This complaints procedure is for the use of anyone who is not an applicant for study at, or an existing student of, the University.  This can include (but is not limited to) former students, parents of a student, employers of students on placements arranged by the University or of degree apprentices, and anyone else with a concern related to the University.

If your complaint is about students in your community you should contact the Student and Neighbourhood Liaison Service directly by telephoning +4423 9284 3214 or emailing student-neighbourliaison@port.ac.uk. We have a firm commitment to solving this type of complaint through goodwill and co-operation.

Making a complaint

If your complaint relates to something the University has or has not done you should ideally raise your concerns as soon as reasonably possible and no later than 20 working days from when the matter you are complaining about happened. If you have an existing relationship with the University – for example, you have a contract with the University for services / education – you should initially raise your concerns with the named contact in your contract.  However, if you do not have an existing relationship with the University, you may submit a complaint by emailing complaintsadvice@port.ac.uk. We will discuss your complaint with you and can contact members of staff informally to try to resolve your concerns. 

When raising your concerns it will be helpful for you to include the following information:

  • the background to your complaint
  • details of any informal attempts you have already made at resolving the complaint and details of the member of staff with whom you discussed the matter
  • why any outcomes of the informal attempts are not satisfactory
  • the desired outcome of your complaint

If it is believed that the issues raised are straightforward, members of the Complaints team will investigate your complaint and respond, usually within 10 working days of your contact, detailing the outcome of the investigation.

If you are not happy with the result of this process, or your attempts to resolve the matter directly with existing University contacts, you can request a formal investigation. We'll decide whether an investigation is required based on your evidence. If we believe that you haven't exhausted the informal complaints procedure or that there are no grounds to overturn the outcome of your informal complaint, we may decide not to investigate your complaint. If we decide not to investigate, you will be told within 10 working days of the receipt of your complaint.

Formally investigating your complaint

If we decide that a formal investigation is needed, an investigation will be carried out by an appropriate individual. This will be completed within 30 working days once your complaint is referred to that individual. You will be invited to discuss your complaint with that individual, either in person or virtually. 

You will receive a written report of findings after the investigation, which may include recommended actions to resolve your complaint. The decision of the individual carrying out the investigation is final.

If the report contains actions for the University, a member of staff will be selected to look at the recommendations and decide whether to follow those recommendations or to take other actions to remedy the complaint. They will do this within 10 working days of receiving the report. You will be sent a letter outlining the decision and this will close the complaint.

We will pay reasonable expenses incurred in making the complaint of up to £50. This could include travel costs to attend an interview about the complaint. You will need to provide receipts as evidence of the costs.

Withdrawing your formal complaint

You may withdraw your formal complaint at any time by contacting the individual investigating your complaint. This will close your complaint.

Reviewing this procedure

This procedure is scheduled for major review every three years with an interim review every 12 months.  The review date on this procedure shows when the last review was carried out.

Review date: Major review January 2022