APPEALS POLICY & PROCEDURE

INTRODUCTION

This policy is aimed at our clients, including learners, who are enrolled on or have taken an approved qualification or unit. It sets out the process you should follow when submitting appeals to FDE Training Services and the process we will follow when responding to enquiries and appeals.

It is also for use by our staff to ensure they deal with all appeals in a consistent manner.

CENTRES’ RESPONSIBILITY

It is important that our staff involved in the management, assessment and quality assurance of our qualifications and learners are aware of the contents of this policy.

In addition, we must have internal appeal arrangements which learners can access if they wish to appeal against a decision taken by our centre.  If an individual wishes to appeal against a decision taken by the centre, it must first go through the centre’s appeals process before bringing the matter to the attention of the awarding body or exercising the right of further escalation as detailed within this policy.

REVIEW ARRANGEMENTS

FDE Training Services will review the policy and its associated procedures as part of our annual self-evaluation arrangements and revise it as and when necessary, in response to customer and learner feedback or requests from, or good practice guidance issued by, the regulatory authorities (e.g., to align with any appeals and complaints process established by the regulatory authorities in Scotland (SQA); England (OFQUAL); and Wales (Welsh Government).

FEES

FDE Training Services will not charge learners a fee to cover the administrative and personnel costs involved in dealing with appeals.

AREAS COVERED BY THE POLICY

This policy covers:

  • Appeals from learners in relation to an assessment decision on the basis that we did not apply procedures consistently or that procedures were not followed properly and fairly.
  • Appeals from learners relating to an awarding body’s decision to decline a centre’s request to make reasonable adjustments or give special considerations to an individual learner.
  • Appeals from learners in relation to the application by an awarding body of a sanction/action on an individual resulting an investigation into malpractice or maladministration or a decision to amend a learner/set of learner’s results following a malpractice or malpractice investigation.
  • Appeals from learners relating to a decision made by an awarding body following an investigation into a complaint.

In all cases, appeals can only be made on the basis that we have not applied our procedures consistently or those procedures were not followed properly, consistently and fairly.

PROCESS FOR RAISING AN APPEAL

Learners have 20 working days from the date we notify you of the decision you are appealing against, in which to lodge an appeal against our decision. In the event of an appeal learners/centre staff should be advised to retain their course or qualification evidence until they receive a final decision.

If a centre appeals on behalf of a learner in relation to a decision by an awarding organisation we must ensure that we obtain the written permission of the learner concerned as assessment results can be affected as a result of an investigation.

Any learner who wishes to appeal to the awarding body about an assessment outcome or about a related decision should be supported by us only when we have exhausted our own appeals process. It is expected that learners will only appeal directly to the awarding body in exceptional circumstances.

When submitting an appeal to an awarding body we must provide relevant supporting information such as the following where applicable:

  • Learner name(s) and registration number (if applicable)
  • date(s) you or the learner received notification of the awarding body’s decision.
  • Title and number of the qualification affected, or nature of service affected (if appropriate)
  • Full nature of the appeal
  • Contents and outcome of any investigation carried out the centre relating to the issue.

INITIAL REVIEW OF THE APPEAL DETAILS

Upon receipt of all appeals FDE Training Services administration will acknowledge receipt of the appeal within 2 working days and aim to respond fully to the initial review of the potential appeal within 5 working days. Please note that in some cases the review processes may take longer, for example, if a centre visit is required.  In such instances, we will contact all parties concerned to inform them of the likely revised timescale.

APPEALS PROCEDURE

The Appeal Procedure has 5 Stages, which are as follows:

Stage 1 – Initially the Assessor will deal with your concerns about the assessment.  If the matter has been discussed and no satisfactory outcome has been achieved, the trainee and assessor will refer the matter to an Internal Verifier from the Centre.

Stage 2 – Your concerns will then be investigated by the Internal Verifier, he or she will make a decision, if the matter is still unresolved, the Internal Verifier will arrange for the appeal to be dealt with by an Independent Third Party

Stage 3 – The Independent Third Party will then deal with the appeal, and they will make a decision, if the matter is still unresolved, then you must appeal directly to the awarding organisation.

Stage 4 – You should submit your appeal writing to the awarding organisation within fifteen working days of receiving written notification from FDE Training Services on the outcome of the appeal. Details for the appropriate awarding organisation will be provided on request.

Your appeal must include a written account of why you think that FDE Training Services decision is wrong and must include the evidence to support your case.

Appeals of this kind will be referred by the awarding organisation to experienced subject specialists.

The awarding organisation will inform you and FDE Training Services in writing of the decision of the subject specialists within fifteen working days of receiving the written appeal and will give the reasons for the decision.

If, for any reason, the matter cannot be resolved within this period, the awarding organisation will keep you informed of the progress.

Stage 5 – If you are still not satisfied with the outcome of your appeal after it has been dealt with by the Awarding Body then you have the right to escalate the matter to the relevant qualification’s regulator. Details of the appropriate regulator will be supplied on request.

Stephen FDE

Managing Director

Issue Date: 05/01/2020                                           Review Date: 31/05/2023                                               Ref: FDE-POL-005