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Specialist Study Support

Complaints Procedure

Durham University Study Skills Service aims to provide a high quality service to all students using the service and to treat all in a fair manner. However, it is recognised that occasionally things do go wrong and procedures need to be in place to deal with such situations. The service recognises that complaints may provide useful feedback from students and, where appropriate, will be used to improve the Study Skills Service.

The following procedure explains how study skills students may make a complaint through informal and ultimately formal processes although an informal resolution remains an option at all stages of the procedure.

Students who have a complaint to make should raise it as soon as possible with the member of staff concerned, as matters that are dealt with informally at an early stage have the best chance of being resolved effectively. Only when the informal procedures have been exhausted and the complainant remains dissatisfied should the formal stage be instituted.

Stage 1: Informal stage

  • As a first step, students who wish to complain should initially discuss the matter with the Study Skills Co-ordinator or her representative. This discussion will take place within one week of the student’s complaint. Wherever possible, complaints should be resolved at this local level without the need to resort to formal proceedings.

  • At this informal stage, there should be a face to face discussion between the Study Skills Co-ordinator and the student to come to an understanding of the exact nature of the student’s dissatisfaction and to explore the outcome the student seeks.
  • If agreement is reached at this stage, the Study Skills Co-ordinator will provide the student with a written summary of what has been agreed within two working days.
  • If agreement cannot be reached, the student can request a further discussion with the Head of Disability Support or her representative. This discussion will take place within two weeks of the student’s meeting with the Study Skills Co-ordinator.
  • If agreement is reached after this meeting, the Head of Service will provide the student with a written summary of what has been agreed within five working days.

Stage 2: Formal stage