As students become increasingly aware of their consumer rights, universities are seeing a surge in the volume of complaints. Last year, dissatisfied students received more than £650,000 in refunds and compensation. It is therefore vital that universities emphasise their commitment to student needs and develop an effective complaint handling processes.

Our Effectively Handling Student Complaints course addresses this rise in student complaints and helps your institution to avoid prolonged disputes. Explore trends in complaints and appeals and learn how to efficiently respond and resolve student complaints.

Book this highly interactive course for your organisation In-House to receive practical guidance that will help you to perfect your complaints procedures and develop an action plan to take back to your institution.

Learning Outcomes

  • Examine recent changes to student complaints handling guidelines
  • Learn how to overcome communication challenges when responding to complaints
  • Know how to respond to different types of complaints
  • Understand how to conduct fair and legally compliant investigations
  • Develop an action plan to improve your organisation’s swift handling of complaints
All the Understanding ModernGov courses are Continuing Professional Development (CPD) certified, with signed certificates available upon request for event.

Enquire About In-House Training

To speak to someone about a bespoke training programme, please contact us:
0800 542 9414
[email protected]


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09:15 - 09:45


09:45 - 10:00

Chair's Welcome and Clarification of Learning Objectives

10:00 - 11:00

Student Complaints Handling: Latest Developments

  • Understand the current landscape of student complaints and consider the findings of the Office of the Independent Adjudicator’s (OIA) Annual Report
  • Explore recent updates to the OIA Good Practice Framework regarding how to deliver learning opportunities with others and supporting disabled students
  • Identify key themes in complaints, appeals and extenuating circumstances claims
11:00 - 11:15

Morning Break

11:15 - 12:00

Responding to Complaints & Conducting Investigations

  • Effective communication techniques that will help to avoid escalation of a complaint
  • Undertaking fair and legally compliant investigations
  • Learn how to establish a robust compensation and refund policy
  • Approaching appeals and investigations and confidently deal with unacceptable complainant behaviour
  • Recognise how to provide a meaningful apology to complainants
12:00 - 12:45

Case Study: Learning from Student Complaints

  • Consider what student complaints indicate and how you can learn from their feedback
  • Examine different examples of complaints and investigation reports that have been managed effectively
  • Identify best practice when it comes to the style, tone, vocabulary and presentation of facts in complaint responses
  • Establish who should be managing different stages of the complaints process
  • Discuss the challenges of handling complaints
12:45 - 13:45


13:45 - 14:30

Workshop: Responding to Different Types of Complaints

  • Know which forms of complaints are covered by your institution’s jurisdiction
  • How to categorise and respond differently to complaints
  • Recognise how to deal with complaints, appeals and extenuating circumstances claims from students with mental health difficulties
  • Use a range of techniques including informal resolution, mediation and conciliation to resolve matters more swiftly
  • Establish straightforward disclosure procedures and develop a culture where students feel comfortable raising concerns
14:30 - 14:45

Afternoon Break

14:45 - 16:00

Workshop: Develop an Effective and Robust Complaints Procedure

During this afternoon workshop, work with the Chair and peers to develop an action plan for creating a robust complaints procedure in your institution

  • Understand how integrated resolution pathways can improve complaints handling across all departments and services
  • Develop a system for logging complaints
  • Provide information and guidance for staff when it comes to dealing with complaints
  • Improve the consistency and transparency of your complaints procedure by developing an action plan for your institution
16:00 - 16:15

Feedback, Evaluation & Close