Feedback, Appeals and
Complaints (pre-enrolment) Policy
Contents
1 Introductory statement ........................................................................................... 2
2 Feedback ................................................................................................................ 2
3 Complaints and appeals ........................................................................................ 3
4 Complaints made without grounds or anonymously ............................................. 5
5 Related policies and further information ................................................................ 5
6 Appendices ............................................................................................................. 6
Ownership Head of Admissions
Policy contact Admissions Policy and Fair Access Manager
Approval LTEC
Protective Marking Public
Last review date September 2019
Next review date September 2020
Page 2 of 8
Feedback, Appeals and Complaints (pre-enrolment) Policy
Goldsmiths, University of London
1 Introductory statement
1.1 Goldsmiths is committed to providing a fair and efficient admissions service,
and encourages applicants to inform the institution of any difficulties
encountered during the admissions process in order that procedures can be
regularly reviewed and improved.
1.2 We recognise that sometimes an applicant may be disappointed or
dissatisfied with the processing or outcome of their application and in this
situation we will work with the applicant to resolve any issues raised.
1.3 Goldsmiths has processes to help resolve issues firstly, Goldsmiths can
provide feedback on how a decision was reached to help the applicant
understand the admissions process. Secondly, if this is not sufficient enough
to resolve the issue, Goldsmiths will consider an appeal or complaint under
set criteria listed below. It is hoped, therefore, that most queries and
complaints can be resolved informally.
1.4 This policy is intended for all those who have formally applied to Goldsmiths
either via UCAS or directly to the institution and are going through, or have
been through, the application process but have not become enrolled
students. Once an applicant becomes an enrolled student, different
regulations and policies will apply as detailed below.
2 Feedback
2.1 Goldsmiths recognises the need to respond to an applicant’s request for
information as to why an application was deemed unsuccessful. The
Admissions Office will provide feedback on an individual basis in response to
receiving a formal request from the applicant within 28 days of the request.
2.2 Feedback will only be provided in writing. Feedback requests should be
emailed to applicant-feedback@gold.ac.uk and include the applicant’s full
name, and programme title. In line with Data Protection policies, feedback
will not be provided to anyone other than the applicant or their nominated
person. A nominated person can include an agent where one has been
engaged to submit the application. Feedback will usually be sent via email to
the email address the applicant has provided on their application form.
2.3 UCAS has an online electronic feedback system that enables Higher
Education Institutions to provide feedback to all unsuccessful applicants via
the standard UCAS transactions, and Goldsmiths routinely uses institution
specific codes, relating to key entry criteria, within reject (and withdrawal)
decisions. Unsuccessful undergraduate applicants should, therefore, receive
preliminary feedback via UCAS Track.
Page 3 of 8
Feedback, Appeals and Complaints (pre-enrolment) Policy
Goldsmiths, University of London
3 Complaints and appeals
3.1 A complaint is defined as a statement of dissatisfaction with the manner in
which an application has been handled in relation to the institution’s
admissions policies and procedures. The reasons for such a complaint will
include administrative error, the behaviour of a member of Goldsmiths staff
or the conduct of an interview (where applicable). If you are unhappy with
the decision made by the College on your application, this is referred to as
an appeal. We will routinely review a decision as part of a complaint. We will
not consider an appeal based on dissatisfaction with the academic
judgement underpinning a decision made on an application because this is
not a valid ground (see section 4).
3.2 We will consider all complaints regarding the processing of an application via
three clearly defined stages.
3.3 A complaint or appeal must be made by the applicant. Complaints or
appeals made on behalf of the applicant such as by parents,
representatives, or school will only be considered in exceptional cases
where there are clear reasons for doing so. Complaints or appeals that are
made anonymously will not be accepted.
3.4 Goldsmiths will ensure that all complaints and appeals are dealt with
promptly, consistently and fairly. We will seek not to discriminate against any
applicant who makes a complaint or appeal.
3.5 Stage 1
3.5.1 The first stage will attempt to resolve the issue locally within the Admissions
team. A complaint should be lodged in writing as close as possible to the
point at which it arises and always within 14 days of the relevant activity. In
the first instance, the complaint should be referred to the Head of
Admissions by email. Applicants can normally expect a response within 14
days. It is anticipated that it will be possible to resolve the majority of
complaints or appeals in this way. If an appeal or complaint is successfully
upheld by the Head of Admissions (or nominated individual), the original
decision made on the application will be automatically reconsidered. Please
note this does not mean that the decision will be taken to automatically offer
a place, simply that the application will be considered again and a fresh
decision to offer a place, offer an interview, or reject will be made.
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Feedback, Appeals and Complaints (pre-enrolment) Policy
Goldsmiths, University of London
3.5.2 A Stage 1 complaint must be submitted before an issue can be escalated to
a formal Stage 2 complaint. Goldsmiths will consider a review of the decision
made by the Head of Admissions where it is appropriate to do so (at Stage
2). Where appropriate the Head of Admissions may decide to escalate the
complaint to Stage 2 immediately without going through the Stage 1 process.
