Any candidate who is dissatisfied with their assessor, assessment process or their experience with any person or persons working for or on behalf of PERSES may formally complain. Complaints should be lodged within 5 working days of the incident/grievance from which their complaint has arisen.
Complaints can be lodged in the following ways;
- By approaching the assessor
- In writing and/or email to the centre office/appropriate persons*
- By telephone to centre office/appropriate persons*
Upon receipt of a complaint against any person or persons working for or on behalf of PERSES the following steps will be taken.
The person or persons against whom the complaint is set will be interviewed and presented with the allegations. If the complaint is refuted, then the originator of the complaint will be asked to expand the nature of the incident/grievance. If the originator cannot, or will not, then the procedure ends. If the person or persons against whom the complaint is set admits to the allegations of which the complaint is set, then they will move to step-2.
The incident/grievance will be thoroughly investigated by the Head of Centre/appropriate persons and every endeavour will be made to ascertain the true picture of what has occurred, and this may involve interviewing all parties concerned. PERSES will always endeavour to reach an amicable outcome that satisfies all parties involved. Where all party agreement cannot be met, then the procedure moves to step-3.
Step-3 will be a ‘case by case’ step where an amicable outcome will be arbitrated by the Head of Centre/appropriate persons in an attempt to satisfy all parties.
If the incident/grievance is still unresolved following the completion of step-3, the Head of Centre will take written reports from all parties concerned to the awarding body. Upon advice from the awarding body, the Head of Centre will attempt to resolve the grievance to the satisfaction of all parties. The decision will be final and notified to all parties.
*Other relevant persons within PERSES whom the complaint is not set against. Contact details as per ‘Centre Details’ within your induction paperwork.
If you wish to formally compliment PERSES on any aspect of its product or service including that received by individual members of staff, please contact any member of PERSES staff in writing via letter or email. All compliments will be held on file within the centre and may be used for Quality Assurance purposes.
Guidance in relation to suspected malpractice in examinations and assessments
This guidance is principally for centre staff who may witness malpractice in examinations and assessments but may be unsure about what action to take.
The Public Interest Disclosure Act (PIDA) gives legal protection to employees from being dismissed or penalised by their employers as a result of publicly disclosing (“blowing the whistle on”) certain serious concerns. This allows you the opportunity to bring to your Senior Management Team’s attention possible corruption or non-conformance with legal obligations for example, but also when you suspect malpractice is taking place.
What should you do if you see malpractice taking place in examinations or assessments?
If you believe that your management team will take action to remedy the situation then informing your line manager may be the best solution. However, if you believe that your Senior Management Team is involved, or you believe that you may be victimised by raising the issues with them, then you may wish to talk to the relevant awarding body.
You will still be protected by the PIDA if:
- you reasonably believe that by making the disclosure to your employer you will be victimised; or
- you reasonably believe that by making the disclosure to your employer there is likely to be a cover-up; or
- the matter has previously been raised internally or with the sector regulator.
Who do you talk to and what happens if you contact an awarding body?
Each awarding body has staff who deal with malpractice. You can talk to them in confidence and explain your concerns.
The awarding body will:
- respect your rights under the PIDA;
- understand the difficult position that you are in;
- have experience of similar situations; and
- explain the importance of supporting evidence and the sort of evidence that might help in your particular case.
The awarding body will make every effort to protect your identity, if that is what you wish, unless legally obliged to release it. This may be in the course of a police investigation, for example. Please be aware that it will not be possible for the awarding body to provide you with a report on the findings or outcome of any investigation that may ensue.
The persons responsible for this section of the policy are:
Overall – Board of Directors
Implementation and general compliance – All members of staff