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Purple Beard is committed to the highest standards of openness, probity, and accountability. An important aspect of accountability and transparency is a mechanism to enable staff and other members of Purple Beard to voice concerns in a responsible and effective manner. Where an individual discovers information which they believe shows serious malpractice or wrongdoing within the organisation then this information should be disclosed internally without fear of reprisal, and there should be arrangements to enable this to be done independently of team management (although in relatively minor instances the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) would be the appropriate person to be told).
In relation to DFE funded Bootcamps and Apprenticeships the reporting mechanism is provided at the end of the Policy.
The Public Interest Disclosure Act, which came into effect in 1999, gives legal protection to employees against being dismissed or penalised by their employers as a result of publicly disclosing certain serious concerns. Purple Beard has endorsed the provisions set out below so as to ensure that no members of staff should feel at a disadvantage in raising legitimate concerns. It should be emphasised that this policy is intended to assist individuals who believe they have discovered malpractice or impropriety. It is not designed to question financial, or business decisions taken by Purple Beard, nor should it be used to reconsider any matters which have already been addressed under harassment, complaint, disciplinary or other procedures. Once the “whistleblowing” procedures are in place, it is reasonable to expect staff to use them rather than air their complaints outside SST.
This policy is designed to enable employees to raise concerns internally and at a high level and to disclose information which the individual believes shows malpractice or impropriety. This policy is intended to cover concerns which are in the public interest and may at least initially be investigated separately but might then lead to the invocation of other procedures e.g. disciplinary. These concerns could include:
The titles below indicate the legal framework that informs this policy. Each title is the most up to date version of each document to include ongoing revisions and outcomes of consultations. Each title is a hyperlink, which will take you straight to the document if you are viewing this policy electronically.
In the discharge of its functions, and in implementing this policy and procedure, Purple Beard will remain mindful of its duty of care and other legal obligations. Such as, those it owes under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, the Data Protection Act 2018, the Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006, Equality Act 2010, the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012, the Counter Terrorism and Security Act 2015.
Purple Beard will keep its policies and procedures on children, young people, and adults at risk at risk under review to take account of any new Government legislation, regulations, or best practice documents. This will ensure staff are kept fully up to date with their responsibilities and duties regarding the safety wellbeing of children, young people, and adults at risk.
The policy should be read alongside our policies and procedures on:
Please note that all Skills Coaches can support with safeguarding issues.
Unless it is an emergency, please submit your Safeguarding Disclosure Form by email and the Designated Safeguarding Lead will deal with your report swiftly.
All staff are trained in safeguarding. Learners, parents, and carers can contact the Designated Safeguarding Lead directly by telephoning as above or by emailing email@example.com.
This policy is designed to offer protection to those employees of the Company who disclose such concerns provided the disclosure is made:
It is important to note that no protection from internal disciplinary procedures is offered to those who choose not to use the procedure. In an extreme case, malicious or wild allegations could give rise to legal action on the part of the persons complained about.
Purple Beard will treat all such disclosures in a confidential and sensitive manner. The identity of the individual making the allegation may be kept confidential so long as it does not hinder or frustrate any investigation. However, the investigation process may reveal the source of the information and the individual making the disclosure may need to provide a statement as part of the evidence required.
This policy encourages individuals to put their name to any disclosures they make. Concerns expressed anonymously are much less credible, but they will be considered. In exercising this discretion, the factors to be taken into account will include:
If an individual makes an allegation in good faith, which is not confirmed by subsequent investigation, no action will be taken against that individual. In making a disclosure the individual should exercise due care to ensure the accuracy of the information. If, however, an individual makes malicious or vexatious allegations, and particularly if he or she persists with making them, disciplinary action may be taken against that individual.
On receipt of a complaint of malpractice, the member of staff who receives and takes note of the complaint, must pass this information as soon as is reasonably possible, to the appropriate designated investigating officer as follows:
If there is evidence of criminal activity, then the investigating officer should inform the police. Purple Beard will ensure that any internal investigation does not hinder a formal police investigation.
Due to the varied nature of these sorts of complaints, which may involve internal investigators and / or the police, it is not possible to lay down precise timescales for such investigations. The investigating officer should ensure that the investigations are undertaken as quickly as possible without affecting the quality and depth of those investigations.
The investigating officer, should as soon as practically possible, send a written acknowledgement of the concern to the complainant and thereafter report back to them in writing the outcome of the investigation and on the action that is proposed. If the investigation is a prolonged one, the investigating officer should keep the complainant informed, in writing, as to the progress of the investigation and as to when it is likely to be concluded.
All responses to the complainant should be in writing and sent to their home address.
The investigating officer should follow these steps:
If the complainant is not satisfied that their concern is being properly dealt with by the investigating officer, they have the right to raise it in confidence with the CEO.
If the investigation finds the allegations unsubstantiated and all internal procedures have been exhausted, but the complainant is not satisfied with the outcome of the investigation, the Company recognises the lawful rights of employees and ex-employees to make disclosures to prescribed persons (such as the Health and Safety Executive), or, where justified, elsewhere.
This is to make sure that all applicants, learners and staff are aware of the Ofsted contact details. His Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Education, Children’s Services and Skills (‘the Chief Inspector’). Contact them about matters relating to the welfare of children provided with accommodation by boarding schools, colleges and residential special schools.
This is to make sure all applicants, learners and staff linked to DFE funded Skills Bootcamps delivery are aware of the Authority’s (DFE) Whistleblowing and Complaints policies and processes.
