Academic Appeal Policy

1. Introduction

1.1 To deliver its strategic policy aims of excellence in: Learning, Teaching and Assessment and the Student Experience, Results Consortium Ltd. (thereafter the College) has a policy of complying with the UK Quality Code for Higher Education. The use of a documented Student Academic Appeal Policy and Procedure is part of College’s planned compliance with that code.

1.2 When managing appeals from students, as described in this procedure, compliance with Quality Expectation Q5 and Q6 from the UK Quality Code for Higher Education. Good practice as described by the by the Office of the Independent Adjudicator for Higher Education was also considered when developing this policy and process (OIA Guidance).

1.2.1 The UK Quality Code sets out the following Expectations:

Q5: The provider actively engages students, individually and collectively, in the quality of their educational experience.

Q5: The provider actively engages students, individually and collectively, in the quality of their educational experience.

1.2.2 Office of the Independent Adjudicator (OIA) Guidance

Ref: http://www.oiahe.org.uk/media/96361/oia-good-practice-framework.pdf OIA guidance includes guidance on the following principles; accessibility, clarity, proportionality, timeliness, fairness, confidentiality and improving the student experience.

1.3 The Policy aims to:

1.3.1 enable students to appeal against an Assessment Board decision

1.3.2 standardise and record any appeal to ensure openness and fairness

1.3.3 facilitate a student’s ultimate right of appeal to the Awarding Body and the Office of the Independent Adjudicator, where appropriate

1.3.4. protect the interests of all students and the integrity of the qualification.

1.3 In order to do this, the College will:

1.3.1 inform the student of the Appeals Policy and procedure

1.3.2 record, track and validate any appeal.

1.3.3 forward the appeal to the Awarding Body when a student considers that a decision continues to disadvantage them after the internal appeals process has been exhausted.

1.3.4 keep appeals records for inspection by the Awarding Body for a minimum of 18 months.

1.3.5 have a staged appeal procedure.

1.3.6 take appropriate action to protect the interests of other students and the integrity of the qualification when the outcome of an appeal questions the validity of other results.

1.3.7 monitor appeals to inform quality improvement

1.4 A log of all academic appeals should be maintained with details of resolutions. All academic appeals will be reported to the Assessment Board. A record of academic appeals will be reported to the Governing Body annually by the Principal.

2 Procedure

2.1 This procedure applies to appeals against an Assessment Board decision only. Students wishing to claim Extenuating Circumstances should use the Extenuating Circumstances Policy.

2.2 An academic appeal is a request for review of an Assessment Board decision in relation to assessment results, academic progression and/or award. If a complaint identifies impact on assessment results, academic progression and/or award, the complaint must be treated as an academic appeal.

2.3 Appeals can only be made on the following grounds:

2.3.1 The assessment was not conducted in accordance with the current regulations for the programme, or there has been a material administrative error or some ther material irregularity relevant to the assessments has occurred.

2.3.2 Extenuating circumstances, which can be evidenced to have had an adverse effect on a student’s academic performance, were unknown to the Assessment Board and could not have been made known by the student before the submission deadline or were known to the Assessment Board and where the
Assessment Board has made an unreasonable decision.

2.3.3 For a student with a disability or additional need, the initial needs assessment was not correctly carried out, or the support identified was not provided, or the agreed assessment procedures for that student were not implemented.

2.4 Appeals will not be accepted on the grounds of disagreement with the academic judgement These judgements are the exclusive prerogative of the Assessment Board.

2.5 The academic appeal process has four possible stages:

  • STAGE 1: Early Resolution
  • STAGE 2: Formal Appeal
  • STAGE 3: Formal Review by an Appeal Review Panel

2.6 Students who wish to appeal against a decision of an Assessment Board must follow this procedure.

2.7 STAGE 1: Early resolution

2.7.1 Where it appears to have been an administrative error, students are strongly advised to seek informal resolution prior to submitting an appeal. In such cases a student should contact the Student Welfare Team or the Higher Education Manager to discuss the matter and (if necessary) provide appropriate evidence.

