Student Academic Grievance Policy

Student Academic Grievance Policy

This procedure has been established to provide a method to resolve the students’ grievances in a fair and expeditious manner. For the purpose of this procedure, grievances are limited to alleged violations of university policy or procedures by the university or its employees, disputes with faculty and/or alleged unfair treatment. Usually this method is used to appeal a grade the student feels was not justified. Under no condition should these policies be used when the student has allegedly violated the Code of Conduct or a contractual agreement, and at no hearing should either party have a lawyer.


The CIP will endeavor to ensure that grievances are treated seriously and constructively at all stages of the Procedure. It will also seek to ensure that grievances are dealt with fairly and consistently.


All staff and students of the CIP are required to fully and promptly co-operate with this Procedure. If a grievance is upheld, appropriate remedial action will be implemented. If a grievance is not upheld, the reason(s) for the decision will be communicated to the complainant and respondent.


The CIP will seek to ensure that student grievances are addressed promptly within specified timescales outlined in this procedure. If a timescale for addressing a grievance is not achievable at any stage in the procedure, then the complainant and respondent shall be notified in writing and provided with an explanation for any delay.


Privacy and confidentiality will be respected both for complainants and respondents. However, it may be necessary to disclose information to others in order to deal with the grievance and in these circumstances the parties concerned will be informed of such disclosure.


Scope of the Grievance Procedure - It is open to all registered students of the CIP. The Procedure is also open to any person who was a registered student provided they invoke the Procedure within 3 months of leaving the CIP and the subject matter of the grievance relates to acts or omissions that occurred whilst the person was a registered student.


The Procedure can be invoked on an individual or collective basis. However, it can only be invoked by the aggrieved person(s). It cannot be invoked on someone’s behalf, nor can it normally be invoked anonymously. However, in exceptional circumstances, the Grievance Committee may deem that it is necessary and appropriate to consider an anonymous grievance.


The following are examples of matters that may fall within the scope of this Grievance Procedure:

ØStudent grievances against members of staff in relation to bullying and harassment.

ØStudent grievances in relation to discrimination by the CIP or members of staff.

ØStudent grievances in relation to the delivery of academic programs and courses of study by CIP or members of staff.

ØStudent grievances relating to the professional conduct of members of staff.

ØStudent grievances relating to the CIP facilities.


Malicious or mischievous complaints - While students are encouraged to avail of this Procedure and will be provided with all necessary support, it should only be invoked in the case of legitimate grievances. Making a complaint concerning a grievance which is found to be malicious or mischievous may be considered a breach of this Procedure which may be subject to further action.


For the avoidance of doubt, a complaint that is not upheld is not necessarily malicious or mischievous. It is generally only in exceptional cases where there is evidence that the student(s) knowingly or recklessly made a complaint relating to illegitimate grievances that such further action will be considered.


University shall endeavor to ensure that the reputations and professional integrity of members of staff are protected in so far as possible from unsubstantiated complaints.


Step 1: Informal Grievance Procedure - The CIP is committed to ensuring that the majority of student grievances are resolved in a cooperative, rather than adversarial, manner. Accordingly, it is expected that the majority of the grievances can be resolved at this stage through the complainant first raising his grievance with the respondent via: telephone, email or face-to-face meeting.


The grievance should be raised as soon as possible, normally within five working days of the incident that prompted the grievance. In outlining their grievance, the complainant should state the time, date and briefly describe the incident that prompted the grievance. It is also necessary for the complainant to clearly outline/explain the outcome that is expected.


When the student meets with the respondent with a view to resolving the matter the meeting should be under mutually agreed conditions, with or without friends/colleagues or witnesses present, as agreed. Every effort should be made by the parties at this stage to arrive at a solution by consensus.


Step 2: Formal Grievance Procedure - If the complainant is unable to resolve the issue at the informal stage they should submit a Student Grievance Form to the Grievance Committee Officer in Rm 100.


On the Student Grievance Form, the student is required to briefly outline the grievance and to include dates, times, the nature of the incident and any individual(s) involved. The student must also state the outcome he/she is hoping to achieve and mention any attempts made to informally resolve the grievance. A copy of the submitted Student Grievance Form will be provided to the respondent.


The Student Grievance Form should normally be submitted within 15 working days of the occurrence of the incident which prompted the grievance. It must be signed and dated by the student. It is acknowledged that the timing of the submission of the Student Grievance Form may be affected by any attempts at informal resolution of the grievance under Step 1.


The Grievance Committee Officer shall acknowledge receipt of the Student Grievance Form within 7 working days of receipt of the Student Grievance Form and shall investigate the matter which will normally include a meeting with the Grievance Committee Chairman, the Grievance Committee Advisor and the respondent. As part of the investigation, the student will normally also be asked to attend a meeting to discuss the grievance in greater detail.


Following the conclusion of an investigation, the Grievance Committee Chairman shall make a suggestion as to whether or not the complaint should be upheld and whether any action is necessary. The suggestion will be submitted to CIP director for final approval. The precise nature of any action to be taken will depend on the circumstances of each case. Such action may include:

ØRecommending CIP take certain specified steps to resolve the grievance.

ØDirecting the respondent apologize to the complainant.

ØDirecting the respondent amend his/her behavior or practices as appropriate.

ØDirecting the complaint be withdrawn.

ØDirecting the complainant apologize to the respondent for making a malicious or mischievous complaint.

ØWarning parties as to future conduct and detailing possible action for further infringements.


The CIP director shall endeavor to conclude the investigation under this Step make his/her decision and communicate same in writing to the relevant parties within 15 working days of having acknowledged receipt of the Student Grievance Form.


Grievance Review Procedure - If the complainant or respondent is dissatisfied with the decision and/or action taken under Step 2, an appeal can be made to the Grievance Committee.


The appeal should be submitted to the Grievance Committee Officer (office 100) in writing, detailing the reasons for wishing to take the grievance to this stage. This should normally be done within ten working days of receipt of the response from Step 2.


The Grievance Committee Officer will acknowledge receipt of the request and convene a meeting of the Committee normally within 15 working days of receipt of the request. The other party to the original grievance will also be given a copy of the written appeal.


As part of its review, the Committee will have access to all prior records and documents relating to the initial grievance. The Committee will normally request to meet with all parties involved in the grievance, individually or collectively.


The Committee should endeavor to have completed its review within 30 working days of receipt of the response from Step 2. Having completed its review, the Committee will make a determination as to whether the original decision should be upheld, overturned or modified.

The parties, including the CIP Director, will normally make final approval on the Committee’s determinations within 7 working days of the hearing. A written summary of the hearing will be kept with any other relevant paper in the Administration Office. Records will not be kept any longer than necessary and should not normally exceed the period of the individual student’s attendance in the CIP.


The decision of the CIP Director is the final stage of this Procedure.