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Complaints Policy

This policy relates to external complaints. Staff, volunteers and associates making complaints should be referred to our Whistleblowing, Bullying & Harassment, Code of Conduct and Safeguarding policies.

We aim to provide a high standard of service to our stakeholders and partners and try to make things as straightforward as possible for all of them.  On occasion, however, because of the scale and complexity of our work nationwide, we may make a mistake or in some other way fail to provide a satisfactory, reliable and timely service.

If you believe that we have got something wrong, or that there is any problem with the way we are dealing with you, please let us know. The sooner you tell us, the sooner we can do something about it.



We have a four-step procedure (five if you are an apprentice) and hope that we can resolve at the lowest possible level.

In the first instance you should contact your tutor, the person or department with whom you have been dealing. We hope that they will be able to immediately address your complaint. You can contact them by letter, by phone, by e-mail or by letter.   If you are unhappy with the response from that person then you will be invited to contact their line manager.

In the event that you are not satisfied with the response from their line manager then the complaint will be referred to a member of the Senior Management team or Chief Executive Officer (CEO) who will review the evidence and respond.  In the unlikely event that you remain unsatisfied with the response from them then your complaint will be referred for a full and final judgement from the Chair of the IVE Board.

To be able to help you we will need to know your full name, address and a telephone number at which we can contact you. Please tell us what you think has gone wrong and how you believe it can be put right.


When you do complain we will:

  • Treat you courteously and professionally

  • Treat your complaint seriously

  • Deal with your complaint promptly.  If we are unable to respond immediately, we will respond within 7 working days and will give a timescale for a full response.


We will not:

  • Treat you differently from other people just because you have made a complaint

  • Discriminate against you for any irrelevant reason (including your colour, race, nationality, religion, age, sex, sexuality or any disability).


When things have gone wrong we will do our best to resolve matters quickly and fairly so we will:

  • Explain what went wrong and why

  • Apologise if appropriate

  • Correct or make good the mistake wherever possible.


Internal Process Management of Complaints

This process is not contractual but sets out the way in which we will handle complaints received.  Inevitably, in a small organisation, complete segregation of investigation is difficult, but we will handle the complaint and support the subject of the complaint fairly.



In the event that you have a complaint made against you and the customer is unhappy with your response this will be referred to your line manager to deal with unless this is sufficiently serious (i.e. fraud, reputation), this will normally be referred to the Executive Director who: (will investigate the matter) and you will be supported by your Board throughout the process. 


Executive Director

In the event that a complaint is made against you this will be referred to the Board.  You will be supported by another trustee throughout the process.  Trustees involved will receive guidance from our professional advisor.  Any appeal will be held by the Chair of the Board whose decision is final.



In the event that a complaint is made against you this will be referred to the Chair of the Board. You will be supported by another trustee throughout the process.  Both trustees involved will receive guidance from our professional advisor.  The Chair will decide the outcome of the investigation.  Any appeal will be held by the Chair of the Board whose decision is final (in the case of apprentices please see section below).


Apprentices (only) when applicable

If the complaint remains unresolved after escalation, learners may have the right to refer the complaint to the relevant funding body for resolution. In England this is the Education & Skills Funding Agency (who contributes to the funding of your qualification). They can be contacted via the apprenticeship helpdesk (on 08000 150400 or email Details of the final escalation process for the devolved nations can be provided upon request. Complaints regarding fair assessment of qualifications follow a specific appeals process which is made available to learners within the Commitment Statement. A hard copy or digital version of this process can be provided upon request.  Specific employer complaints in relation to contractual terms and conditions follow the process set out in each employer agreement/contract.


Any queries or comments about this policy should be addressed to the Executive Director.

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