This policy and procedure is applicable to students and prospective students who are studying, or who are considering study, at DIME Detroit.
1. Definition of a complaint
A complaint is defined as “an expression of dissatisfaction concerning DIME Detroit in respect of academic standards or a professional service”. The point of complaint starts when the complainant has drawn their concern to the attention of a DIME Detroit employee/member of staff.
Important points to note:
• Students will not be discriminated against or suffer recrimination for making a complaint;
• Complaints cannot be made anonymously;
• DIME Detroit’s relationship is with the student. Therefore, students
should note that DIME Detroit cannot deal with third party complaints without the written permission of the student unless a third party has been formally authorized or instructed to act on a student’s behalf (this includes complaints made by a student’s parent(s) or spouse). Whilst correspondence will then be copied to the student (unless specifically directed to the contrary by the student), DIME Detroit will only deal with the single individual authorized to act on the student’s behalf in respect of a complaint.
• Students must adhere to the timeframes outlined in the procedure. Failure to do so may result in the complaint being rejected or the investigation being delayed.
Step 1 – Early Resolution
DIME Detroit regards itself as an approachable and supportive community. In the first instance, we encourage students to resolve any issues informally, by addressing the person(s) concerned, or approaching the Head of Education or Head of Institute. Wherever possible, early resolution should be sought, regardless of whether the issue concerns academic provision (e.g. teaching standards) or a professional service (e.g. pastoral support).
Timeframe: Step 1 must be invoked within 8 weeks of the incident that is the cause for complaint.
If the student believes that the matter is still unresolved, or there are compelling reasons as to why early resolution is not possible or appropriate, the student may lodge a formal complaint as outlined below in Step 2.
Step 2 – the Formal Stage
The student should put their complaint in writing to the Head of Education or Managing Director using the postal or email address below:
Paul Schauert / Sarah Clayman DIME
The student should provide as much detail as possible in their complaint, including:
• full details of the cause for the complaint, including its impact;
• the action the student has taken thus far and the date(s) of that action;
• the response they have received;
• the reason for their dissatisfaction or disagreement with that response;
• the remedy that they are seeking; and
• copies of supporting evidence.
Students will receive an acknowledgement of their complaint within 2 working days. DIME Detroit will endeavor to respond to the complaint, in writing, within 10 working days. Depending on the complexity of the complaint, the final response might take longer, in which case the student will be advised of this in the initial correspondence.
The complaint will be investigated by a member of DIME Detroit staff not previously involved in the incident that is the cause of the complaint.
Timeframe: Step 2 must be invoked within 10 working days of the completion of Step 1.
Step 3 – the Review Stage
If the student is not satisfied with the final outcome reached regarding their complaint about a professional service, then s/he may request a review of their complaint.
The request for review should be made, in writing, to the Head of Learner Experience at the following address:
Detroit, MI 48226
The grounds for requesting such a review are:
• a material irregularity in the conduct of the investigation; and/or
• where material new evidence has become available since the
commencement of the investigation.
The complaint will be reviewed by a member of DIME Detroit staff not previously involved in the case at Step 1 or at Step 2.
Exceptionally, where the review concerns a complaint about academic standards, the relevant Degree Awarding Body that is responsible for the validation of the degree course(s) may conduct the review. Where the Degree Awarding Body is managing the review of a case, the complainant will be informed of this at the earliest opportunity and s/he will be provided with a full explanation as to why the matter has been referred to another authority.
Timeframe: a request for review must be made within 10 working days upon receipt of the outcome of Step 2.
Following the review, the student will be issued with a Completion of Procedures letter. This letter denotes the conclusion of DIME Detroit’s internal complaints procedures or the Degree Awarding Body’s internal complaints procedures (where applicable).
If the complainant remains dissatisfied with the outcome, s/he may forward their complaint to the Office of the Independent Adjudicator (OIA) at the address below. The complaint must reach the OIA within 12 months of the issue of the Completion of Procedures letter.
The OIA’s contact details are: Office of the Independent Adjudicator, Second Floor, Abbey Gate, 57 – 75 Kings Road, Reading RG1 3AB.
Tel: 0118 959 9813
Further details can be found on the OIA website at: www.oiahe.org.uk
Only students enrolled and registered for a Falmouth University award are eligible to refer their complaint to the OIA. Prospective students, applicants, and/or students enrolled on other courses/qualifications do not have recourse to this service.