1.      Our Approach


DTN Academy views compliments and complaints as a valuable source of feedback from its customers andan opportunity to respond to complaints by reviewing practices and processes. Where appropriate this may involve change and improvement. The practice at DTNA college is to distinguish between an informal and a formal complaint.

2.    Complaints


The college are happy to receive any compliments to be acknowledged. These can be e-mailed outlining the nature of the complaint. All compliments will be shared with the relevant Department Manager and the Senior Leadership Team for consideration of further recognition.

3.      Informal Complaints


Informal complaints are those raised, usually verbally and usually directly with a member of staff involved in delivering the service. The majority of complaints are informal, responded to and usually resolved promptly and effectively. No formal records are kept of these complaints, only logged, and the person complaining may not perceive the matter as a complaint, but rather an enquiry, a suggestion or an expression of concern.

4.      Formal Complaints


Definition of a Formal Complaint


A formal complaint is:

  • a continued expression of dissatisfaction about a matter after the informal process has been exhausted, over which the college has some control, or is perceived by the complainant to have some control
  • where a complaint is of a more serious nature
  • where the complainant does not wish to raise the matter on an informal level
  • is made in writing and submitted via email to the Lead Quality

5.      Scope of the Complaints Procedure


The complaints procedure covers complaints from:

  • students (or their parents, or their nominated representative)
  • sponsors of students or trainees
  • customers who purchase a service provided by DTN Academy (Employers)
  • visitors
  • members of the local

The procedure covers both matters of policy and of operational matters. It covers a broad range of equality, diversity and safeguarding issues.

With regards to complaints specifically relating to a member of staff, consultation and advice will take place with Human Resources to determine the most appropriate way forward which may result in this being pursued in accordance with HR policies and procedures.

Complaints must be raised within 90 days of the subject of the complaint arising.

The procedure does not include areas that are specifically covered by other DTNA procedures such as:

  • The Assessment Appeals Procedure (students)
  • The Staff Grievance Procedure
  • Complaints against the decisions of Awarding Bodies
  • Whistleblowing

6.      Confidentiality


DTNA is committed to the confidentiality and protection of the complainant. Should the complainant wish to remain anonymous, we will endeavour to uphold this, providing it still allows a thorough investigation to be conducted. However, the complainant should be aware that anonymity may restrict some elements of the investigation or in some cases, prevent a full investigation from taking place. Upon submitting a complaint,the complainant will be required to tick a declaration indicating their permission (or not) for disclosure of their identity (on the Complaints Form).

7.      Appeals


Following a complaint investigation, the complainant can appeal the decision if dissatisfied.

Fair Treatment


No individual raising a complaint under this process, whether successfully or otherwise, will be treated less favorably by any member of staff than if the complaint had not been submitted. All staff involved in handling any stages of a complaint have a duty to ensure that any decision they make regarding the assessment of evidence, or the way a student is treated, must not be influenced by the raising of a complaint. If evidence to the contrary is found, the member of staff may be subject to action under the Staff Disciplinary Procedure.

Impartiality of Decision-Makers


In order to ensure impartiality in the dealing of complaints, no person shall be permitted to take part in the making of a decision regarding a complaint where s/he has an interest through being a member of the same academic department in which the complainant is registered.

Completion of Procedures Letter


A Completion of Procedures (COP) letter will be issued at the end of internal procedures when there are no matters outstanding.



Stages in the Process


There are three stages in the Compliments and Complaints Procedure; these are shown as Stage 1, Stage 2 and Stage 3 in the accompanying flowchart.

Stage 1: Informal Complaint


A concern is raised, usually verbally with a direct member of staff involved in delivering the service. Staff will then address the concern within 10 working days. Where informal complaints are not resolved, complainants have the option of submitting a formal complaint.

Stage 2: Formal Complaint


When a complaint is received by the QPS department, if stage 1 has not been completed it is encouraged to raise and resolve a complaint at this informal stage first. However, it is not necessary if the complainant has requested this stage to be omitted. The QPS department will forward a written acknowledgement of receipt of the complaint with accompanying policy and procedure outlining the timeline for a response. Following completion of stage 2, a written acknowledgement from the QPS department, investigation by an independent Investigating

The Officer and a written response (Completion of Procedures (COP) letter) will be sent to the complainant.

Stage 3: Appeal to the Quality and Business Director of DTNA


It is likely that an appeal will be based on:

  • inadequate investigation into the original complaint
  • a challenge to the evidence used to support the judgment made in the original response to a complaint
  • the judgment in the original response is not adequately supported by evidence
  • new evidence has come to light
  • the action and/or compensation offered is viewed by the complainant as inadequate

The appeal will allow the DTNA member to moderate the process and request additional information.

1.      Management of the Procedure


The complaints handling process is managed by the Quality and Business Director.

2.     Publicising the Procedure


Information about the complaints procedure will be included in the information provided for all students at enrolment and induction. Information will also be available on our website – DTN Academy.

3.     Target Timescales


DTN Academy aims to provide a substantive response to an informal complaint within 10 working days.

