Results Consortium Student Academic Appeal Policy and Procedure
To deliver its strategic policy aims of excellence in: Learning, Teaching and Assessment and the Student Experience, Results Consortium (Results) 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 Results’ planned compliance with that code. In particular 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).
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.
Q6: The provider has fair and transparent procedures for handling complaints and appeals which are accessible to all students.
Office of the Independent Adjudicator (OIA) Guidance
OIA guidance includes guidance on the following principles; accessibility, clarity, proportionality, timeliness, fairness, confidentiality and improving the student experience.
1. To enable the learner to enquire, question or appeal against an assessment decision
2. To attempt to reach agreement between the learner and the Assessor at the earliest opportunity
3. To standardise and record any appeal to ensure openness and fairness
4. To facilitate a learner’s ultimate right of appeal to the Awarding Body and the Office of the Independent Adjudicator (BTEC Level 4-Level 7), where appropriate
5. To protect the interests of all learners and the integrity of the qualification.
1.1 In order to do this, Results will:
1.1.1 Inform the learner at induction, of the Appeals Policy and procedure
1.1.2 Record, track and validate any appeal
1.1.3 Forward the appeal to the Awarding Body when a learner considers that a decision continues to disadvantage her/him after the internal appeals process has been exhausted
1.1.4 Keep appeals records for inspection by the Awarding Body for a minimum of 18 months
1.1.5 Have a staged appeals procedure
1.1.6 Will take appropriate action to protect the interests of other learners and the integrity of the qualification, when the outcome of an appeal questions the validity of other results
1.1.7 Monitor appeals to inform quality improvement.
2.1 Students should note that this procedure applies to appeals against an Assessment Board decision only. Students wishing to claim Extenuating Circumstances, prior to the submission of work should use the Extenuating Circumstances Procedure, HEDEL3.
2.2 The Results Academic Board is responsible for the implementation of this procedure.
2.3 The Results academic appeal process has four possible stages:
STAGE 1: Appeal Consideration
STAGE 2: Formal Conciliation
STAGE 3: Formal Review by the Director of Studies
STAGE 4: Appeal Review Panel
2.4 Students who wish to appeal against a decision of an Assessment Board must follow this procedure.
2.5 An appeal may only be made on the following grounds:
2.5.1 The assessment was not conducted in accordance with the current regulations for the programme, or there has been a material administrative error or some other material irregularity relevant to the assessments has occurred.
2.5.2 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.
2.6 Appeals will not be accepted on the grounds of disagreement with the academic judgement of an assessment board. These judgements are the exclusive prerogative of the Assessment Board.
2.7 Students who wish to make an Academic Appeal should first contact the Programme Leader who will offer information advice and guidance on the situation and refer the students to this policy and procedure. This is STAGE 1: Appeal Consideration
2.8 A student wishing to appeal against a decision made by an Assessment Board must:
2.8.1 Notify the Programme Leader, in writing, of their decision to appeal within ten working days of the publication of the relevant Assessment Board decision.
2.8.2 Fully complete an Academic Appeal Form (HEQA12) and return it to the Programme Leader.
2.8.3 The Programme Leader will arrange a conciliation meeting between the student and the chair of the relevant Assessment Board. This meeting should be convened within ten working days of the student lodging the appeal and must be attended by the student.
2.8.4 The conciliation meeting will attempt to resolve the appeal.
2.8.5 This is STAGE 2: Formal Conciliation
2.9 The Results Programme Leader will maintain a log of all academic appeals reported to him/her and inform the Director of Studies of all appeals when they are resolved at STAGE 1, or when the appellant informs Results that they have elected to progress to STAGE 2 of the process. All appeals logged and details of resolutions will be reported annually to the Governing Body by the Director of Studies.
2.10 If a student is dissatisfied with the outcome of the conciliation meeting they should submit the completed Academic Appeal Form (HEQA12) to the Director of Studies for formal review. The completed form must be submitted to the Director of Studies within five working days. The Director of Studies will only review appeals that have progressed through Stage 1 and 2 of the process described in this procedure. This is STAGE 3: Formal Review by the Director of Studies.
2.11 The Director of Studies will consider the information collected before and during the stage 2 investigation and recorded as part of the process. He/she will consider whether the appeals procedure has been correctly followed and whether the outcome was reasonable
2.12 New material evidence will not normally be admitted for consideration at stage 3 of the process. Where the student can provide valid reasons why new evidence was not made available earlier in the process, the Director of Studies may include it in the review
2.13 Where the Director of Studies was directly involved in the stage 2 investigation, the matter will be considered by an alternative senior manager within Results.
2.14 The Director of Studies or his/her deputy (see 2.13) will communicate the outcome of his/her review to the student concerned in writing. Every effort will be made to complete the process in a timely manner with the expectation that the process will take no more than one calendar month.
2.15 Where a student is dissatisfied with the outcome of the Formal Review by the Director of Studies, they may write to the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Results and request an Appeal Panel. The CEO will only consider such requests where the Formal Conciliation (stage 2) and the Review by Director of Studies (stage 3) have been completed and the student is in receipt of written outcomes of investigations and reviews. The student request for an Appeal Review Panel will be acknowledged within 3 working days of receipt.
2.16 An Appeal Review Panel will be convened by the CEO and its decisions on the appeal handling process and appellant outcomes will be communicated in a Completion of Procedures letter which will include details of further steps the student may take if he/she remains dissatisfied. The Appeal Review Panel will be convened by the CEO and will include the CEO, other members of staff that the CEO believes appropriate to co-opt onto the panel, plus, at the CEO’s discretion if deemed appropriate, an independent third party. The Appeal Review Panel will have completed its review and a Completion of Procedures letter will be sent to the student within one calendar month of receipt of a valid student request for an Appeal Panel.
2.17 Where the student has received a Completion of Procedures letter and is dissatisfied with the outcome, he/she may request that either:
2.17.1 the Office of the Independent Adjudicator for Higher Education (OIA) examines the appeal
2.17.2 the Awarding Organisation (for example Pearson) examines the appeal.
2.18 Following the OIA process does not prevent students from pursuing an appeal with Pearson and they may choose whichever route(s) they feel is the most appropriate.
2.19 Pearson information about appeals is available at:
2.20 Students are advised that the OIA should be considered as the service of last resort and cannot normally examine complaints where:
2.20.1 The appeal has not been progressed through all stages of the organisation’s Student Appeals Procedure (as described above).
2.20.2 The appeal refers to matters more than three years old
2.20.3 More than 12 months have passed since the student received the Completion of Procedures letter
2.20.4 Matters have been, or are being considered in court
2.21 The OIA’s rules and guidelines are available on its website: www.oiahe.org.uk