Toggle navigation

The University understands that sometimes, you may have concerns about the quality of the delivery of your academic programme or a university service, ie:

i. An action or lack of action on the part of the University.
ii. The delivery of a course of study.
iii. The delivery of a service provided by the University.

Whatever your concerns, please raise them as soon as possible and no longer than 3 months after your concerns first arise. The sooner they can be considered - early resolution - the better for everyone. Complaints dating further back than 3 months are not easy to consider due to changes in procedure, practice, processes and staffing etc. You would need to offer a strong reason why you could not raise your concerns sooner if your concerns date back later than 3 months. We reserve the right not to progress your complaint if your concerns do date back further than 3 months and we do not believe you have offered good reason.

We encourage you to talk through any concerns you may have with the Students’ Union (UCSU). The UCSU Student Support Team can offer you free, independent and confidential information, advice and guidance. Find out more online: UCSU Student Support Team.

The General Data Protection Regulations May 2018 have replaced the Data Protection Act 1998. Please read the Student Procedures Privacy Notice online: https://my.cumbria.ac.uk/Student-Life/Student-Policies-and-Procedures/ which explains how the University will use any data, including sensitive personal data, that you provide or may be collected in relation to your complaint. By sending us your complaint, you are confirming you have read, understood and agree with the Notice.

Student Complaints Policy and Procedure

Student Complaint Form (pdf) OR Student Complaint Form (Word)

Student Complaint Checklist

Student Complaints Group complaint guidance

Student Complaint Eligibility Review Request (pdf) OR Student Complaint Eligibility Review Request (Word)

Student Complaint Review request (pdf) OR Student Complaint Review Request (Word)

  • Evidence of your concerns

    Please note that you are responsible for providing evidence to support your complaint. You should include all the evidence when you first submit your form, or if you email a member of staff without a form. We may not be able to accept additional information at a later time unless you can offer strong reasons why you were unable to do so.

  • Who can you raise your concerns with?

    We encourage you to speak to or get in touch, as soon as possible, directly with:

    • Your Personal Tutor or Programme Leader via their work email address.
    • Your Student Representatives who can raise concerns at Staff/Student Forums.
    • Service Managers eg: library, IT services, catering etc
    • The Compliance Team via studentprocedures@cumbria.ac.uk – the team will tell you who your concerns have been passed to for consideration.

    You should: explain the details of your complaint, provide examples and explain what outcome you would ideally like. If you don’t get a response or outcome by email – do ask to be provided with one for your reference.

  • Complete a Student Complaint Form

    Again, this should be no more than 3 months after your concerns arise. The form can be useful to help you focus on the information you need to provide for the University to gain a clear understanding of your concerns. Please download a form, either the Word version Student Complaint Form (which you can complete electronically) or the pdf version Student Complaint Form (which you can print, complete by hand, scan and send to us) and complete all the sections. If you download the pdf, please scan and send to us once completed. You may need to attach separate sheets – please ensure your name and student number are included on each attachment.

    Once completed, you can send your Student Complaint form to: studentprocedures@cumbria.ac.uk.

    The Student Complaint Checklist may offer you some helpful pointers in writing your complaint.

  • Disability/spld reasonable adjustments

    If you have a declared disability or specific learning difficulty do let us know so we can make reasonable adjustments to assist you through this procedure. Examples include, but are not limited to you having:

    • A note taker available to you if we meet to talk through your complaint
    • Additional time during the procedure for you to be able to consider information offered to you.

    You are welcome to advise us of what you believe an appropriate reasonable adjustment to be.

    You can also contact your Adviser direct.

  • Placement/Practice experience complaints

    Some complaints about placement/practice will relate to “a) i. the delivery of a course of study” and we will advise you of the steps to be taken by the University.

    If your complaint is about a staff member employed by the placement, it may be investigated under that organisation’s own procedures in the first instance, facilitated by the University. This is likely to add to the timeframes.

    You should still explain the details of your complaint as advised above and email studentprocedures@cumbria.ac.uk.

  • Group complaints

    We can take forward group complaints if more than one or two share broadly the same concerns.

    You should read the Student Complaints Group complaint guidance before you submit your complaint and ensure all the steps are followed.

    Complaints can be sent to studentprocedures@cumbria.ac.uk but please note, we may return your complaint for further information if the steps in the guidance have not been followed.

