Complaints Guidelines

This guidance has been put together to help you understand the complaints procedure as well as the options and support available to you.

In this area

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What is the complaints procedure?

The RCA complaints procedure covers a range of issues from academic to non academic but there are 5 specific grounds for a complaint:

  1. Failure to meet specifications outlined in programme or student charter
  2. Misleading information in prospectus, promotional material or other information provided by the college.
  3. Inadequate delivery of teaching, programme and administration.
  4. Failure to provide facilities, learning resources and other materials in accordance with the published student information.
  5. Complaints in relation to other contractors providing services on behalf of the college.

What are the stages to a complaint?

  1. Stage 1 (local resolution)

    A written complaint is submitted to your personal tutor or Head of programme.

    Attempts are made to resolve the issue informally.

  2. Stage 2 (formal complaint)

    If you are unhappy with the response you receive at an informal level you can progress your complaint to a formal complaint. This is submitted to the dean of your school.

    A panel may be convened to look over your complaint.

  3. Stage 3 (review)

    If you are still unhappy with the outcome. You can put in a request for a review.

    There are criteria that must be met in order to conduct a review.

    If met, the chief operating officer of the college is asked to look over the complaint and make a final decision.

When can I put in a complaint?

In order to have your complaint assessed you must submit it within 3 months of the event you wish to resolve or within 3 months of your graduation, or termination of registration.

When can I expect to hear back about my complaint?

There can be multiple stages to any one complaint and each stage has its own particular time frame that should be abided by.


You should hear back within 10 working days of the college receiving your complaint. If a meeting is requested by the subject of the complaint this should be conducted within 15 working days of the receipt of the complaint. If there is no resolution within 20 working days of the submission of the complaint, you may progress to stage 2.


If you are to progress to another stage of the complaint, you must submit the subsequent complaint 30 days after the completion of the last proceeding. You should expect to hear back within 20 working days of submission. In some cases, the registrar may decide that a panel should be convened. If a hearing is scheduled you should receive confirmation of a date within 10-20 working days.

Stage 3: REVIEW

If you are not happy with the outcome of the second stage of your complaint you can request an appeal on the following grounds:

  1. That the provisions of the complaints policy was not applied properly e.g. It was not conducted within the outlined timeframe.
  2. That the decision of the registrar/investigator cannot be sustained considering the evidence provided.
  3. That new evidence has become available that could have not reasonably been presented at stage 2.
  4. That the recommendations were not sufficient and/or proportionate to the complaint.

You must submit a request for an appeal within 20 days of receiving the stage two decision. You should expect to hear back within 20 working days.