Context & Scope
This policy relates to all activities of Swift ACI, referred to as “Swift” herein.
This policy includes all training provision provided by a Swift.
This Policy outlines the Complaints Procedure for Staff, Apprentices and Employers, with specific detail for apprentices on how to appeal assessment decisions detailed in sections 5 to 9 below.
The Complaints Policy enables apprentices, employers and employees who have concerns and/or complaints to have them addressed efficiently and effectively in the interests of continually improving the service we offer.
Through the Complaints Procedure, Swift seeks to provide an accessible, fair and straight forward system which enables individuals to raise concerns and which ensures an effective, timely and appropriate response.
This will also enable Swift to monitor and manage the quality of service using feedback received from apprentices, parents/carers, employers, visitors and other members of the community.
What is a Complaint?
A complaint is the formal expression of dissatisfaction at the service or conduct received from Swift, its employees, apprentices or representatives.
Swift recognises that complaints can be made from any stakeholder and have trained all employees to resolve a large variant of complaints effectively.
All complaints will be dealt with on a case-by-case basis and the individual aspects of each situation will be thoroughly reviewed.
Safeguarding concerns or disclosures are not classed as complaints, and concerns relating to Safeguarding should be raised using the Swift Safeguarding Policy which is available on the Swift websites and Swift Operating System.
- All apprentices have the fundamental right to learn, be assessed and work in an environment that is free from discrimination, bullying and harassment at all times.
- All apprentices have the fundamental right to have equal access to training and assessment that enhances career progression and promotional opportunities through continuous professional development opportunities.
- All apprentices will receive full support and guidance within their learning, assessment and working environment that recognises diversity, which promotes and safeguards the apprentice’s wellbeing at all times.
- All apprentices have the right to complain directly to the awarding body if the learner is not satisfied with the outcome of the complaint raised with the Apprenticeship Training Provider.
- This complaints procedure provides all apprentices and their delivery staff with a formal and effective mechanism to complain without fear of victimisation and repression.
- Apprentices who believe they are being subjected to, or are suffering because of victimisation, discrimination, bullying, harassment or being prevented from equality of opportunity will be encouraged and supported to execute these procedures to seek confidential guidance and support that is intended to resolve the issues that have initiated the complaint.
- If you feel you are being discriminated against, bullied or harassed you should do the following and not remain silent: You should seek guidance and support immediately. Our procedures offer such guidance and support and can ensure any approaches to our employees will remain private and confidential.
- We will also ensure staff are strictly discreet in their approach if you have a complaint or concern. You should in the first place approach your trainer/assessor. If you do not feel you can approach your assessor, you should contact the Quality Manager.
- All apprentices have the right to appeal directly to the awarding body within 20 working days of the assessment if they are not satisfied with the outcome of the appeal raised with the Apprenticeship Training Provider.
Academy Director: Jack Edwards
Quality and Compliance Director: Mark Darby
Quality Manager: Claire Finucane
Curriculum Manager: (Mercia) Sara Lewis
Curriculum Lead: (London)Nicola Nash
Learner Experience Manager: Jayne Hipkiss
Learner Support Manager: Lisa Merricks
1.10 If you do not feel you can approach your assessor you should contact the Quality Manager. The Quality Manager may then escalate to the Quality and Compliance Director. This is the individual with ultimate responsibility within the company for delivery of all training and assessment. All apprentices are issued with the contact details for their trainer/assessor at induction.
Whoever you contact will then investigate your complaint or concern with your permission and extremely discreetly and in line with the Complaints Procedure outlined below.
- Complaints may be made in a variety of ways (telephone, email, face to face and letter). Contact details for making complaints can be found in section 2.12 at the end of this policy.
- Complaints should be made to your trainer/assessor and will then be passed to The Quality Manager who will determine the best approach to handle the complaint. The Quality Manager may escalate to the Quality and Compliance Director. If you do not feel comfortable submitting your complaint to your trainer/assessor or the Quality Manager, then you may contact the Quality and Compliance Director directly.
