Complaint Handling in HE: The Next Steps

Confirmed Speakers Include:

  • Joanne O'Rourke, Adjudication Manager, Office of the Independent Adjudicator for Higher Education
  • Lucy Ryder, Senior HE Policy Adviser, Regulation & Assurance, HEFCE
  • ​​Rozina Hashmi, Quality Assurance Manager, Quality Assurance Agency
  • Jean Grier, Investigations Manager, University of Edinburgh
  • Iain Rowan, Acting Academic Registrar, University of Sunderland
  • Julian Sladdin, Partner, Pinsent Masons  LLP
  • Huw Morris, Director of Academic Partnerships, Swansea University (event chair)


The Office of the Independent Adjudicator published a revised good practice framework for handling student complaints & academic appeals in December. While the adjudicator received fewer complaints in 2016 than in 2015, there is still more than can be done to improve complaint handling in higher education.

Join us on 20 September for an up to date brief on the latest developments in handling complaints & academic appeals. We will examine how the sector is developing its approach and what individual institutions are doing to improve their response.

Key Issues to be Addressed Include:

  • The nature of recent complaints & revised OIA guidance
  • The Unsatisfactory Quality Scheme one year on
  • Complying with consumer protection regulations
  • Addressing individual & collective concerns
  • Mistakes HEIs commonly make in handling complaints/appeals
  • Resolving issues before they escalate to formal complaints
  • Having robust procedures in place
  • Handling student complaints & appeals in a fair & timely manner
  • Handling complaints by staff
  • Providing redress where a complaint is upheld
  • Next steps for improving complaint handling

The Event:

The morning session will approach the issues from a sector level and examine the next steps for complaint handling in HE.

The afternoon session will focus on sharing & learning from good practice case study examples of what individual HEIs are already doing to improve their approach to handling academic appeals and complaints.

Who Should Attend?

Attendees will be drawn from institutions across the HE sector; including: academic registrars; academic services; student services; students' unions; & specialist complaint handling teams.

For registration enquiries please contact: |
0207 593 5657

To discuss event sponsorship, speaking opportunities & agenda content, please email:

Wednesday 20th September 2017

11.00am - 3.30pm (including networking lunch)

ETC Venues Victoria, One Drummond Gate, Victoria, London, SW1V 2QQ

Public Sector | 1 Place: £245 | 2+ Places: £195 each
Private Sector | 1 Place: £295 | 2+ Places: £245 each
Above prices exclude VAT

Background Quote

“Complaints related to academic status still account for over half of the complaints we receive. Most of them arise from academic appeals. This is perhaps to be expected as it is of course very important to students to complete their course successfully.”

- Judy Clements OBE, Independent Adjudicator & Chief Executive, OIA, May 2017

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