  • DTNA aims to provide a substantive response in writing to a formal complaint within a specified timescale. Normally this will be 20 working days of receipt. It is recognised that some complaints are complex and require extensive In such circumstances the investigation will be deemed by the Lead Quality Manager to be complex and the college will provide a substantive response within 30 working days. This will be communicated to the complainant. This also includes complaints involving a member of staff for which consultation will take place with Human Resources (HR) to determine the most appropriate way forward and may be pursued in accordance with HR policies and procedures.
  • The definition of “working days” constitutes as DTNA term days up to 4:30 pm, i.e. when we are open to students.
  • Where complaints are made during low staffing periods i.e. outside of term time, we will aim to address the complaint within the normal 20 working day timescales. If this is not possible the complainant will be made aware of increasing timescales and/or changes to investigating staff.

4.      Receipt of an Informal Complaint


Informal complaints should be raised directly within the department. In most cases, the informal complaint is resolved at this stage.

5.     Receipt of a Formal Complaint


  • DTNA is committed to the confidentiality and protection of the complainant. Should the complainant wish to remain anonymous, the college will endeavour to uphold it, providing this still allows a thorough investigation to be However, the complainant should be aware that anonymity may restrict some elements of the investigation or in some cases, prevent a full investigation from taking place.
  • A reference number will be issued for each complaint received by the Lead Quality
  • A record of all complaints received will be monitored by the Lead Quality
  • The Lead Quality Manager will send an e-mail confirmation acknowledging receipt of the formal complaint to the complainant with accompanying policy and procedure.
  • The Lead Quality Manager will appoint an investigating officer who will examine the complaint and decide upon the appropriate course of investigative action.
  • The investigating officer will have had no direct involvement in the matter being complained about.
  • The independent investigating officer will be sent the complaints documents to support the process:
    • A copy of the original complaint
    • Compliments and Complaints Policy & Procedures
    • Complaint Investigation Report Form
    • A Completion of Procedures (COP) letter template
  • The Lead Quality Manager may, if deemed appropriate, send a copy of the original complaint(marked confidential) to another manager for information.

6.     Investigation of a Formal Complaint


The independent investigating manager will:

  • Familiarise themselves with the
  • Treat the investigation of a formal complaint as a matter of urgency and be mindful of the target timescales for the response to complaints.
  • Thoroughly investigate the complaint always considering Equality, Diversity and Inclusion and in accordance with relevant DTNA policies and procedures.
  • Maintain adequate records of their
  • Complete the relevant sections of the Complaint Investigation Report Form and return to the Lead Quality Manager. This will include lessons learned and actions which are to DTNA and monitored for completion.

7.     Response to a Formal Complaint


  • Following an investigation, the independent investigating officer will send a Completion of Procedures (COP)letter addressing all points raised in the original complaint to the Lead Quality Manager which will be forwarded to the complainant. Receipt of the complaint investigation report and the COP letter by the Lead Quality Manager will enable the complaint to be closed. If the Lead Quality Manager are not in receipt of the aforementioned documents, the complaint will remain open and the investigating officer will continue to receive tracking queries.
  • The letter will contain:
    • A decision as to whether the complaint is justified, partly justified or not justified and the reasons to support the decision
  • A review of all concerns raised in the original complaint
  • In cases where a complaint is justified or partly justified, the actions that the college proposes to take.
  • This will refer to recommendations included within the complaint investigation

8.     Appeal against the Judgement of a Formal Complaint


If the complainant is not satisfied with the substantive response to their complaint they have the opportunity to make an appeal. If they wish to do this, they should write to the Lead Quality Manager stating that they are unhappy with the outcome, the reasons why and what they will consider as an alternative outcome. This should be done within 20 days of the COP letter being sent to the complainant.

The Lead Quality Manager will refer and discuss the appeal and the current investigation with the Quality and Business Director, who will evaluate all evidence and determine if there are requirements for further investigation. Where this is the case, the complainant could be requested to provide additional information and may be invited in to discuss this.

The Quality and Business Director will respond to the appellant with an appeals completion letter within 20 working days of receiving the appeal. Following an appeal being heard the complainant will be informed all procedures have been exhausted.

9.     Taking a Complaint Further


If, when the internal formal complaints procedure has been exhausted, the complainant remains dissatisfied they may have grounds to complain to the Quality Assurance Agency (QAA), Office for Students (OfS) Education & Skills Funding Agency (ESFA), or The Office of Independent Adjudicator (OIA) if their complaints in relation to the adequacy or sufficiency of provision.

The complainant can contact the Education & Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) in either of the following ways:

  • Sending a letter to:

Customer Service Team,

Education and Skills Funding Agency

Cheylesmore House,

Quinton Road,

Coventry. CV1 2WT

  • Sending an email to:

10.  Monitoring and Reporting


  • The Lead Quality Manager will ensure that adequate records of the complaints handling process are maintained.
  • The Lead Quality Manager will produce a termly report of complaints received to include the outcome ofinvestigation, lessons learned, and actions The termly report will be submitted to the Senior Management Team.