- Complaints should include the following information:
- Name of complainant (person & organisation if appropriate)
- Telephone number
- Training the complaint relates to
- Details of complaint
- Any specific action/outcome requested
- Complaints will be acknowledged in writing to the complainant within 3 working days of receipt
- If a complaint is escalated to the Quality and Compliance Director they will inform the Managing Director that a complaint has been received and is being investigated upon receiving the complaint.
- Swift aim to resolve and close the complaint in full within 10 working days of acknowledging receipt to the complainant. Where this is not possible, the complainant will be advised and a revised timescale will be provided.
- If the complaint is about a member of staff, HR will be informed, and the appropriate HR action will ill be invoked if appropriate.
- The person investigating the complaint will:
- Record their findings
- Identify the actions that need to be taken to resolve the complaint
- Put in place an action plan to address the issues raised
- Confirm any actions required with HR if the complaint is about a staff member
- Respond in writing to the complainant to detail the outcome of the investigation and the resulting actions to the complainant.
- Any response to the complainant must be reviewed and authorised by The Quality and Compliance Director.
- If actions have been identified and an action plan put in place, it is the responsibility of The Quality and Compliance Director to ensure that the actions have been completed and to confirm this to the complainant.
- Feedback about Swift can be given at any time via email to the email address firstname.lastname@example.org. This email address is monitored and managed by The Quality and Compliance Director and the Quality Manager.
- Complaints can also be escalated directly to the ESFA by contacting their Apprenticeship Service Support on 08000 150 600 or by emailing:
Referral and Review
- Where a complainant is not satisfied with the outcome of their complaint, they must respond and confirm why they are unhappy with the result.
- This referral should be passed to the Quality and Compliance Director who will carry out a further investigation within 10 working days.
- If the complaint remains unresolved at this point, it will be referred to the Managing Director for further investigation.
- Where a complainant still remains dissatisfied with the resolution to their complaint, and where this concerns education specifically, they can contact the ESFA as detailed in the Contacts section below,
- Learners also have the right to complain directly to their Awarding Body if they remain dissatisfied with Swift's resolution of their concern.
Reflecting and Improving
- Any complaints and investigations and resolutions resulting from these should, where appropriate, be reflected in the Swift Quality Improvement Plan to ensure they are used to inform future planned improvements and drive forward the quality of provision in the spirit of continuous improvement.
- This appeals procedure is designed to offer apprentices with a formal and systematic process to make an appeal against an assessment decision and allow the assessment decision to be revisited, investigated and rectified.
- The assessment processes, strategies and policies are intended to promote and maintain assessment practices that are fair for all apprentices and prevent any apprentice becoming disadvantaged through the assessment decisions and judgements being made.
- The appeals procedure is a standardised process which provides apprentices with a time bound, systematic and documented procedure that the centre, internal Quality Managers, assessors and apprentices will implement and follow in the event of an appeal being made.
- The apprentice: Will initiate the appeals procedure within the agreed time frames when they believe they have a reason to complain about or question an assessment decision/judgement.
- The assessor: Is responsible for providing the apprentice with accurate and constructive feedback regarding their achievements and basis for their assessment decisions and judgements. The assessors will firstly discuss the nature of the appeal, which will remain confidential at all times, with the apprentice. The assessor will seek a satisfactory rectification to the appeal. When appeals become formal it is the assessor’s responsibility to process the apprentices appeal within the agreed time frames.
- The Quality and Compliance Director is solely responsible for submitting the appeal in writing to the relevant awarding organisation, if the apprentice remains dissatisfied with the outcome of the centres internal appeals process will engage in the following systematic stages of this procedure.
- The apprentices’ induction into their development programme will clearly communicate the principles and concepts of appeals procedures making up the elements of information, advice and guidance available to them.
- The apprentices’ appeals procedures are a systematic and staged procedure which will determine whether the assessor has used assessment practices that are consistent with the internal and external assessment strategies agreed through the relevant awarding organisations. It will determine whether assessment practices have been applied correctly and fairly to arrive at fair and consistent assessment decisions/judgements about the evidence presented.
Managing Director Name: Gregory Morrall
Reviewed on: 20/07/2023
Review Due: 20/07/2024
Reviewed by: Claire Finucane