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Complaints and appeals
SPA’s good practice regarding applicant complaints and appeals was updated in October 2015 to take account of the HE advice from the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) on consumer protection law. The CMA advice stressed the need for HE providers to ensure their complaint handling procedures and practices were easy to locate, accessible, clear and fair to applicants and students.
The CMA view that poor complaints handling can undermine your relationship with applicants and incur unnecessary time and expense is a reasonable one in terms of good practice and fair admissions. Investing time in early resolution of a complaint will free up staff time and ultimately contribute to the continued positive experience of applicants.
The good practice statement looks at the definition of a complaint and an appeal, provides information on external regulation and advice, and suggests that HE providers should always try to be open to resolving any initial query or complaint quickly and to the applicant's satisfaction wherever possible. It includes recommendations and considerations for HE providers to support them in updating and developing their complaints and appeals policy.
This good practice has informed the development of our online good practice toolkit module on applicant complaints and appeals.