The Students’ Association aims always to serve the interests of its members, in compliance with all relevant legal requirements and best practise, and in a spirit of equality and fairness. However, we recognise that on occasion aspects of our operations may fall short of our own expectations. This policy is intended to explain how complaints about our operations or policies can be raised and what we will do when this happens.
This policy is mainly intended for the use of members (of any category). However, any other person who wishes to raise a complaint against the Association may do so under this procedure.
Complaints may relate to any aspect of our operations or policies, including but not limited to:
- Poor or unsatisfactory service (including advice, etc.).
- Issues relating to equal opportunities or discrimination (including harassment, bullying, bias or prejudice).
- Unacceptable conduct by staff and/or officers.
- Breach of legal duties or code of practise.
The Association will aim to resolve complaints informally and immediately wherever possible. Members or others who have a complaint should, where possible, raise this initially with the member of staff concerned or ask to speak to that person’s line manager or supervisor.
Making a formal complaint
Where the complaint can’t be resolved informally to the complainant’s satisfaction, or where the complainant feels for whatever reason that this route isn’t appropriate, they can address a formal complaint to the HR Manager. This may be done by email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or in writing (Mr. Iain Cupples, c/o the Union Building, St Mary’s Place, St Andrews, KY16 9UZ). Where the complaint involves the HR Manager, complainants may instead contact the General Manager, Dave Whitton, at the above address.
Complaints should state clearly the extent and nature of the issues complained about, the outcome the complainant is seeking and any actions taken to resolve the complaint so far. Complainants are advised that they should normally raise a complaint as soon as possible, as undue delay may make complaints harder to resolve.
The HR Manager will contact the complainant within five working days to formally acknowledge receipt of the complaint.
If the HR Manager judges the complaint to be trivial or vexatious, he may write to the complainant to say so. Where the complaint relates to a matter of SRC/SSC policy or to an officer, he will pass the matter on to the President (or to the Director of Services if the complaint involves the President). Where the matter relates to a service department, he will investigate the matter further, normally by contacting the relevant Head of Department and/or any other staff involved in the complaint. At this stage he may conclude that action under another policy or procedure is appropriate (e.g. the Grievance Procedure or Staff Discipline Procedure) and if so will refer the matter to be dealt with under these. Alternatively he may believe some other action is appropriate. In any case the HR Manager will give a full response to the complaint in writing within 20 working days.
Where the complainant remains dissatisfied after the HR Manager’s response, they may appeal to the Chair of Board, c/o the address above. The Chair will review the matter and respond in writing within a further 20 working days.
The Association reserves the right to extend the timelines contained in this procedure in the case of complex or major complaints, particularly in relation to final resolution of a complaint. We will notify the complainant where this applies. Extensions to the timeline may also apply at times such as University vacation periods.
‘Working days’ in this procedure covers normal Association administrative hours, that is, Monday to Friday excluding holidays.