  • A Student Complaint or an Academic Appeal?

    If your concerns relate to an assessment outcome which has been confirmed by the University Assessment Board, you can put them forward for consideration, if they relate to the grounds, through the Academic Appeal Procedure.

    This differs to a complaint which is concerned with the quality of the delivery of programmes and services. Information about Academic Appeals is available from: http://my.cumbria.ac.uk/StudentLife/Support/YourStudies/AssessmentandExams/Appeals.aspx

    Please do think carefully about the scope and timeframes for both of these procedures if you have a concern.

    You are always advised to raise your concerns as soon as possible, and do not wait until your marks have been confirmed. This might be through a complaint or potentially through the Extenuating Circumstances Procedure, if you have experienced unforeseen circumstances that were out of your control and you are concerned your assessment performance may have been affected.

    For many programmes, marks are not confirmed until the end of the academic year (in June and July). Confirmed results are sent via a formal notification to your student email account. It is only then (and within 10 working days of the date results are sent) that an Academic Appeal can be made.

    If you do not raise concerns of unfair treatment during the assessment process at the time, it may be considered out of time

    Please note the following:

    • If you make an Academic Appeal on the ground of “ Where unfair treatment or bias is alleged as part of the assessment process which for good reason had not been considered previously under the University Complaints Procedures” (Section 1.3.1 (iii)) and it has not been considered as a complaint, it will be forwarded to the Compliance Team for assessment under the Student Complaints Procedure.
    • The Student Complaints Procedure timeframes apply, even if you originally outline your concerns through an Academic Appeal. The Compliance Team will check that your concerns have been raised within 3 months of the issues occurring and will check that they are related directly to an assessment process.
    • You must explain the good reason why you could not raise your concerns earlier, directly through the complaint procedure.
    • If all of your Academic Appeal is referred to a formal Complaint Investigation, the Academic Appeal will normally be closed and your concerns will be addressed through the Student Complaints Procedure.
    • If you use other grounds of the Academic Appeal Procedure as well as unfair treatment during an assessment process, your Academic Appeal may continue to consider those other grounds. If an Appeal decision relies on the outcome of the Complaint investigation (for example if the concerns cross over more than one ground), you will be notified and your appeal will be put on hold.
  • Complaints about a University of Cumbria staff member

    If you wish to make a complaint about a University of Cumbria staff member, you are encouraged to seek information and guidance from the Students’ Union. You may also wish to contact any one or more of the following, depending on your personal preference and on what you believe may be of help to you:

    Writing your complaint: Write to the Compliance Team studentprocedures@cumbria.ac.uk and:

    • Tell us the name of the staff member
    • Describe the behaviour of concern, including dates etc wherever possible.
    • Explain the impact the alleged behaviour is having or has had on you.
    • Explain what you would like to see as an outcome of any action we may take.

    Please be aware that for any steps to be taken, your complaint cannot be anonymous and must be seen by the staff member so s/he can reply. If you do not wish to be visible as the person making the complaint, it is likely that the University will not be able to take any steps to consider your concerns.

    If you include the names of other people in your complaint, you must have their permission to include them and they should separately contact studentprocedures@cumbria.ac.uk to confirm:

    • They understand who the complaint is about and that the staff member will see this information
    • They are willing to be named in the complaint.

    If this is another student or staff member, they should send their permission from their student or staff email address. Where no permission is received, names will be blocked out.

    The steps that are taken will depend on the nature of the concerns you have raised and will be considered against the scope of the student complaints policy as noted above.

    Please be aware that the University does not take the place of the Police and does not investigate whether a crime has been committed.

    If you are raising a serious complaint of alleged misconduct about a University of Cumbria staff member, for example theft or other offences of dishonesty; threatening or abusive language; acts of harassment, bullying or sexual misconduct; assault on any person or indecent behaviour by a member of staff your complaint will be passed to Student and Staff Services for consideration through the relevant Human Resource-facilitated procedure.

