13.5 Stage One: Informal Stage - Early Resolution

1. It is anticipated that the majority of concerns, issues or complaints can be resolved easily and quickly on an informal basis, at the time the problem first occurs and with the individual(s) directly involved. Any student with a concern, issue or complaint against a department should, in the first instance, seek to resolve the matter in an informal manner. This could be achieved by arranging a meeting to discuss the situation at hand, followed by an explanation or apology, where appropriate. Students should offer a description of the problem encountered and state their desired outcome at this point, and, where possible, include any available evidence to support their complaint.

2. If the concern, issue or complaint is against his/her academic department, the student may wish to informally raise the matter with his or her personal tutor, another member of the academic staff or other appropriate person. Students studying at the branch campus in Mauritius, should refer the matter to the Dean, in the first instance. In the case of a group concern, issue or complaint (not involving allegations against a named individual) the appropriate departmental Staff Student Consultative Committee may be involved. These Informal proceedings will not prejudice the formal procedure outlined below.

3. If the complaint is against a non-academic department, the student should discuss the matter informally with, for example, the person responsible for the service or facility the student has a concern or issue with, who can then refer the student to an appropriate member of staff within their department, if they are not in a position to resolve the issue themselves.

4. A short written report or response outlining the case and outcome(s) should be drafted by the member of staff addressing the student’s complaint, and be circulated to all interested parties and a copy retained on file. This report should also direct the student back to the Complaints Procedure which sets out what options the student has available to him/her should they remain dissatisfied with the outcome and wish to pursue the complaint further. General advice can be sought from AQRO on issues relating to the procedures when considering the case and any possible outcomes or redress, if felt necessary.

5. No formal time limit is applied to early resolution, however it is expected that attempts will be made to resolve the informal complaint, wherever practicable, within 10 working days.