2.7.2 The Student Welfare Team or the Higher Education Manager will liaise with the Chair of the Assessment Board to ratify any changes to their assessment outcome via the Chair’s Action procedure. Confirmation of these changes will be notified to the student by the Student Welfare Team.

2.7.3 If the matter is not resolved a student may proceed to Stage 2 Formal Appeal.

2.8 STAGE 2: Formal Appeal

2.8.1 A student who wishes to exercise their right to appeal against a decision of an Assessment Board must do so by completing the Academic Appeal Form (appendix 1) and sending it to the Student Welfare Team (studentwelfare@resiltsco.org.uk). The Student Welfare Team will confirm
receipt to the appellant.

2.8.2 Appeals must be received within 15 working days from the date on which the student received formal notification of a decision of an Assessment Board. The College, under exceptional circumstances, may waive timescales if a student’s circumstances might impede an on-time submission.

2.8.3 The Student Welfare Team will forward the appeal documentation to a nominated appeal reviewer.

2.8.4 If the appeal is submitted out of time or does not meet the criteria for appeal specified in paragraph 2.8, the Student Welfare Team will inform the student that no action will be taken. The Student will also be informed of their right to request a Completion of Procedures Letter (http://oiahe.org.uk) if they wish to pursue the matter further with the Office of the Independent Adjudicator for
Higher Education.

2.8.5 If the appeal is submitted within time and meets the criteria for appeal the Reviewer will identify and examine all evidence and will aim to respond, through the Student Welfare Team, to the appellant within 10 working days of receipt of the appeal. The possible outcomes are:

a)to uphold the appeal, inform the student of the outcome and confirm
that the relevant Assessment Board will be required to review or revise its decision through a Chair’s action process.
b) to not uphold the appeal, providing clear and complete reason for not doing so.
c) to confirm to the student a deadline for response where further information or evidence are required.

2.8.6 Once an appeal has been upheld, no further appeal on the same matter will be permitted,

2.9 STAGE 3: Formal Review by an Appeal Review Panel

2.9.1 Where a student is not satisfied that the outcome of the investigation of stage 2, they may request that an Appeal Review Panel reviews the case only on the basis of new and significant information or evidence.

2.9.2 A student must inform the Student Welfare Team within 10 working days of receipt of the Stage 2 outcome (the date the outcome was communicated to them by email to an email address declared on the student record or the email address from which they submitted the appeal).

2.9.3 Requests for a stage 3 review must be made using the Appeal Review Form and once submitted with the relevant new additional evidence, the Student Welfare Team will confirm receipt and will establish an Academic Review Panel.

2.9.4 The Chair of the Review Panel is responsible for investigating the background to any new information provided prior to the meeting. The Chair may request additional evidence prior to the meeting. The Student Welfare Team will inform the appellant of the date, time and location of the Appeal Review Panel meeting giving the student 5 working days’ notice where possible.

2.9.5 Students have the right to appear in person at the meeting and may be accompanied by a friend in support and not as a representative of the appellant. In such cases the name and affiliation of the person who will accompany them must be provided in advance of the meeting.

2.9.6 The Appeal Review Panel will be chaired by a member of the Academic Board and other than the Reviewer of any stage of the appeal relating to the same matter. The Chair will be joined by two additional members of staff.

2.9.7 A review will lead to one of the following outcomes:

a) to uphold the appeal, inform the student of the outcome of the review and confirm that the relevant Assessment Board will be required to review or revise its decision through a Chair’s action process.

b) to not uphold the stage 3 appeal, providing clear and complete
reason for not doing so informing student that that the review has upheld the previous appeal outcome and that no revision of Assessment Board decision will be initiated. A completion of Procedures letter should also be provided.

c) to inform the student that the review upheld the procedure and
outcome of the previous investigation (stage 2) but other factors have since been identified as leading to a requirement for revision of the Assessment Board decision.

