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Procedure for Handling Complaints about Approved Chiropractic Programmes

Policy Statement

Complaints raised regarding education providers will be handled by the Director of Education, Registration and Standards.

This policy sets out how the GCC deals with complaints or concerns raised regarding providers of chiropractic degree programmes by students, staff and members of the public.

The GCC, with the approval of Privy Council, has the right to recognise a programme so long as it meets the conditions set by the General Council as recommended by the Education Committee. If it comes to light that a recognised qualification no longer meets the conditions set by the GCC, the Council also reserves the right to withdraw recognition and may take such action in exceptional circumstances.

It should be noted that when we receive a complaint which leads to an investigation of an education provider, the GCC does not have the power to compel providers to change examination grades or classifications of awards, or to offer financial compensation.

Purpose and scope

As well as approving and quality assuring programmes of which completion is required for registration with the GCC, we will also investigate and, if necessary, act upon concerns which may be raised about such programmes. This policy sets out our procedures for dealing with concerns and complaints and aims to ensure they are dealt with in a fair and consistent manner.

Policy and procedure

It is expected that, prior to consideration of a complaint by the GCC, the complainant will have exhausted local routes to resolve their complaint or concern; this includes the education providers’ own complaints procedures. We may not be able to consider complaints or concerns which are not well-evidenced. When a complainant provides their contact details, the GCC will always acknowledge receipt of the complaint. We will also provide feedback on how the complaint has been handled. When an anonymous complaint is received, it may not be possible for any further action to be taken. In such cases, the education provider will still be contacted and given the opportunity to answer the complaint. Their response will be held on file pending any additional information coming to light.

Investigation into Complaints

Complaints should be made in writing and include as much detail as possible. For the complaint to be processed, the following information is required:

  • The name of the education provider involved;

  • a summary of any incidents, issues or key facts;

  • details of any other complaints procedures the complaint has gone through as well as any findings;

  • permission for the complaint to be forwarded to the education or training provider (this can be anonymised on request).

The Director of Education, Registration and Standards and the Chair of the Education Committee will receive the complaint. The complaint will then be forwarded to the education provider for response. Their response should address the concerns raised as fully as possible. The GCC will normally request the response within two weeks, although this will be negotiable depending on the nature of the complaint or concern.

Once we have received a response we may need to request additional information from the complainant, the education provider or both. The Director of Education, Registration and Standards and the Chair of the Education Committee will then determine whether the complaint warrants further discussion and possible investigation by the Education Committee.

If the complaint is brought to the Education Committee for discussion, the Committee will decide on one of three possible outcomes:

  1. The response from the education provider is sufficient to resolve the matter and no further action is required;

  2. Evidence shows that the education provider is not failing to meet the standards we require. Further monitoring, however, is seen as being necessary in order to ensure the issues raised continue to be dealt with appropriately. This will take place either through the Annual Monitoring process or via another agreed method;

  3. Concerns are serious enough to warrant a discussion with the Council who will decide on further action that may need to be taken.

The complaint will be referred to the Council in instances where there is evidence of serious educational failure which has not been addressed sufficiently via an alternative method. It is not possible to provide an exhaustive list of examples for when this might occur, however, some examples are listed here:

  • A continual lack of appropriate supervision for students;
  • Students are undertaking tasks for which they are not competent;
  • A lack of opportunities for students to attain the desired level of competency

The Council reserves the right to withdraw recognition, with the approval of Privy Council, and may take such action in exceptional circumstances. In these rare instances, the Council shall use its best endeavours to secure that any person who is studying for that qualification at the time when recognition is withdrawn, is given the opportunity to study at any other place for a qualification that is recognised.

How to make a complaint about a chiropractic degree programme

If you have concerns that an approved chiropractic degree programme is failing to meet the criteria set out in the Education Standards (2017) you can email us at education@gcc-uk.org

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