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Complaints Policy and Procedure

 

Aims

Elemental Massage School of Beauty and Holistic Therapies is committed to providing a quality service and working in an open and accountable way that builds trust and respect. One of the ways in which we can continue to improve our service is by listening and responding to the views of our students, by putting mistakes right.

Therefore we aim to ensure that:

  • we treat a complaint as a clear expression of dissatisfaction with our service which calls for an immediate response

  • we deal with it promptly, politely and, when appropriate, confidentially

  • we respond in the right way - for example, with an explanation, or an apology where we have got things wrong, or information on any action taken etc.

  • we learn from complaints, use them to improve our service, and review annually our complaints policy and procedures

We recognise that many concerns will be raised informally, and dealt with quickly.

Our aims are to:

  • resolve informal concerns quickly

  • keep matters low-key

  • enable mediation between the complainant and the individual to whom the complaint has been referred

The formal complaints procedure is intended to ensure that all complaints are handled fairly, consistently and wherever possible resolved to the complainant's satisfaction.

Confidentiality: 

Except in exceptional circumstances, every attempt will be made to ensure that both the complainant and Elemental Massage School of Beauty and Holistic Therapies maintain confidentiality. However the circumstances giving rise to the complaint may be such that it may not be possible to maintain confidentiality (with each complaint judged on its own facts). Should this be the case, the situation will be explained to the complainant.

Complaints Procedure for learners:

If you are a student and have a complaint about any part of either your learning programme, the training school in general (including claims of discrimination or harassment), you should first of all discuss your complaint with your tutor who will try to resolve the issue for you within 5 working days of your discussion

If your complaint cannot be resolved with the course tutor, you should put the complaint in writing to the Director.  The Director will:

  • Acknowledge your complaint within 5 working days of receipt

  • Investigate the issue(s) you raise (this may involve discussion with you)

  • Respond to you in writing within 20 working days of acknowledging your complaint.  If the complaint is classified as serious by the Director, the investigation and response will be performed within 5 working days of acknowledging your complaint.

  • Responses to you will include a full explanation of the outcome of the investigation, any rejection of any part (or all) of your complaint and /or any correction that will be initiated by Elemental Massage School of Beauty and Holistic Therapies

  • Anonymised records of complaints will be kept to aid continual improvement

Where issues take longer that 20 days to investigate, you will be kept informed on the progress of the investigation.

Complaints procedure for members of the public

If you are a member of the public or a relative of a student and you have a complaint about any aspect of the work of Elemental Massage School of Beauty and Holistic Therapies you should put your complaint in writing to the Director.  Your complaint will be kept confidential if you wish if it is practical to do so.  A record of your complaint and the date it was made will be kept with your consent (if personal details are recorded)

 

All complaints will be reviewed on an annual basis and Elemental Massage School of Beauty and Holistic Therapies will note any trends for continual improvement activity

 

If you wish to make a complaint in writing to the Director, contact details are:

Monica Paslaru

Email: contact@elemental-massage.co.uk

Appeals Procedure for Candidates

 

If you disagree with your assessment mark in either your written or practical work (given by Elemental Massage School), in the first instance please discuss with your tutor, who will explain their decision to you and discuss the options available to you to try to resolve the issue informally. 

If you are still dissatisfied following this, you may appeal the assessment decision in writing to the Director within 10 working days of the student being informed of the assessment decision. 

All appeals will be acknowledged within 5 working days and an investigation will follow. 

The Director will attempt to find a solution with the candidate and tutor/assessor for example through another or alternative assessment or reconsideration of the evidence.

 

If the director is unable to resolve the dispute then she will set a date for the appeal to be heard by the appeals assessment board

 

Grounds for appeal

 

A student may appeal against a decision on the following grounds:

  • The conduct of the assessment

  • The adequacy of the evidence when set against evidence requirements

  • The adequacy of opportunities offered in order to demonstrate competence

 

In the event of an appeal, an appeals assessment board will be assembled comprising:

 

  • The director

  • The assessor (if applicable)

  • A tutor/assessor from another school who teaches the same or similar subject

  • An internal verifier as available

 

When an appeal is received by the appeals assessment board, they will meet within 20 working days to consider the appeal. The decision of the appeals body will be communicated to the student and may be:

  • Confirmation of the original decision

  • Instruction that competence be reassessed by the same or different assessor

  • A decision that the evidence presented is an adequate demonstration of competence and a recommendation that the original decision is reconsidered

 

All candidates will receive formal notification of the outcome of the appeal with 10 working days of the decision

 

Further appeals

 

If a student feels that the appeals process has not been carried out properly or that the decision of the appeals assessment board, the he/she may appeal to the awarding body in accordance with relevant procedures. 

 

Appeals following External Examinations/Assessment

 

If you disagree with your final assessment mark in either your written or practical work given by an awarding body please discuss with your tutor who can support and guide you on the relevant appeals process for the awarding body.

Malpractice and Policy

 

This policy is aimed at staff and learners, who are administering/delivering/registered on Elemental Massage School of Beauty and Holistic Therapies’ approved qualifications or units and who are involved in suspected or actual malpractice.

 

It sets out the steps that learners or other personnel must follow when reporting suspected or actual cases of malpractice and our responsibilities in dealing with such cases.

 

Definition of Malpractice: Malpractice is defined as any activity or practice which deliberately contravenes regulations and compromises the integrity of internal or external assessment processes and/or the validity of certificates.