2.9.8 The student should be informed of the outcome within 15 working days of the Appeal Review Panel, and a Completion of Procedures letter will be issued where required.

2.10 Where a student is dissatisfied with the outcome of their stage 3 appeal, they may be able to appeal at the Awarding Body or make a complaint to the Office of the Independent Adjudicator for Higher Education (OIA). Following the OIA process does not prevent students from pursuing an appeal with the Awarding Body and they may choose whichever route(s) they feel is the most appropriate.

2.10.1 To support a review or appeal the Awarding Body will ask to see evidence that the internal procedure has been fully used. Their reviews and appeals procedure will review whether:

  • The centre’s procedures are consistent with their requirements.
  • The centre’s procedures were applied properly and fairly in arriving at
    judgments.
  • Quality assurance activities were consistent with regulatory
    requirements.

2.10.2 More Information is available at:

https://qualifications.pearson.com/content/dam/pdf/Support/policies-for-centres-learners-and-
employees/Enquiries_and_Appeals_on_Pearson_Vocational_Qualifications.pdf

2.11 Any complaints may be submitted on an OIA Complaint Form, available at
http://www.oiahe.org.uk. Students should also send a copy of the Completion of Procedures letter to the OIA.

2.11.1 Students are advised that the OIA should be considered as the service of last resort and cannot normally examine complaints where:

a) The appeal has not been progressed through all stages of the College’s
internal procedures

b) The appeal refers to matters more than three years old.

c) More than 12 months have passed since the student received the
Completion of Procedures letter

d) Matters have been or are being considered in court.

2.11.2 The OIA’s rules and guidelines are available on its website: www.oiahe.org.uk

Academic Appeal Form – Stage 2

Please read the Academic Appeals Policy before completing this form.
If you need help completing the form, you should contact the Students Welfare Team at studentwelfare@resultsco.org.uk

All sections of this form must be completed in full and official supporting evidence must be provided. Please sign and date the form. Your appeal will be delayed if you do not complete this form in full.

Section 1 – Student details

Section 2 – Eligibility Check

Please answer these questions to check your appeal is eligible for consideration

If you have answered ‘no’ to any of the above questions, it is unlikely that the College will consider your appeal. Please contact the Student Welfare Team if you need further advice.

If you have answered ‘yes’ to the above questions, it is likely that your appeal is eligible for consideration. Please complete the rest of this form and send it to the Student Welfare Team at studentwelfare@resultsco.org.uk

Section 3 – Assessment Details

Section 4 –Statement

DECLARATION

By submitting this form, I confirm that:

  • I have read the Academic Appeals Policy and understand that my complaint ll only be
    considered within the terms of the Academic Appeals Policy and the College Regulations.
  •  The information I have provided on this form is true to the best of my knowledge
  • I understand that if any information I have provided is found to be false I may be subject
    to disciplinary proceedings

Academic Appeal Form – Stage 3

Please read the Academic Appeals Policy before completing this form.

If you need help completing the form, you should contact the Students Welfare Team at studentwelfare@resultsco.org.uk

All sections of this form must be completed in full and official supporting evidence must be provided. Please sign and date the form. Your appeal will be delayed if you do not complete this form in full.

Section 1 – Student details

Section 2 – Eligibility Check
Please answer these questions to check your appeal is eligible for consideration

If you have answered ‘no’ to any of the above questions, it is unlikely that the College will consider your appeal. Please contact the Student Welfare Team if you need further advice.

If you have answered ‘yes’ to the above questions, it is likely that your appeal is eligible for consideration. Please complete the rest of this form and send it to the Student Welfare Team at studentwelfare@resultsco.org.uk

Section 3 – Assessment Details

Section 4 – Statement

DECLARATION

By submitting this form I confirm that:

  • I have read the Academic Appeals Policy and understand that my appeal will only be
    considered within the terms of the Academic Appeals Policy and the College Regulations.
  • The information I have provided on this form is true to the best of my knowledge
  • I understand that if any information I have provided is found to be false I may be subject
    to disciplinary proceedings