recording of Complaints
DNA Skills will record all complaints, both formal and informal. A complaints log will be maintained by the Head of Quality and Compliance. All complaints will be monitored and tracked until the complaint has a final outcome. The Head of Quality and Compliance will present an overview of the complaints log to the Senior Management Team on a regular basis.
We will also complete regular audits of complaints to ensure that any emerging themes are acted upon swiftly.
Section 4 Mandatory Disclosure and Confidentiality
DNA Skills will treat all apprentices as individuals and with dignity and respect in the provision of access to facilities, opportunities and support. The EPA process within DNA Skills will be devised to positively promote all aspects of equality and diversity.
4.1 Mandatory Disclosure
It is imperative that the integrity of our assessments are maintained. We are aware that partner organisations often work with more than one End-Point Assessment Organisation (EPAO), and that therefore more than one EPAO may be at risk when things go wrong.
Our regulators have outlined some specific conditions that we must meet to protect the integrity across the sector. This includes the requirements that where certain things are identified (such as malpractice), or certain actions taken (such as when sanctions are applied), the regulators and other relevant EPAOs who may be affected must be informed.
Depending on the seriousness of the matter, we may be required to declare to our regulators (e.g. Ofqual) that we are no longer compliant due to an act or omission by partners which has put us in breach. In this event, we may have regulatory action directed against us, such as monetary penalties. In accordance with the Contract, we reserve the right to direct such financial penalties against partners, should they be as a result of the act or omission.
We may need to access confidential information. We will ensure that such information is kept secure and only used for the purposes of the investigation and in line with relevant data protection legislation. We will not normally disclose the information to third parties unless required to do so, e.g. to our regulators and/or the police or other relevant statutory bodies.
Section 5 Contacts
Your contact for this policy
If you have any queries about the contents of the policy, please contact our DNA Skills EPA Team:
Telephone: 01344 944675
DNA Skills EPA Team
7 Lakeside Business Park
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