AARC Complaints Policy & Procedures
You will receive written notification regarding the outcome of your complaint within 10 working days of your discussion with the person dealing with the complaint. This letter will be kept on file.
If you are not satisfied with the outcome at this stage and you want to take it further, you would activate the Formal Complaints Procedure
Stage 1: Activate Formal Complaints Procedure
If you wish the complaint to be considered formally you must put your complaint in writing to the Director of Training within 10 working days of receiving the letter regarding the outcome of the exploration of the complaint. If it is not possible to submit a complaint in writing, assistance to submit in another format will be offered. If no letter is received within 10 working days, your complaint file will be closed.
At this stage the complaint must be in a letter (not an email) dated and signed by you. This letter will be kept on file. The letter will be acknowledged within 7 working days of receipt. The person complained against will be given a copy of your complaint.
AARC will halt the complaint at any stage should it emerge that legal action is intended or under way until that legal action is completed.
Formal Consideration of your Complaint
Your complaint will be dealt with by the Director of Training. If the Director of Training is not deemed to be impartial then an alternative professional of equal standing will be appointed.
The Director of Training or the person appointed to deal with your complaint will contact you within 10 working days of receiving your written complaint to offer to discuss your complaint in a face-to-face meeting. The complainant may be accompanied by a support person if they wish. You must tell us the name of the person who will accompany you. Unless there are exceptional circumstances this meeting must take place within 28 days of the offer being made. If this offer is not taken up within this timescale the complaint will be closed.
At the meeting the person dealing with your complaint will aim to resolve it to your satisfaction. They will be accompanied by a note-taker. Thereafter a written response to your complaint would normally be expected within 21 days including any action taken or planned.
If the complaint is still unresolved, you may proceed to the Independent Complaint Committee.
Stage 2: Complaint Procedure
The Independent Complaint Committee is the authority of last resort. A complaint can only be lodged when the previous stages have been exhausted.
Your complaint must be sent to the Director of Clinical Practice in writing, dated and signed by you and contain the grounds for your complaint. It must be received within 28 days of the letter confirming the outcome of Stage 1. The Complaint Committee is independent of any person concerned with the complaint thus far. The Complaint Committee will sit within 28 days of receipt of your written complaint. The Complaint Committee will comprise two Board Members and the Director of Clinical Practice.
The Complaint Committee will hear separately the evidence from the complainant and the party complained against. The complainant may be accompanied by a support person if they wish. The Committee will consider the facts; decide the outcome by which the parties will abide; and announce its decision in writing, with reasons, within 7 days of the meeting. The Committee may recommend the imposition of sanctions e.g. a Practitioner may be asked to retrain or may face a disciplinary process.
All parties will be expected to abide by the outcome of the Complaint. There is no procedure for any further complaint through AARC. However, this does not exclude the right to refer the complaint to COSCA or to take proceedings through the legal court system. Following completion of The AARC procedure, complaints being taken to COSCA must be made within the time limit of one month.
At the conclusion of the complaints procedures a report will be submitted to COSCA and will include any training / sanctions imposed and how this will be monitored.
Candidates on SQA qualifications have the right to complain to SQA. SQA will only consider your complaint if you have already gone through all stages of the AARC complaints procedure and remain dissatisfied with the outcome, or the way in which we handled your complaint. SQA can deal with complaints from any candidates about assessment in the broadest sense, including the conduct of, and environment for, assessment, but only if the candidate has already exhausted the AARC’s complaints procedure. Complaints against internal assessment decisions should go through the Academic Complaints Procedures.
COSCA website: www.cosca.org.uk
SQA website: http://www.sqa.org.uk/sqa/25071.html
- Assistance and advice is available to complainants to enable them to understand the complaints procedure, and where they may obtain this support internally and externally (including signposting to an independent advocacy)
- If a complaint is anonymous, it will be investigated and where evidence is found to support the complaint internal training or disciplinary action will be taken as appropriate.
- This document can be made available in other languages and formats on request.
- Full contact details are AARC Services, 69 Ferry Road, Renfrew PA4 8SH
- Complaints made by representatives, or third parties are acceptable
- Complaints can be investigated for up to three years from the date of the alleged incident.
- Complaints made after this time will not be investigated.
- COSCA’s contact details are COSCA, 16 Melville Terrace, Stirling. FK8 2NE. T 01786 475140
- SQA Accreditation contact details are SQA Accreditation, The Optima Building, 58 Robertson Street., Glasgow G2 8DQ, firstname.lastname@example.org