Information about raising a complaint and our complaints handling procedure.
Our complaints handling procedure reflects the University of Dundee’s commitment to valuing complaints. It seeks to resolve dissatisfaction as close as possible to the point of service delivery and to conduct thorough, impartial and fair investigations of complaints so that, where appropriate, we can make evidence-based decisions on the facts of the case. No complainant shall suffer a detriment through making a complaint and it will be a disciplinary offence if members of staff apply undue influence in the prevention of a complaint.
Raising a complaint
Anyone who receives, requests or is directly affected by our services can make a complaint to us. This includes the representative of someone who is dissatisfied with our service (for example, a relative, friend, advocate or adviser). If you are making a complaint on someone else’s behalf, you will normally need their written consent.
Complaints handling procedure
The complaints handling procedure has two internal stages and a final external stage with the Scottish Public Services Ombudsman.
Complaints handling procedure (detailed documentation and guidance on the process)
Guidance for staff on handling a complaint (internal sharepoint)
What is the difference between an academic related complaint and an appeal?
An academic related complaint is a specific concern about the provision of a programme of study or related academic service, including teaching and academic facilities.
An appeal is different. It is a request for a review of the decision of an academic body charged with making decisions on student progression, assessment and awards etc.
Complaints will be considered under the CHP. However, if a complaint is deemed by the Director of Academic and Corporate Governance to be an appeal, the University may then deal with it under the appropriate appeal procedures, or other appropriate mechanism.
Please note that matters of academic judgement are in general not open to review either by complaint or by appeal, and that the Undergraduate, and Postgraduate, appeals procedures deal with appeals.
We expect all staff to behave in a professional manner and treat complainants with courtesy, respect and dignity. We also ask those bringing a complaint to treat our staff with respect. We ask complainants to engage actively with the complaint handling process by:
- telling us their key issues of concern and organising any supporting information they want to give us (we understand that some people will require support to do this)
- working with us to agree the key points of complaint when an investigation is required; and
- responding to reasonable requests for information.
We recognise that people may act out of character in times of trouble or distress. Sometimes a health condition or a disability can affect how a person expresses themselves. The circumstances leading to a complaint may also result in the complainant acting in an unacceptable way.
Guidance on dealing with unacceptable or vexatious behaviour
Who can complain?
Universities in Scotland are required by law to accept a complaint from any person whether or not they are a student including complaints from applicants to the University.
However, complaints relating to the areas specified below are not covered by this procedure and are subject to alternative procedures:
- Bullying and harassment issues including race discrimination, under the University Dignity at Work and Study Policy
- Freedom of Information/Data Protection
- Dundee University Students' Association (DUSA)
- From University staff (see Human Resources)
- Safeguarding Protocol - to raise a concern about a serious issue involving a student (including student disputes)