Submitting a complaint

Before submitting your complaint

  • A complaint will not normally be accepted if submitted more than three months after the issue arose unless there was good reason why the issue could not have been raised sooner.
  • When submitting a complaint it is important to include all relevant points in chronological order. Unnecessary detail or unclear information could prolong the time taken to consider the complaint.
  • Be clear and realistic about the outcome you are seeking. It will be more difficult to address your complaint if your goal is unclear, or if you are asking for something that is not possible.
  • Details of a complaint may need to be shared with relevant colleagues in order for a full investigation to take place, and individuals named in a complaint will be made aware of the allegations and have the opportunity to give their version of events.
  • Frivolous, malicious, or unreasonably persistent complaints will not be accepted. The University reserves the right to take appropriate disciplinary and/or legal action against anyone considered to have made such a complaint.

Submitting a complaint

The University has developed a three stage complaint procedure to provide a clear route for making a complaint.

The complaints procedure has been designed to be flexible and there may be some instances where the Student Casework Team determine that it is appropriate to bypass one of the three stages (for example, a complaint may go straight from Stage One to Stage Three).

The complaint procedure information below outlines the three stages and the anticipated timescales involved.

Complaint stages

  1. Step 1

    If you are dissatisfied with a UWE Bristol provision or service and wish to make a complaint, the first step of the complaint procedure is to raise awareness of the problem and to discuss it, either in person or via email, with the relevant staff in the faculty or service. If you are unsure who this is, please contact InfoPoint or email complaints@uwe.ac.uk.

    Submitting a Stage One complaint

    Complaints will not normally be accepted if submitted more than three months after the issue arose. Include as much relevant information as possible, including the outcome you are hoping to achieve, but remember that unnecessary detail can be confusing and could prolong the process.

    Stage One process

    The person receiving the Stage One complaint will aim to resolve the matter as quickly as possible. If, for some reason, there is a delay in responding to you, an update on the progress made will be provided by the person handling the complaint. You may request to meet with the person handling your complaint if you wish to do so.

    Stage One response

    The Stage One response should normally be made in writing and should include information on the 'next steps' for you to take if you remain dissatisfied.

    Read more about Stage One complaints

  2. Step 2

    It is anticipated that the majority of issues can be resolved informally at Stage One; however, if you are unhappy with the Stage One response you may feel it appropriate to submit a formal Stage Two complaint for consideration by the Student Casework Team. Students may wish to seek independent support and advice from the Students’ Union Advice Centre.

    Submitting a Stage Two complaint

    The Stage Two complaint should be submitted via the complaints webpages or if you have no access to this site, please contact complaints@uwe.ac.uk (tel: +44 (0)117 3283371) for the appropriate form. Provide as much necessary detail as you can, including the steps taken at Stage One and documentary evidence where possible. Complaints will not normally be accepted if submitted more than three months after the Stage One response has been received.

    Stage Two process

    The Student Casework Team will acknowledge receipt of the Stage Two complaint within three working days. The complaint will be allocated to a caseworker who will aim to investigate and respond within eight working weeks.

    Stage Two outcome

    The Stage Two decision will be explained in a letter and sent to the address provided on the Stage Two form. It will include information regarding the ‘next steps’ to take if you remain dissatisfied with the outcome.

    Read more about Stage Two complaints

  3. Step 3

    Stage Three of the complaint procedure involves a final consideration of the case by the Student Casework Team Manager. Stage Three should normally only take place following the completion of Stage Two.

    Submitting a Stage Three complaint

    The Stage Three complaint should be submitted via the complaints webpages or if you have no access to the internet, please contact complaints@uwe.ac.uk (tel: +44 (0)117 3283371) for the appropriate form, within three months of the date of the Stage Two response. Please provide clear reasons as to why you remain dissatisfied. Students may also wish to seek independent support and advice from the Students’ Union Advice Centre.

    Stage Three acknowledgement

    The Student Casework Team will acknowledge receipt of the Stage Three complaint within three working days.

    Stage Three process

    The Student Casework Team Manager will review the complaint and will aim to respond within four working weeks, It may not be felt necessary to carry out a full new investigation of the matters raised.

    Stage Three response

    The Stage Three response will be provided within a 'Completion of Procedures' letter, this letter concludes UWE Bristol's complaint procedure. If you are a current or (recently) former UWE Bristol student, the outcome letter will also provide information on how to make a complaint to the Office of the Independent Adjudicator if you remain dissatisfied.

    Read more about Stage Three complaints

Outcomes

Where a complaint is found to be justified or partly justified, the outcome will depend heavily upon the accepted grounds of complaint. Where the University is found to have made a mistake or fallen short of reasonable expectations, an apology will be given, the mistake rectified where appropriate, and actions taken to prevent the same mistake happening again.

There will be some instances in which it would be counter-productive to instigate a long drawn-out investigation, and instead energy will be put into finding a way forward which is acceptable to all concerned.

It is important to note that a complaint may not be accepted if the remedy sought is beyond the power of the University to deliver.