    The outcome of the complaint may be referred to the Compliance Team for consideration of any impact on the student experience

  • Complaints about a University of Cumbria student

    If you wish to make a complaint about a University of Cumbria student, you are encouraged to seek information and guidance from the Students’ Union. You may also wish to contact any one or more of the following, depending on your personal preference and on what you believe may be of help to you:

    Writing your complaint: Write to studentprocedures@cumbria.ac.uk and:

    • Tell us the name of the student
    • Describe the behaviour of concern, including dates etc wherever possible.
    • Explain the impact the alleged behaviour is having or has had on you.
    • Explain what you would like to see as an outcome of any action we may take.

    Please be aware that for any steps to be taken, your complaint cannot be anonymous and must be seen by the student so s/he can reply. If you do not wish to be visible as the person making the complaint, it is likely that the University will not be able to take any steps to consider your concerns.

    If you include the names of other people in your complaint, you must have their permission to include them and they should separately contact studentprocedures@cumbria.ac.uk to confirm:

    • They understand who the complaint is about and that the student will see this information
    • They are willing to be named in the complaint.

    If this is another student or staff member, they should send their permission from their student or staff email address. Where no permission is received, names will be blocked out.

    The steps that are taken will depend on the nature of the concerns you have raised and will be considered against the scope of the student complaints policy as noted above.

    Please be aware that the University does not take the place of the Police and does not investigate whether a crime has been committed. The Student Code of Conduct can, however, consider the implications of the outcome of Police and/or Court actions and decisions.

    The University can suspend the student that the complaint is about, as a precautionary measure. Suspensions are without prejudice, in that the University has not pre-judged the outcome of either internal or external investigations.

    More information about the Student Code of Conduct, including suspensions can be found: https://my.cumbria.ac.uk/Student-Life/Support/Responding-to-your-concerns/Student-Code-of-Conduct/

  • Former students

    If you are no longer enrolled with the University, the Student Complaints Procedure may still be open to you. Your enrolment at the University must not have ended more than 3 months before you make your complaint and the same timescales and scope criteria will still apply. Your status as a former student will normally remain in place pending the outcome of your complaint.

  • Students at Partner institutions

    The partnership agreement between your institution and the University of Cumbria may allow you to use the Complaint Review step of the University's Student Complaints Procedure where your complaint relates to the quality of the delivery of your course of study.

    The University may be able to review your complaint where:

    • It has been considered through all steps of your institution’s Complaints procedure and you are not content with the outcome.
    • It relates to the delivery of your course of study.
    • Your request meets the grounds for making a complaint review request, as described in Section 7 of the Student Complaints Procedure “Complaint Review Request”.

    If you believe you have grounds to request a Complaint Review, you should complete the Complaint Review Request form available on this page and send it, ideally no more than 10 working days after you are given the outcome of your complaint by your institution, to studentprocedures@cumbria.ac.uk.

    You should include a copy of your original complaint, the outcome from your home institution, the reasons why you believe it should be reviewed and attach any evidence to support your complaint. The University may liaise with your home institution in considering eligibility for a complaint review and any further consideration that may be given to your complaint.

  • Higher Level Apprentices

    If you have a concern or complaint about any aspect of your Apprenticeship, please contact/speak with your personal tutor at the University in the first instance (reference to your Commitment Statement). You can follow the steps outlined on this web page.

    If you are not content with the outcome of your complaint once it has been through all the internal steps available to you through your employer’s procedure and the University’s complaint review, or if you simply want some help or advice, you may also contact the Skills Funding Agency:

     Please check the SFA website for currency of contact details which can be subject to changes from time to time.

  • Accommodation Code of Practice

    If your complaint is about any aspect of your University-managed student accommodation, you can use the Accommodation Code of Practice to lodge complaints against the University. The Code can be viewed online: http://www.universitiesuk.ac.uk/acop/

    You can still use the University’s complaint process using the information above if you prefer, either by contacting the Accommodation Service direct or by completing the Student Complaint form and sending it to studentprocedures@cumbria.ac.uk.

  • Useful websites and contact information

    The Students’ Union Student Support Team can offer you independent and confidential advice and guidance about a range of topics: http://www.ucsu.me/support

    https://my.cumbria.ac.uk/Student-Life/Support/Student-Handbook/

    https://my.cumbria.ac.uk/Student-Life/Student-Policies-and-Procedures/

    https://my.cumbria.ac.uk/studentprocedures/conduct.  

     

    Comments and feedback about the Student Complaints Policy and Procedure can be sent to studentprocedures@cumbria.ac.uk or the Students’ Union.