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This policy reflects the College’s commitment to address complaints in a prompt, fair, and effective manner. Our objective is to resolve the issues of dissatisfaction as close to the point of contact as can be reasonably managed. Our intention is to continuously improve our services and to achieve high standards in part through diligent consideration of all complaints. We also continually seek feedback from our students and customers by providing a feedback card in our Student Services Centres on each campus and/or through completion of this form.

Copies of the Complaint Policy and Procedure, including the complaint forms, are available in the academic school offices, Student Services, and in Student Government offices.

Staff requiring assistance are to contact their immediate supervisor. Students requiring assistance are to approach the receptionist in the appropriate academic school offices or the Student Services Centres.

POLICY STATEMENTS

1. The College will respond to any dissatisfaction with its services fairly and promptly.

• An initial response is provided within 10 working days.

• A further more detailed response is made if appropriate.

• The complainant may be offered a facilitated meeting with the parties involved if appropriate.

• The complainant can appeal to the senior manager if dissatisfied with the outcome.

• Information on how to move the complaint to the next level is provided if the complainant is not satisfied with the College’s initial response.

 2. While confidentiality is respected whenever possible, it is not typically possible to resolve complaints without disclosing details of a complaint to relevant parties in order to allow the College a fair opportunity to resolve the issue. It is hoped that most complaints can be addressed informally. Where complaints are very serious or cannot been resolved informally, recourse to the formal process is made.

A student or client is protected from retaliation in accordance with this policy as long as the complaint is made in good faith and is not knowingly false or materially inaccurate. If retaliation occurs, further investigation is warranted.

3. All College staff have a responsibility for receiving complaints, treating them seriously, and dealing with them promptly and courteously in accordance with the procedure set out in Appendix A. Advice and information regarding the complaint process for students or clients can be obtained from Academic School offices, Student Services, and Student Government offices.

4. Department managers, associate deans, and/or senior management have the responsibility to resolve a complaint, and to lead or to contribute to an investigation into a complaint when this is considered appropriate. The Senior Vice- President, Advancement, Student and External Affairs is responsible for the appeal process.

5. A student who makes a complaint found to be vexatious, mischievous, or malicious, following the investigation under the Complaints Procedure, is deemed to be in breach of the Student Code of Conduct policy. The onus is on the student or the client to present sufficient evidence to warrant investigation under the procedure.

6. A student or client is protected from retaliation in accordance with this policy as long as the complaint is made in good faith and is not knowingly false or materially inaccurate. If retaliation occurs, further investigation is warranted.

7. Complaints made anonymously are considered if there is enough information provided in the complaint submission to allow the College to make further meaningful inquiries. If, however, an anonymous complainant does not provide sufficient information, the College has the right not to investigate the complaint. Complaints from third parties are only accepted if the student confirms in writing that the third party is acting on his/her behalf and if the student wishes the complaint to be investigated.

1. Step 1 – Informal Process (Front-line)  

1.1 Concerns are raised in the first instance with the person or area concerned as soon as possible and no later than five working days after the incident. This timeline is reconsidered in extenuating circumstances only. Complainants are normally directed to the person responsible for the service or program. If appropriate, a meeting of the complainant and the area of complaint is arranged to arrive at an agreed upon resolution.

1.2 A complaint about a member of staff is referred to the appropriate manager of the staff member’s department or a designate.

1.3 Verbal complaints made in Reception and to staff in public areas and requests to meet with the president are referred to the manager or to the associate dean of the department of the area of complaint or to an appropriate representative.

1.4 At this informal stage, complaints may be made in person, by phone, or by email. The complainant is kept informed of progress at all stages with a written or verbal response provided within ten working days. If the issue is not resolved to the complainant’s satisfaction, the complaint moves to step 2 within five days of receiving notification of the decision.

2. Step 2 - Formal Process  

2.1 A complainant who has been through Step 1 and remains dissatisfied submits a complaint form (Appendix B) within five days of receiving notification of the decision. This form is available in all Academic School offices, Student Services, Student Government offices, and on the College website. The completed form is sent to the Complaints Resolution Office located in Student Services and Human Resources Office, – Kingston Campus, or is sent via email to complaint@sl.on.ca.

2.2 The Complaints Resolution Office documents and reviews the complaint and responds to the complainant within five days and identifies the individual who will be addressing the concern. The Complaints Resolution Office forwards the complaint to the appropriate senior manager for follow-up and response.

2.3 The senior manager investigates the complaint and responds to the complainant within ten working days. The manager may decide to:

• Propose an amicable settlement.

• Dismiss the complaint as unfounded with reasons.

• Uphold or partially uphold the complaint, offer an apology, and take appropriate steps to address the issue and avoid a similar problem in the future.

2.4 All complaints are to be addressed as quickly as possible. All formal complaints (Step 2) are acknowledged in writing, including the detailed response, within 15 working days. All formal complaints receive a formal written response outlining the outcome and the right of appeal where appropriate. The Complaints Resolution Office is copied on all decisions.

Complaint policy (pdf document)

Complaint form (pdf document)