Complaints Policy

Scope:

Grievances and complaints about Advanced Training in Sexual and Reproductive Health processes or disputes with those involved in their training.

Purpose:

This policy outlines the College’s processes for grievances and complaints about Advanced Training in Sexual and Reproductive Health, or disputes with those involved in their training.

This policy does not provide an appeals route for programme progress or assessment decisions.  Procedures for appeals are contained in the Trust’s Appeals Policy.

This procedure ensures that all matters of concern in relation to the Advanced Training in Sexual and Reproductive Health programme are given an opportunity to be heard, verified and resolved as part of a continuous process to improve client service.

Detail:

Principles

The following principles will be used in dealing with grievances:

  • Responsiveness:  The grievance will be dealt with professionally, sensitively and as quickly as is practicable.

  • Confidentiality:  Details regarding the issue or incident will not be distributed beyond those affected and/or part of the decision-taking body.  All reasonable steps will be taken to ensure that details are not revealed.

  • Right of response:  Any trainee or person against whom a grievance has been laid will be notified and provided with an opportunity to respond.

  • Fairness:  Trainees and those against whom a grievance has been laid will have a right to a fair hearing.

  • Impartiality:  All reasonable steps will be taken to ensure decisions are based on objective evidence.

 

Grounds for complaint

Training programme grievances and disputes

Complaints may be laid in relation to any aspect of the training programme or the administration of the training programme, where the trainee believes that:

  • They have been unfairly treated

  • Established processes have not been followed

  • An administrative error has been made

  • Programme quality standards have not been met

  • A conflict has arisen between the complainant and the Educational Advisory Committee or the complainant and a third party.

 

Workplace Placement disputes

The College has no direct right of involvement in matters relating to a trainee’s employment.  However, if the issue relates to the workplace as a site for training, and the trainee has been unable to resolve the issue themselves, they must inform the Educational Advisory Committee as soon as possible, so that the issue can be resolved and the site maintains its accreditation for teaching purposes.

 

Process for lodging a complaint

Step 1:

Any trainee who wishes to express a concern, provide feedback or make a complaint about a service, practice, another trainee or other party involved in their training, should in the first instance address the issue with the Educational Advisory Committee.  If the complaint involves a member of the Educational Advisory Committee, they are required to recuse themselves and advise the Trust Board of the need to nominate a replacement.

This step may alleviate any misunderstandings, and it may be possible to resolve the issue directly.  If a discussion with the Educational Advisory Committee does not resolve the matter to the trainee’s satisfaction, a written complaint may be lodged.

The Educational Advisory Committee will, where possible and within a reasonable timeframe, attempt to resolve the issue with the person concerned.

Timeframe: The Educational Advisory Committee will aim to resolve the issue within 10 working days of receipt of the complaint.

Step 2:

If Step 1 does not result in resolution, or if the trainee does not feel comfortable approaching the Educational Advisory Committee directly, the trainee may request the Educational Advisory Committee nominate an appropriate Fellow from the New Zealand College of Sexual and Reproductive Health to discuss and/or mediate the issue.

Timeframe:  The Educational Advisory Committee will aim to nominate an appropriate Fellow within 20 working days of the request.  The Fellow and the complainant will endeavour to resolve the issue within a further 20 working days.

Step 3:

If the issue still remains unresolved, the Educational Advisory Committee will request the New Zealand Sexual and Reproductive Health Educational Charitable Trust Board nominate  representatives who are not members of the Educational Advisory Committee or involved in delivering the Advanced Training programme to form an ad hoc committee for the purpose of hearing, verifying and resolving the dispute.  These may be Trustees, or independent individuals with expertise which may be relevant to the resolution of the dispute.

Timeframe:  30 working days of notice that Step 2 has not resulted in resolution.  The independent ad hoc committee and the complainant will endeavour to resolve the dispute within a further 30 working days.

Resolutions and Records

At each step a formal record of any findings, discussion and resolution will be taken.  The record will be attached to Educational Advisory Committee files and not the trainee’s file.

The complainant will be kept informed if timeframes are exceeded and given the reasons.

At each step the complainant will be formally notified that the issue has been considered, and the outcomes reached by the mediating party.

If the complaint raised was about another person, the Educational Advisory Committee, Fellow or ad hoc Committee is not required to provide detail to the complainant regarding any specific action taken except in so far as the action directly affects the complainant.


 

Disputes:

Any dispute in this regard will be referred to the Trust Board for mediation.


 

Policy Owner: Trust Board

Date: April 2019

Review Date: April 2022

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