 

Below are examples of centre and learner malpractice (this list is not exhaustive):

  • Contravention of our centre or regulatory/awarding body qualification approval conditions

  • Preventing access to resources (premises, records, information, learners and staff) by any authorised centre representative and/or the regulatory authorities/awarding body

  • Failure to carry out delivery, internal assessment, internal moderation or internal verification in accordance with requirements

  • Deliberate failure to adhere to learner registration and certification procedures

  • Deliberate failure to maintain appropriate auditable records eg learner files

  • Persistent instances of maladministration within our centre

  • Fraudulent claims for certificates

  • The unauthorised use of materials/equipment in assessment/exam settings (eg mobile phones/cameras)

  • Deliberate misuse of our logo and trademarks

  • Forgery of evidence

  • Collusion or permitting collusion in exams

  • Learners still working towards qualifications after certification claims have been made

  • Insecure storage of assessment materials and exam papers

  • Plagiarism of any nature by learners

  • Unauthorised amendment, copying or distributing of exam papers

  • Inappropriate assistance to learners by centre staff (eg unfairly helping them to pass a unit or qualification)

  • Submission of false information to gain a qualification or unit

 

Making an Allegation of Suspected Malpractice
Anybody who identifies or is made aware of suspected or actual cases of malpractice or maladministration at any time must immediately report their findings to the Director.  This should be done in writing and include:

  • The Learner(s) involved

  • Centre personnel details if involved

  • The course/qualification affected

  • The date(s) suspected or actual malpractice occurred

  • The full nature of the suspected or actual malpractice

  • Any mitigating circumstances

  • Written statements from those involved including name, position and signature

 

Elemental Massage School of Beauty and Holistic Therapies aim to action and resolve all stages of the investigation within 20 working days of receipt of the allegation. This may involve a request for further information and interviews with those involved in the investigation.  Relevant external parties will be kept informed of investigations and outcomes. Information collected, including the outcome will be kept securely for a period of 5 years.

 

Investigation outcomes

If an investigation finds that malpractice has occurred, the following actions may be taken (this list is not exhaustive):

  • Making changes to prevent the instance of malpractice from reoccurring if that is possible

  • Arranging reassessment of criteria/units or requesting additional evidence (where certificates or units have not been claimed)

  • In cases where certificates are deemed to be invalid, inform the awarding body concerned, giving details of why they are invalid and any action to be taken such as reassessment or withdrawal of certificates.  Affected learners will also be informed and asked to return their original certificates to the centre who will then pass on to the awarding body.

  • In cases of cheating and deliberate malpractice on the part of a learner, they will be requested to leave the course and no refund will be due.

 

We will review the policy annually as part of our annual self-assessment arrangements and quality plan. The policy will be revised as and when necessary in response to staff and learner feedback, changes in our practices, actions from the regulatory authorities or awarding bodies, or changes in legislation.

Plagiarism Policy

Definition

You will be aware of the need to avoid plagiarism, i.e. you are expected to present your own words, your own analysis and your own argument. It is acceptable to use the cited work of others to support arguments and analysis. Plagiarism is defined in the Oxford English Dictionary as 'the taking and using as one's own of the thoughts, writing or inventions of another'. It does not matter whether the source was an original document, a book or article, or a fellow student.

Plagiarism can take a variety of forms:

  • Copying sections from one or more books or articles without acknowledgement of the source(s). Note the phrase 'one or more'. It is still plagiarism if you reproduce sections from several sources
    rather than one, in a 'cut and paste' approach.

  • Excessive dependence upon one or a limited number of sources is plagiarism if the sources are inadequately referenced, even if the exact wording used by the original author(s) has been
    modified.

  • Collusion with other students. Students should be aware of the distinction between 'collaboration' and 'collusion'. Some assignments encourage or require students to collaborate with fellow students and submit joint work. The majority, however, assess individual work, and do not permit collusion. Students should never submit joint work unless it is clearly required by the module's written documentation, and in such cases students should always seek clarification from their tutors as to the level of collaboration. It you work with other participants you will need to be aware of this requirement, i.e. although your topics may be the same or similar and you may have drawn on similar readings; your submitted text must be individual to you.

  • Using sections from your own previous work without stating that you are building upon previous work or citing yourself.

 

Process

Submitted assignments will be checked using plagiarism checking software. The software highlights any text that is from other sources, including unpublished research from all UK universities. It will also highlight any text that you yourself have previously submitted in other assignments to Elemental Massage School of Beauty and Holistic Therapies. The software will then provide us with a ‘green’, ‘yellow’, ‘amber’ or ‘red’ rating for your work. Ratings of ‘amber’ or ‘red’ will be investigated and you may be contacted for further details about the content of your work or asked to amend your work or add referencing details.

 

Action

You should ensure that your work is not made available to other students. Failure to secure work adequately can mean that you may be implicated in an accusation of plagiarism.

You should be in no doubt that plagiarism is cheating and is a very serious offence. Pleading that you were not aware of the offence or its consequences, or did not understand what constitutes plagiarism, will not be accepted under any circumstances. Plagiarism will result in a penalty even when it is unintended or unwitting.

 

If checks confirm that plagiarism by an individual(s) has taken place, dependant on the gravity and scope, one or more of the following actions will be taken:

  • Disallowing all or part of a student/s assessment evidence or marks

  • The student(s) certificates will not be issued, or previously issued certificates will be made void

  • No further registrations will be accepted for the student/s

  • The individual(s) may be withdrawn from their programme/course

  • A report will be made to the Relevant Accrediting Bodies (ITEC, ABT, ThinkTree, etc)

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