Academic Appeal Policy and Procedures
Reviewed: September 2017 - V4.0
1. Title: Academic Appeal Policy and Procedures
2. Purpose: This policy ensures that students can invoke a fair and transparent process which treats academic appeals consistently, objectively and effectively whilst maintaining academic standards and fairness
3. Application: The policy applies to all students at East End Computing and Business College (ECBC)
4. Review and Amendment:
- This policy shall be reviewed yearly by Quality & Academic Standards Committee
- The next review will be in September 2018
This policy commenced from September 2014 and replaced any previous similar policy
First Draft - Approved by Management and Adopted
Reviewed in QASC - The policy is renamed with the word 'academic' is added, cover page and history section is added.
1.0 Policy Statement
East End Computing & Business College (ECBC) is committed to provide all its learners and prospective students a fair opportunity to raise a valid appeal against any decision related to the assessment or admissions process. The purpose of the policy is to provide a student with the means to appeal against any unfair decision by the College. At ECBC, students can lodge an appeal against assessment decision if it is believed that the assessment was not conducted fairly or appropriately or student believed that any mitigating circumstances that could have affected the academic decision were not taken into consideration.
Students at ECBC should be made aware of their rights to raise an appeal to achieve high level of satisfaction while studying at the college.
Using the best judgment of staff on college policy and UK regulatory expectations, the college may decide to redefine an initial complaint as an academic appeal, or an initial academic appeal as a complaint, or may choose to allocate an issue raising both themes to just one procedure.
In this area the college will follow the UK Quality Code for Higher Education, especially Chapter B9: Academic Appeals and Student Complaints, and its successor and complementary documents.
The policy applies to: current students, including those on placement or engaged in work-based learning, or on an approved leave of absence or past students who had recently left or suspended their study programme, the opportunity to raise issues in a reasonable way within three years of the end of their studies.
3.0 Appeals related to the academic matters
Students can lodge a formal appeal or may seek to resolve the concerns about the assessment decision informally.
3.1 Informal approach
Using informal approach student may seek clarification of an assessment decision by directly speaking to the assessor. A student may also choose to speak to the personal tutor/ course coordinator if the assessor is not able to provide a satisfactory response.
If the student feels satisfied after speaking to the assessor or to the Tutor/Course Coordinator, then, no further action will be taken. The matter will be closed within 10 working days of raising the issue.
3.2 Formal approach
However, if the informal procedure fails to provide a satisfactory response and the student remains dissatisfied with the outcome, the formal appeal may be initiated by filling in an appeal form which is obtainable from the reception.
In normal circumstances, the college will consider the appeals that are lodged within 28 days after the publications of results. However, students can raise an appeal after 28 days only if they provide a good reason for delay.
4.0 Ground for lodging an appeal
The following are the valid ground for raising an appeal:
- the assessment regulations were not properly applied or assessment arrangements were not appropriate
- the information about the assessment was misleading
- assessor's judgment was biased in reaching an academic decision
- mitigating circumstances were not taken into consideration affecting the academic decision
- administrative errors may have occurred in recording the assessment decision correctly
The following will not be entertained as a valid ground to lodge an appeal:
- disagreement with the assessor for personal reasons.
- belief that the awarding body's methods of assessment are not appropriate.
- belief that the awarding body does has not accepted or recognized student's prior learning.
5.0 Procedure to lodge a formal appeal
Students wishing to lodge an appeal can do so by completing an Appeals Form available at the appendix A of this document and submit it to the Programme Leader at the college or by email (email can be requested at the reception) with "student ID and Appeal notification" in the subject line.
Before submitting the Appeal Form, the student should ensure that the grounds of the appeal have been met and the informal approach to resolve the matter has been used.
The student is encouraged to submit any supporting documents or refer to any document already submitted to this purpose but not taken into consideration while reaching the assessment decision.
6.0 Consideration of appeal
The Programme Leader shall acknowledge reception of the appeal form within 3 working days and makes an initial assessment for the grounds of the appeal. This should take no more than 5 working days to reach a decision and the students will be informed within 2 working days of reaching a decision.
If there are no valid grounds to lodge an appeal, the appeal shall be dismissed and student shall be informed in writing about the decision.
However, if there is a valid ground to consider the appeal, the Programme Manager shall refer the matter to the Principal within 2 working days. The latter will set up an appeal panel and invite the student to make a representation. The student appearing before the panel may be accompanied by a friend. The timescale for arranging the representation by the student in front of the panel is 10 working days after the appeal was upheld by the Programme Manager.
At any point in this procedure, where a physical meeting is not feasible, a telephone call or online meeting may be considered as a substitute.
Under this procedure, the college will not include specially engaged and remunerated legally qualified persons to represent it at internal meetings with students, and expect that students will not be accompanied by specially engaged and remunerated legally persons.
The appeals panel should consider the supporting documents, student's representation and comments of any witness called in the hearing while reaching a final decision.
The decision should be arrived only after all the evidences are taken into consideration including any evidence of mitigating circumstances that were submitted by the student at the time of assessment. The college may seek specialist advice on any matter raised within the operation of this policy.
After considering all the evidences the panel may reach at the following possible outcomes:
- The matter is referred back to the relevant assessment board/awarding body; or
- Appeal is dismissed with no further action.
7.0 Notification of the outcome
In both types of appeal, students shall be notified of the outcome of the panel within 2 working days from reaching the decision. The decision should be communicated in writing to the student. If the decision reached by the Appeal Panel is not upheld, the Principal should provide details to the student the reasons for such a decision.
On the other hand, if the panel found that the assessment was inappropriate, then, the case is referred to the assessment board/assessor for reconsideration and amendment if necessary.
In both cases, a "Completion of Procedure" (COP) letter will be issued to the student within 5 working days.
If at this point the student is still unhappy about the outcome then he/she can refer the case to the Awarding Body/ Office of the Independent Adjudicator (OIA)
8.0 Cost of lodging a complaint
Any costs incurred by a student in raising an issue under this procedure are to be borne by the student.
9.0 Raising complaint with awarding body
In broad terms, and respecting the regulations of any awarding institution, the college expects students to exhaust college procedures for raising and solving issues before taking any issue to an external body.
Under this internal procedure, if a student takes the case to a court of law or to a professional, statutory or professional body while the internal procedure is still going on or before the internal procedure has been initiated, then the internal procedure will be suspended for the duration of external involvement. This provision for suspension of procedure does not apply in the case of an awarding body's involvement.
10.0 Evaluation of student appeals
At a strategic level, the college will use the number and nature of issues raised under this procedure in order to assure standards, and maintain and enhance the quality of student learning opportunities. The Quality and Standards Committee and the Academic Board of the college will consider the profile of issues raised. The college will also ensure that actions and recommendations resulting from such cases are carried out, and monitored all the time.