Complaints Policy and Procedure

Skills4Stem is keen to minimise all kinds of non-conformities and to encounter those non-conformities through an established system of receiving and dealing with complaints. Appropriate systems of receiving and dealing with the complaints provide the gateway to learn the views of those who experienced the company’s services. This gives the company an opportunity to rectify the non-conformities and thus brighten the image of the company when correctional actions to remedy the non-conformities are taken.

Who can complain?

The following people may bring complaints:

Those who are not satisfied with any services received from Skills4Stem.

  • Candidates/apprentices (or those acting on a candidate/apprentice’s behalf)
  • Visitors
  • Service users
  • Team members

Skills4Stem does not accept anonymous complaints.

How to complain:

Skills4Stem takes complaints extremely seriously and looks for opportunities for feedback on a regular basis. To make a complaint please request a formal complaint form via email from

Reasons for Complaints

Complaints materialise for several reasons; some examples are listed below.

  • That the advice we provided was not appropriate or wrong.
  • That our team did not provide appropriate guidance.
  • That the matter has been dealt with appropriately.
  • That Skills4Stem did not update the complainant appropriately or within the agreed time. Therefore, not allowing the complainant to take appropriate action and subsequently suffered loss and damage.
  • That the complainant received a poor level of service.
  • That the complainant had been misled about the matter.
  • That Skills4Stem did not deal with the complainant’s problem expeditiously and thus had caused him/her further problems of a substantial nature.
  • That Skills4Stem charged more than the agreed fee.
  • That the company failed to provide the complainant with the services for which he/she had already paid.

This is not an exhaustive list

Purpose of the Complaints Procedure

The purpose of this procedure is to establish an effective monitoring system for Skills4Stem to manage complaints.

When a complainant approaches Skills4Stem with a complaint, we will communicate with the complainant appropriately to be provided the opportunity to rectify their concerns.  Skills4Stem will take appropriate action

after careful consideration and investigation of the complaint. As a team we strive to minimise complaints, but where these occur the Skills4Stem team will endeavour to resolve these as quickly as possible to ensure that no candidate/apprentice leaves the company with bad experience, dissatisfactions, or grievance.

Informal Complaints Procedure

This is a less formal procedure where a complainant may raise his or her concern about the way a service was provided. The complainant may meet with the Complaints Handler and discuss the matter that will be then immediately dealt with. However, if the matter is serious and complicated and the complainant is still dissatisfied, the team member may accept the complaint as a formal one. Every effort will be made to ensure complaints are treated confidentially, unless there is a risk to the organisation, the team, candidate/apprentice, or stakeholders.  Each complaint will be evaluated and investigated with an individual actions and an appropriate response.

Report to the Quality  Manager

If a candidate/apprentice, visitor, or other interested party is dissatisfied because of the service they received form Skills4Stem, the dissatisfied person may make a complaint. The Complaints Handler will record the complaint in writing and will immediately investigate the matter.


The Quality Manager will then immediately investigate the matter. If necessary, the Quality Manager will contact the department from which the complaint originates. If it is possible for the complaint to be immediately resolved, the Quality Manager will decide as to the resolution of the complaint and inform the relevant parties. However, if it is not possible to investigate the matter on the same day, the Delivery Manager will provide a possible time frame to deal with the complaint, explaining to the complainant why it was not possible to give a decision immediately. If, upon investigation, the Quality Manager feels that the situation is serious enough to warrant a formal complaint, the complainant will be advised of this, and encouraged to pursue this.


Where the Quality Manager can resolve the complaint and provide a decision, this will be completed verbally with confirmation of the decision completed in writing to the relevant parties. A copy of the written decision will then be shared with the Senior Leadership Team. If the Quality Manager is unable to satisfactorily resolve the complaint, the advice of the CEO will be obtained and the option for the complaint to escalate the complaint to a Formal Complaint given.

Formal Complaints Procedure

If a complainant wishes to bring a formal complaint about any matter in relation to the way services are provided, the way they have been dealt with, or if an informal complaint has not been managed satisfactorily, the complainant is able to make a formal complaint.

A complaint form should then be completed, with any necessary evidence attached. This should then be submitted to the CEO for consideration. At this stage, any documented evidence that is submitted should be the original copies.

Letter of acknowledgement

When the CEO receives a formal complaint, a letter of acknowledgement will be sent within 2 working days. The letter will set out the next steps in the process and will indicate a time frame for the investigation. The maximum time allocated for an investigation will be 10 working days. Where it is foreseen to be longer, Skills4Stem will advise this in writing.


After receiving the formal complaint, the CEO will liaise with a member of Skils4Stem’s Senior Leadership Team who will appoint an Investigation Lead. The Investigations Lead Officer will contact the department or the team member against whom the complaint has been brought. Details of the complaint will be provided for their prompt response. The Investigation Lead will consider the evidence brought by both parties and may interview witnesses if appropriate to review further evidence.

Report of Findings

The Investigation Lead will report their findings in writing to the Operations Manager and will inform both parties in writing of his/her decision in the matter, along with recommendations as to steps to be taken in order that the matter may be fully resolved. The written decision will indicate the following:

  • Background of complaint
  • Summary of investigation
  • Summary of evidence or documents and witness statements
  • Summary of findings
  • Decision
  • Reasons for decisions
  • Conclusion

The letter will clearly set out the steps taken in relation to the complaint and any further action required.

Appeal of Decision

If the complainant is not satisfied with the decision given by the Investigation Lead, he/she may submit an appeal. The appeal will be heard by a member of the Senior Leadership Team (SLT).

Appeals are submitted in writing to the identified member of the Senior Leadership Team (SLT) within 14 days of the Investigation Leads decision. Additional evidence which the complainant wishes to submit are attached. The SLT member will consider all evidence available, both new evidence and that from the investigation thus far and will provide the team member or department against whom the complaint has been lodged the opportunity to respond to the complaint in writing.

The SLT member will then complete a report, in line with the guidance above, and decide as to the outcome of the appeal. He/she may decide to support the original decision of the Investigations Lead or may make alternative recommendations as to the resolution. The decision of the SLT member will be final with no further opportunity for the right of appeal.

Candidate/apprentice Complaints Form

Skills4Stem aims to give the best service possible. If you are dissatisfied with our performance, please let us know.

If you are a candidate/apprentice, initially we would suggest that you discuss the matter with Skills4Stem delivery team member(s) or if you work for Skills4Stem, your line manager. If that person cannot help, or if you are not satisfied, please request a formal complaints form to complete from the Skills4Stem coordination team

If you require any assistance in completing the form or an alternative format, please do not hesitate to contact the Skills4Stem coordination team for further assistance.

To ensure that we can investigate your complaint effectively, and for our monitoring purposes, it is essential that all areas of this form are completed. The form should be accompanied with any supplementary evidence as appropriate. This will then be investigated by a Skills4Stem Manager.