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Complaints procedure

Vantage Academy is committed to providing an efficient service for its students and clients. In order to achieve this, Vantage Academy keeps up to date with technology and employs well trained, dedicated staff and trainers.

Unfortunately, there may be occasions where we will fall below our own high standards and we recognise the concern this can cause and have implemented a procedure designed to minimise the inconvenience to our students and clients.

It is the policy of Vantage Academy that all student and client complaints are taken seriously and are dealt with in a uniform way and that the student/client receives a first acknowledgement from the recipient of the complaint within two working days. A proposed resolution to the complaint should be issued to the student/client within ten working days. If for any reason there is an unavoidable delay in issuing a response to the complaint, the student/client must be informed and a new deadline issued/agreed.

All complaints will be dealt with by a designated person so that the individual raising the complaint has a definite point of contact. All students or clients can contact this designated person if they have any questions or queries or if they wish to enquire about the progress of the complaint.

Should any students or clients be dissatisfied with the handling of a compliant at any time, they should inform the designated person who can determine the most appropriate person to respond.

Stage 1 – Informal

An informal approach is appropriate in some cases, these complaints will be responded to by the appropriate person within 7 days receipt of the complaint. If the problem is not resolved satisfactorily at this stage, complainants should raise the matter with the Senior Management Team for formal investigation.

Stage 2 – Formal

Vantage Academy recognises that informal mechanisms may not resolve all problems and that some problems may be too serious or sensitive to be dealt with by raising the issue directly with the member of staff involved. In these circumstances, the formal complaints procedure should be used. 

  • A formal complaint should be submitted to the Managing Director in writing.
  • The statement of complaint should be as thorough and complete as possible and include any supporting documentation
  • The Managing Director will log and acknowledge receipt of the complaint within 48 hours
  • The complaint will be passed on to the most appropriate person to deal with the complaint and they will become the ‘complaint owner’ (in most cases this will be the Managing Director or Head of Operations and Training). It is the complaint owner’s responsibility to fully investigate the complaint within 14 working days of this being received.
  • The complaint owner will pass their findings back to the Senior Management Team for the central complaints log to be updated with the agreed outcome
  • The complaint owner will update the complainant of the outcome of their complaint.
  • If the complainant is not satisfied with the response received as a result of Stage 2, the complaint may be taken to Stage 3 of the procedure

Stage 3 – Appeal

A copy of the complaint (with any supporting evidence) should be sent to the Chief Executive Officer within 14 days of receiving the Stage 2 response. The Chief Executive Officer will hear the complaint and review the evidence. The Chief Executive Officer will investigate the complaint, including all documentary evidence. The Chief Executive Officer may seek to resolve the complaint based on the documentary evidence alone.

Following investigation, a written response will be produced detailing whether the complaint is upheld or not and detailing action(s) necessary to resolve the issue. The decision of the Chief Executive Officer is final.

Confidentiality

All complaints will be treated seriously, handled sensitively and with due consideration to all parties involved. In line with our equal opportunities policy, all complainants will be treated fairly and not suffer any recrimination or disadvantage as a result of making a complaint. Any person named in a complaint, however, will be informed and have a right of reply as part of the investigative process.

Complaints must be made by complainants themselves, however, we recognise that some apprentices and vulnerable adults may have difficulties with this and so encourage them to use whatever assistance is required from a third party to make their complaint effectively. The Head of Coaching within the Apprenticeship Programme can provide general support and advice on procedures; however, it is the complainant’s responsibility to seek guidance and support when necessary. Recording a Complaint Complaints received are logged onto a central complaints log. The reason for the complaint and all progress made during the life of a complaint is recorded on the log until it is resolved to the satisfaction of the complainant or to a point at which Vantage Academy can reasonably be expected to do no more.

Ownership of a Complaint

Once a complaint has been received and recorded it will be assigned by the Managing Director to the appropriate person within the business to resolve. The complaint owner will usually be the one who is most closely aligned to the area of the business against which the complaint has been raised. The owner of the complaint will then be responsible for ensuring the complaint is investigated and resolved. The owner will also be responsible for updating the Head of Coaching and Head of Operations and Training of the outcome.

Progressing a Complaint 

The complaint owner will ensure the complaint is fully investigated and that regular communication is maintained with the complainant throughout the life of the complaint. Under the normal process, we will acknowledge complaints within 48 hours and resolve within 14 working days, but inevitably some issues will be more complex and may take longer. Where this is the case, we will contact the parties within 15 days by phone and in writing with an interim response describing our investigation andwhen it is expected to be complete. Correspondence will be retained and attached with the complaint log for our records. 

Reviewing a Complaint 

Once a complaint has been defined by the owner as resolved to the satisfaction of the complainant or to the point where Vantage Academy can reasonably do no more, the complaint owner will update the central complaints log with all details of the outcome and mark the complaint as resolved. 

All documentation will be kept for future reference to defend any potential legal challenge. The Senior Management Team will review all complaints on a monthly basis and consideration will be given to whether an opportunity exists to avoid a reoccurrence of a similar complaint and to support with implementing any service improvement actions. This will be discussed at monthly Senior Management Team meetings.

Closing a Complaint 

Once the complaint has been investigated and resolved to the complainant’s satisfaction – or to the point where Vantage Academy can reasonably do no more – the central complaint log will be updated with the time, date and name of both the person who has resolved the complaint and the team member amending the report to ‘resolved’. Monitoring and Reporting The complaints team will maintain a central complaint log for Vantage Academy and provide weekly and monthly updates to the Senior Management Team. A quarterly report will be produced for the Chief Executive Officer, this report should identify trends and business risk. 

If you are still dissatisfied having followed all the stages as above, you should write to:

Carlene Jackson

Vantage Academy

6th Floor, Park Centre

177 Preston Road

Brighton 

BN1 6AG

Or email: hello@vantageacademy.co.uk