3.5.3 See Appendix 1 for a template form to submit an initial complaint or appeal.
3.6 Stage 2
3.6.1 If the applicant remains dissatisfied following the conclusion of Stage 1,
within 14 days the applicant can submit a Stage 2 form to refer the matter to
the Associate Director (Student Recruitment), giving full details of the case,
including the nature of the complaint, any relevant documentation, the dates
and details of any previous unsuccessful attempts at resolution. Applicants
will be given the opportunity to set-out reasonable steps which may be taken
into consideration to resolve the complaint. Applicants can normally expect
an acknowledgement of the complaint within seven days, and a
communication of the outcome within 21 days.
3.6.2 The Associate Director (or nominated individual) will then conduct a full
investigation, with reference to academic and administrative colleagues,
including the relevant Head of Department or appointed nominee where
applicable. The Associate Director will make a record of the proceedings
and, having ensured that the complaints procedure has been fully adhered to
and the investigation has been carried out satisfactorily, will then decide
whether the complaint will be upheld or dismissed. This decision will be final
except where exceptional circumstances can be clearly evidenced to
instigate a Stage 3 complaint review.
3.6.3 See Appendix 2 for a template form to submit a Stage 2 complaint.
3.7 Stage 3
3.7.1 Applicants dissatisfied with the outcome of a Stage 2 investigation may, in
appropriate circumstances, submit a Stage 3 request for review. This must
be done within 14 days of the date that they are notified of the Stage 2
outcome. A review request will only be considered if it is based on one or
more of the following grounds and can be evidenced:
1. There were procedural irregularities in the investigation of the complaint;
or
2. Fresh evidence can be presented which could not reasonably have been
made available with submission of the Stage 2 form; or
3. The outcome of the investigation was not reasonable in all the
circumstances.
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Feedback, Appeals and Complaints (pre-enrolment) Policy
Goldsmiths, University of London
3.7.2 A Stage 3 review will be referred to the Director of Student Experience (or
nominated individual) to assess the case at an institutional level. A meeting
will be arranged with the relevant members of staff and, following this, a
decision will be reached regarding the complaint and the applicant notified of
this in writing.
3.7.3 A Stage 3 review will not be considered where it falls outside of this criteria
or cannot be evidenced.
3.7.4 This is the final stage of the complaint process and the outcome of this stage
is final and further discussion will not be entered into. Exceptionally, in the
case of a former Goldsmiths student who has a complaint regarding re-
admission to the institution, then a complaint may be escalated to the Office
of the Independent Adjudicator (OIA) if the applicant remains dissatisfied
with the decision.
4 Complaints made without grounds or anonymously
4.1 We will not consider complaints which are made anonymously or those
which we consider to be without grounds. Examples of the type of complaint
or appeal which will be considered groundless include:
Appeals based on dissatisfaction with the academic judgement
underpinning a decision made on an application
Complaints demanding unreasonable or unrealistic resolution where the
merit of the complaint cannot be demonstrated
Complaints which can be considered obsessive or repetitive and without
merit
5 Related policies and further information
5.1 The Admissions Office has a number of related policies and procedure
documents to aid in the fair and transparent handling of all applications and
to provide the best experience to our applicants. These include:
The Admissions Policy
The Applicant Journey: Roles and Responsibilities
The Applicant Journey: How We Make Decisions
5.2 Contact details for all Admissions staff can be found on our website:
www.gold.ac.uk/staffdirectory
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Feedback, Appeals and Complaints (pre-enrolment) Policy
Goldsmiths, University of London
6 Appendices
6.1 Appendix 1
Stage 1 complaint or appeal will be investigated by the Head of Admissions
Name
Goldsmiths reference
number
Programme applied for
Date
Grounds for complaint
e.g. incorrect application processing, conduct of an
interview, conduct of a member of staff
I wish to have my
application
reconsidered
tick if applicable
Please use the space below to give full details of your complaint or reasons
for your appeal
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Feedback, Appeals and Complaints (pre-enrolment) Policy
Goldsmiths, University of London
6.2 Appendix 2
Stage 2 complaint will be investigated by the Associate Director of Student
Recruitment
Name
Goldsmiths reference
number
Programme applied for
Date of conclusion of
Stage 1
Grounds for raising a
Stage 2 complaint
e.g. dissatisfied with outcome of Stage 1, pertinent
information not taken into account
Please set out here the main points of your complaint; it is helpful to number
each separate problem or issue:
Please list any supporting evidence you have submitted with this form:
Please explain the steps you have already taken to resolve your complaint
within the Department concerned; why are you unhappy with the response
so far?
How would you like to see your complaint resolved?
e.g. I wish to have my application reconsidered OR I wish to have clearer
information about why me application was unsuccessful
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Feedback, Appeals and Complaints (pre-enrolment) Policy
Goldsmiths, University of London
6.3 Appendix 3
A Stage 3 complaint will be reviewed by the Director of Student Experience if any of
the below conditions apply. A review will be undertaken of the complaint, considering
whether any procedural irregularities occurred during Stage 2, the impact of any
further evidence on the complaint outcome, and whether the outcome was
reasonable.
Name
Goldsmiths reference
number
Programme applied for
Date of conclusion of
Stage 2
Grounds for requesting
a Stage 3 review
There were procedural irregularities in the
investigation of the complaint; or
Fresh evidence can be presented which could
not reasonably have been made available with
submission of the Stage 2 form; or
The outcome of the investigation was not
reasonable in all the circumstances.
Please list each piece of supporting evidence you have submitted with this
form
How would you like to see your complaint resolved?
e.g I wish to have the decision at Stage 2 reconsidered
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