Complaints Procedure

Complaints Procedure

1 Introduction

AXO Student Living is committed to monitoring and evaluating its services to enhance their quality and ensure that they meet the standards expected by our customers. Regular student feedback is also gathered through a variety of questionnaires and surveys that help us to use our resources in the best way possible to meet student needs. We recognise that there may be occasions when these information and feedback mechanisms are not sufficient to deal with problems that may occur from time to time. For this reason, AXO Student Living has a formal complaints procedure to ensure that complaints and comments are dealt with in an efficient and professional manner. The complaints procedure aims to: • be easily accessible • resolve complaints informally at local level wherever possible • encourage prompt review and decision making, with established time frames for action • ensure a full and fair investigation • respect complainants’ desire for confidentiality wherever possible • provide an effective response and appropriate redress

2. General Principals Definition

A student complaint is defined as: ‘an expression of dissatisfaction by one or more students about AXO Student Living’s action or lack of action, or about the standard of service provided by or on behalf of AXO Student Living.

What is a complaint? Examples of complaints include:

• unhappiness with the standards of service provided

• actions or lack of actions by AXO Student Living, its staff or appointed contractors

Who Can Complain?

• Students (current or previous students)

• Relatives and guardians of Students or guarantors

• Strategic Partners Anonymous complaints are only accepted for consideration in exceptional circumstances.

If, as a reasonable adjustment, a complainant requires the submission of a complaint through a third party, the complaint must include all details of the complainant and written permission for the third party to act in the matter. AXO Student Living may still need to speak to the complainant directly. If the complaint applies to a group or cohort of students, then it is expected that one person will act as a group representative and all communication will be through this representative. All students wishing to be considered as part of a group complaint will need to provide their name, student number and signature agreeing to the details within the complaint. All complaints are given full consideration and students will not be disadvantaged for making a genuine complaint. Where a complainant fails to provide reasonable evidence to substantiate their allegations, AXO Student Living reserves the right not to progress the complaint further.

Upon Receiving a Complaint AXO Student Living will:

• handle the complaint in a quick, polite and straightforward way

• investigate the complaint thoroughly and impartially

• endeavour to keep the complainant informed at all stages of the process

• ensure that students, in particular, are not disadvantaged in any way by reason of raising the complaint.

3. Stage 1 (Informal)

In the first instance all complaints must be raised informally and directly at the point at which the problem arose. Many apparent concerns arise from misunderstandings that can quickly be resolved by talking through the matter. In the first instance complaints should be raised directly with a member of staff on the site where the student is living. This can be done by discussing the matter with a member of staff within the accommodation. Informal complaints can be received verbally or in writing.

If the complaint relates to a member of staff then the complaint will be herd by the Area Manager or the General Manager. All complaints will be heard within a 14-day period and the complainant notified of the outcome in writing.

4. Stage 2 (Formal)

If, having attempted to resolve the complaint informally, the complainant considers that the matter has not been satisfactorily resolved, they should put their complaint in writing. This can be submitted via post or emailed to info@axostudent.co.uk. This must be done within 20 working days of the incident giving rise to the complaint. Complaints received after this timescale will only be considered in exceptional circumstances. It should be clearly indicated in the written complaint what remedy is sought as a result of the complaint and what the key issues are. The complaint will be acknowledged within 5 working days of its receipt. If a formal complaint is received prior to any attempt to resolve the matter informally, the General Manager will refer the complaint to the Local Area Manager requesting an informal resolution. If it is decided that a complaint requires a formal investigation, an Investigating Manager within the Senior Management Team will be appointed. The Investigating Manager has the right to meet with and interview any person referred to in the complaint. In addition, if the complaint refers to the actions and/or behaviour of an individual, that individual will have the right to be interviewed in order to respond to such allegations or submit a written statement. A response will normally be sent to the complainant within 25 working days. If the complaint is likely to take longer than this to investigate, AXO Student Living will keep the complainant informed of progress on a regular basis. If a complaint is upheld, the response will set out what action AXO Student Living intends to take, for example a formal apology or a statement on how systems will be changed in the future. If a complaint relates to a member of staff which leads to the initiation of the appropriate disciplinary procedures the complainant will not be informed of the outcome of those procedures.

5. Stage 3 Review

If a complainant remains dissatisfied with the outcome of the Stage 2 response, they may submit a request for a review of the Stage 2 decision which must be based on one (or more) of the following grounds:

a) there is new evidence that would have significantly affected the Stage 2 outcome and which could not reasonably have been made available when the Stage 2 complaint was submitted;

b) that there was a material procedural irregularity with regard to the Stage 2 complaint which demonstrably affected the outcome of the claim;

c) that the decision in relation to the Stage 2 complaint was manifestly perverse. In this context, perverse is taken to mean that the Stage 2 decision was not a possible conclusion that a similar Stage 2 investigation might have reached.

The request must be submitted with the following documentation:

• a letter outlining the grounds for challenging the Stage 2 outcome;

• any new evidence and an explanation about why it was not available at the time of the original complaint. The documentation above must be submitted to the Director of Operations within 10 working days of the date of the Stage 2 outcome. Documents may be submitted via email to info@axostudent.co.uk or sent to the Director of Operations, AXO Student Living 14 North End Road London W14 0SH

Requests submitted after that timescale will not normally be considered.

6. Confidentiality

As far as is practicable, confidentiality shall be preserved in the investigation of a complaint. Such an approach is in the interest of both the complainant and any individual members of staff involved. If, however, an individual is named in a complaint, AXO Student Living believes that normally they should know what is said about them and who is making the complaint.