Terms & conditions

Customer complaints procedure

UKSA is a thriving and sustainable charity, providing our students with excellent learning and development, delivering measurable outcomes and impact. We aim to embed quality, innovation and excellence into everything we do.  We are focused on meeting our customer expectations and delivering consistent customer satisfaction.

We take complaints very seriously and view them as an important way of improving what we do. Complaints can let us know about difficulties or problems in our systems and may lead us to change and improve processes and procedures. Below is a summary of our Complaints Procedure.

The full procedure is available by emailing [email protected].

UKSA defines a complaint as, any expression of dissatisfaction about the service we provide that requires a response.

UKSA will investigate every complaint thoroughly and deal with the issues as quickly as possible. We will admit our failings if the facts show that we have not delivered an acceptable standard of service or procedures have not been followed or require amendment. UKSA will not investigate anonymous complaints or those considered to be malicious.

We have a four-stage customer complaints process:

Stage 1: Resolving the issue informally

Why: An incident has occurred which is a cause of concern
Actions: Talk about what has happened and try to resolve the issue

Led by: Staff to whom the complaint has been made

We encourage anyone with a concern or a complaint to raise it as soon as possible so that we can deal with it quickly. We request that you first speak to your education/course manager or mentor/senior instructor/skipper/reception as appropriate. All will be done to sort out the matters raised, through discussions and asking for advice where necessary.

If the issue has not been resolved informally then you can escalate it to a Stage 2.

Stage 2: Logging a complaint with the customer relations manager

Why: Repeated incidents or lack of resolution at Stage 1
Actions: Resolution via a more structured response

Led by: Customer Relations Manager

The next stage is to register the issue with the Customer Relations Manager via a telephone call, personal visit or email to [email protected]. The Customer Relations Manager will take responsibly for resolving the issue with reference to the relevant members of staff. Your complaint will be dealt with promptly and you will be kept informed of timescales to resolution.

If the issue cannot be resolved then it will be passed to Stage 3 and become a formal complaint.

Stage 3: Formal complaints to the quality assurance and audit officer

Why: Unable to agree on a resolution at Stage 2
Actions: Registration of a formal complaint Led by: Head of Quality and Governance

The preferred method of lodging a formal complaint is in writing either in a letter or an email. If you have special requirements which means you cannot send a complaint in writing or would like some assistance in submitting a complaint, please contact the Head of Quality and Governance for assistance on 01983 294941.

As a minimum the formal complaint should include;

·        contact details and course attended (with dates)

·        the reasons for the complaint/non-conformance stated clearly and concisely

·        the main areas of concern set out and supported by examples

·        Details of any prior correspondence or verbal communication regarding the matter

Write to Head of Quality and Governance, UKSA, Arctic Road, Cowes, Isle of Wight PO31 7PQ or send an e-mail to [email protected] marked for the attention of the Head of Quality and Governance.

The complaint will be acknowledged within 3 working days and a written reply will be sent within 15 working days (or sooner if practicable). Where it has not been possible to provide a written response within 15 working days we will keep you informed about the projected date of reply.

Stage 4: Escalation to chief executive

Why: Unable to agree on a resolution at Stage 3
Actions: Review of the complaint and UKSA’s response

Led by: Chief Executive

If you are dissatisfied with the outcome of a formal complaint you should request a review, within 14 days, of how the complaint was handled and the resolution offered.

Write to Chief Executive, UKSA, Arctic Road, Cowes, Isle of Wight PO31 7PQ.

The Chief Executive will consider the request and will carry out a review of the investigation and the outcome and reply in writing within 15 working days.

External Resource

SQA courses: Candidates can complain to SQA about non assessment related matters and the regulator once they have exhausted SQA awarding body and UKSA’s complaints procedures.

Should UKSA not be able to resolve a student complaint, the students may refer the complaint to British Accreditation Council (BAC). UKSA is accredited by British Accreditation Council who set the leading standards for educational quality within independent further and higher education sector.) BAC complaints procedure can be found here: http://www.the-bac.org/bac-complaints-procedure/

Students who are franchised through IW College may raise their complaint with the college once they have exhausted the UKSA procedure.

Compliance with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) for repayable funds: At UKSA, we value our customers and want to ensure your satisfaction while adhering to the strict regulations set by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). If you have a been awarded assisted funding, and remain dissatisfied after exhausting our internal complaints process, you have the option to escalate your complaint to an independent external body called the Financial Ombudsman Service.

The Financial Ombudsman Service is an impartial organisation that helps resolve disputes between financial service providers and their customers.

You can contact the Financial Ombudsman Service within six months of receiving our final response. They will guide you through their own complaint handling process.

To contact the Financial Ombudsman Service:

The Financial Ombudsman Service

Telephone: 0300 123 9 123
Monday to Friday, 8am to 8pm
Saturday, 9am to 1pm

The Financial Ombudsman Service will review your complaint independently and provide a fair and impartial decision. Their decision is binding on us, but you are not obligated to accept it.

We are committed to addressing your concerns and providing a resolution that meets your expectations. Should you decide to escalate your complaint to the Financial Ombudsman Service, we will cooperate fully with their investigation to ensure a fair and satisfactory outcome.

Responding to Complaints Containing Safeguarding Concerns

We will prioritise complaints that we consider to be high risk, for example, those relating to safeguarding or disability support, or where the impact of the issues raised has detrimental consequences for the student’s mental health or where the student displays distress.

If you have a concern about the safety of a young person or adult with care and support needs at UKSA you should contact UKSA’s Reception (01983 294941) or UKSA’s dedicated Safeguarding Number 01983 301894, where you will be referred to one of UKSA’s designated safeguarding team. You can read more about our commitment to protecting students in our Safeguarding Policy, which is available on UKSA’s website www.uksa.org/safeguarding-policy

Raising a Complaint in Relation to Fundraising

UKSA demonstrates it commitment to promoting the highest standards in line with The Fundraising Regulator and in addition to The Fundraising Promise. The Fundraising Regular is the independent regulator of charitable fundraising. The Fundraising Promise outlines the commitment made to donors and the public by fundraising organisations that register with the Fundraising Regulator. In accordance with the regulations, UKSA ensures its fundraising is legal, open, honest, and respectful. The standards for fundraising are set out in the Code of Fundraising Practice.

 UKSA promises to promote the highest standards in fundraising in accordance with the Fundraising Code of Fundraising Practice and the Fundraising Promise, if, for reasons that may be outlined below, in the first instance, you can follow our Customer Complaints Procedure above and by emailing [email protected]

  • A criminal offense has been committed or is being committed or is likely to be committed
  • A person has failed, is failing, or is likely to fail to comply with any legal obligation to which they are  subject to
  • A miscarriage of justice that has occurred, is occurring, or is likely to occur
  • The health or safety of any individual has been, is being or is likely to be, endangered.
  • The environment, has been, is being, or is likely to be, damaged.
  • Information tending to show any of the above, is being or is likely to be, deliberately concealed.

UKSA will investigate every complaint thoroughly and deal with the issues as quickly as possible. We will admit our failings if the facts show that we have not delivered an acceptable standard of service of procedures have not been followed or require amendment. If you are dissatisfied with the outcome of your fundraising complaint, you can get contact with The Fundraising Regulator who will investigate complaints where they cannot be resolved by UKSA or whether is has caused, or has the potential to cause, significant harm. [email protected] calling 0300 999 3407 (Monday to Friday, 09.30 am – 4.30 pm) sending a letter to Fundraising Regulator, Eagle House, 167 City Road, London, EC1V 1AW