Whistleblowing involves entering a 'whistleblowing' webform on the 'Contact the Department for Education' page, which can be found here: Contact the Department for Education - webform - Complaints
This policy must be reviewed and approved annually AS A MINIMUM or when legislative or policy amendments dictate. All changes must be signed off in accordance with the below document control and revision history statement.
Last updated January 2023, authorized by Dimple Khagram
The Complaints and Appeals Policy and Procedure aims to provide a fair and efficient process for addressing and resolving complaints, appeals, and grievances.
It reflects our commitment to rectifying any mistakes, learning from them, and implementing necessary changes to enhance our services.
This policy also recognizes the importance of treating all complaints and appeals with respect and consideration at every stage, and outlines the procedures for mediation, if required. In cases involving safeguarding or prevent strategy, relevant policies will be invoked. Confidentiality of information shared during the process is maintained, except when it is essential to advance the complaint or ensure the safety of individuals.
This policy applies to all learners, employers, and staff members associated with Purple Beard Ltd. It covers complaints, appeals, and grievances related to coursework marking and grading, other students, course tutors, non-academic staff, and unfair treatment at the place of apprenticeship (workplace). For complaints regarding unfair coursework marking and grading, relevant awarding bodies' academic appeals policies and procedures may be referred to. However, certain issues, such as services outside our control, criminal offenses, and matters dealt with under other procedures like disciplinary procedures, are excluded from the complaints process.
Purple Beard treats all appeals, complaints, and grievances with utmost importance, respect, and sensitivity. Information provided by the individuals making an appeal, complaint, or grievance is kept confidential within the company on a "need to know" basis, unless it is necessary for addressing the complaint or safeguarding purposes. The involved parties are informed and provided with a right of reply as part of this policy. However, exceptional circumstances may require information sharing without prior notification, such as situations posing a risk of harm. If a learner is under 18 years old, Purple Beard reserves the right to contact their parent or guardian, unless it poses a safeguarding risk.
Purple Beard Ltd aims to address complaints promptly and fairly. The Complaints Policy and Procedures are designed to:
Complaints can be made by learners (apprentices and boot campers), employers, and staff members.
Complaints can be made regarding unfair coursework marking and grading, complaints against other students, course tutors, non-academic staff (management), and unfair treatment at the place of apprenticeship (workplace). Relevant awarding bodies' academic appeals policies and procedures may apply to complaints about unfair coursework marking and grading.
The following issues are excluded from the complaint procedures:
If a complaint is found to be malicious, appropriate action may be taken against the complainant.
Possible outcomes of complaints include:
The complaint process involves three stages.
Confidential records of all complaints will be maintained, including the number and types of issues without disclosing individuals' names or specific courses. Regular monitoring and review of these records will occur within the quality assurance framework.
Staff involved in implementing this policy and its procedures will receive appropriate training and support. Support will be provided to staff who are the subject of a complaint, recognizing the potential stress associated with the process. Staff affiliated with a recognized trade union may seek guidance from their representative during the complaint investigation.
For guidance on the interpretation of this policy and procedures, all individuals involved in the investigation, resolution, or recording of complaints should refer to the Complaints Procedure.
Discuss the issue with the appropriate person verbally, outlining the nature of your concern, and aim to resolve it informally. Complaints should be resolved quickly, preferably within a maximum of 5 working days. It is encouraged to submit all complaints in writing using The Complaints Form for record purposes.
If the complaint cannot be resolved at Stage 1, notify a senior member of staff (Skills Coach or Trainer) within 5 days, and a meeting will be arranged. Following the meeting, a written outcome and proposed actions will be provided.
At this stage, the complaint should be submitted in writing along with any supporting evidence.
A response will be provided within 5 working days after the meeting, with a maximum of 10 days if meeting outcomes need consideration. The outcome and proposed actions will be communicated.
If not satisfied with the Stage 2 response, the decision can be appealed to the final committee, which includes an independent person. Appeals can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The appellant may be accompanied by someone, and evidence from Stage 2 will be reconsidered.
The complaint should be submitted in writing if not previously done so.
The outcome will be communicated in writing within 15 working days. The decision at this stage will be final. All complaint records will be stored securely to ensure confidentiality and an auditable trail.
If not satisfied with the outcome, individuals can contact the relevant stakeholders, such as ESFA, DFE, or the specific awarding body.
Learners have the right to appeal any assessment decision at any stage of the process. The appeals procedure is available to all learners.
Appeals against the decision should be made within 10 working days by seeking clarification from the relevant teaching staff. Clarification can be requested verbally or in writing. Every effort will be made to resolve the situation at this stage.
Notify the Quality Assurance (QA) department of the intention to appeal in writing. The QA will reassess the work and provide written feedback within 20 working days from receiving the appeal intention. Every effort will be made to resolve the situation at this stage.
Complete the Appeals Form online. A meeting will be arranged within 10 working days, involving the relevant teaching staff from Stage 1, QA from Stage 2, and an independent staff member. The outcome will be communicated by letter within 20 working days. Every effort will be made to resolve the situation at this stage, and the assessment decision will be final.
If the complaint remains unresolved within the given timescales, individuals should contact the relevant awarding body, which will have its own Complaints and Appeals Procedures.
For appeals, contact email@example.com.
This policy must be reviewed and approved annually AS A MINIMUM or when legislative or policy amendments dictate.
Last updated July 2023, authorized by Dimple Khagram.