The Institute at all times seeks to deliver an efficient and effective service to its customers. We endeavour to give no grounds for complaint about any of our administrative actions or procedures.
Nevertheless, things do go wrong. We believe that our customers have a right of complaint if a reasonable level and quality of service is not provided. All complaints will be dealt with in a fair and sympathetic manner. The Institute is committed to providing an excellent education and high quality services.
Scope of this Procedure
This procedure is to guide to members of the public through our complaints process. Staff and Students of the Institute should use other policies and procedures available to them if they wish to make a complaint.
We value complaints and use information from them to help us improve our services.
If something goes wrong or you are dissatisfied with our services, please tell us. This page describes our complaints procedure and how to make a complaint. It also tells you about our service standards and what you can expect from us.
What is a complaint?
We regard a complaint as any expression of dissatisfaction about our action or lack of action, or about the standard of service provided by us or on our behalf.
What can I complain about?
This procedure concerns complaints or appeals relating to delays, mistakes, instances where you did not receive the level of service you feel you are entitled to and decisions with which you are dissatisfied.
You can complain about things like:
- the quality and standard of any service we provide
- the quality of our facilities
- the quality and standards of administrative processes
Your complaint may involve more than one of the Institute’s services or be about someone working on our behalf.
What issues are not covered?
There are some things we can’t deal with through our complaints handling procedure. These include:
- a routine first‐time request for a service
- matters which are the subject of litigation;
- a request under freedom of information or data protection legislation
- a request for information or an explanation of policy or practice
- requests for compensation from the Institute
- an attempt to reopen a previously concluded complaint or to have a complaint reconsidered
- where we have already given our final decision following an investigation. If you are still not satisfied, you can ask the Office of the Ombudsman for an independent review of the complaint.
- actions of students or staff which are not related to their studies or duties in the Institute.
If other procedures or rights of appeal can help you resolve your concerns, we will give information and advice to help you.
Who can complain?
Anyone who receives, requests or is directly affected by the services of the Institute can make a complaint to us, including the representative of someone who is dissatisfied with our service. If you are making a complaint on someone else’s behalf you will need their personal written consent.
How do I complain?
When complaining, tell us:
- your full name and address (in certain cases we may ask for proof of identity)
- as much as you can about the complaint
- what has gone wrong
- how you want us to resolve the matter.
Stage 1 – Frontline Resolution
We aim to resolve complaints quickly and close to where we provided the service. This could mean an on‐the‐spot apology and explanation if something has clearly gone wrong and immediate action to resolve the problem. Where possible, your concerns should be raised with the relevant staff member, institute representative or department office. This can be done face‐to‐face, by phone, in writing or by email.
We will give you our decision at Stage 1 in five working days or less, unless there are exceptional circumstances.
If you are not satisfied with the response we give at this stage, we will tell you what you can do next. If you choose to, you can take your complaint to Stage Two of the complaints procedure. You may choose to do this immediately or shortly after you get our initial decision.
Stage 2 – Investigation
Stage 2 deals with two types of complaint: those that have not been resolved at Stage 1 and those that are complex and require detailed investigation. We have a complaint form, which will help you to state your complaint clearly to us. Although we will also accept complaints that are made in person or on the phone, we encourage you to complete the complaint form in the interests of clarity and in order to best assist the investigation process.
When using Stage 2 we will:
- acknowledge receipt of your complaint within 5 working days
- discuss your complaint with you to understand why you remain dissatisfied and what outcome you are looking for
- give you a full response to the complaint as soon as possible and within 20 working days.
If our investigation will take longer than 20 working days, we will tell you. We will agree revised time limits with you and keep you updated on progress.
If you are not satisfied with the response we give at this stage, we will tell you what you can do next. If you choose to, you can take your complaint to Stage Three of the complaints procedure. You may choose to do this immediately or shortly after you get our initial decision.
Stage 3 – Review
Stage 3 deals complaints that have not been resolved at Stage 2.
When using Stage 3 we will:
- acknowledge receipt of your complaint within 5 working days
- identify appropriate personnel to review your case
- a written determination of the review will be made by a Vice President as soon as possible and within 10 working days.
If our review will take longer than 10 working days, we will tell you. We will agree revised time limits with you and keep you updated on progress.
What if I’m still dissatisfied?
If you feel that you have been unfairly treated or are not satisfied with our decision on your complaint, it is open to you to contact the Office of the Ombudsman. By law the Ombudsman can investigate complaints about any of our administrative actions or procedures as well as delays or inaction in your dealings with us. The Ombudsman provides an impartial, independent and free dispute resolution service.
Contact Details for the Office of the Ombudsman:
How long do I have to make a complaint?
Normally, you must make your complaint within six months of:
- the event you want to complain about, or
- finding out that you have a reason to complain.
In exceptional circumstances, we may be able to accept a complaint after the time limit. If you feel that the time limit should not apply to your complaint, please tell us why.
Getting help to make your complaint
We understand that you may be unable, or reluctant, to make a complaint yourself. We accept complaints from the representative of a person who is dissatisfied with our service. We can take complaints from a friend, relative, or an advocate, if you have given them your written consent to complain for you.
Our contact details
Cork Institute of Technology