EC Bristol Complaints Procedure
The emphasis in this Complaints Procedure is on informality, with the object of solving problems quickly, simply and fairly. It is hoped that the great majority of issues can be settled amicably at the First Stage, and that complaints will only exceptionally reach the Second Stage.
EC Bristol Staff will respond promptly to complaints and will also expect clients to keep to an agreed timetable for pursuing a complaint.
Constructive criticism, made through student evaluation forms or in discussion with staff, is always welcome as help towards raising service levels.
1. First Stage (Informal Complaint)
1.1 A Client should initially make the complaint to an appropriate member of staff. If the Client is unwilling or unable to approach a member of staff, the Client should raise the matter with the relevant Head of Department.
1.2 The object of this First Stage is to resolve problems quickly and simply with the minimum of formality. The member of staff first approached, has discretion as to how the complaint is investigated and determined but should always inform the Head of Department who will keep a record of each complainant, the nature of the complaint and how it was resolved. If the complaint has been made in writing, the Head of Department will respond in writing within three days of receipt.
2. Second Stage (Formal Complaint)
2.1 If the matter cannot be resolved satisfactorily by the member of staff/Head of Department, the Second Stage is handled by the Centre Director and the complaint must be made formally and in writing.
2.2 Only in exceptional circumstances will the Centre Director consider any complaint that has not been through the original stage.
2.3 If the Centre Director comes to the conclusion that the complaint has already been fairly settled at an earlier stage, or that the complaint is trivial, or wholly lacking in merit or substance, he or she may dismiss the complaint, and advise the complainant of the reasons for the decision. The Centre Director will respond to a written complaint within ten working days of its receipt, with as full a response as possible.
2.3.1 If the Centre Director comes to the conclusion that there is substance in the complaint, the Centre Director may either:
1. Seek to resolve the complaint, in discussion with the relevant Head of Department or
2. Submit a report on all the material facts to the Chief Operations Officer, who will resolve the matter.
The Centre Director will notify the complainant of this decision, in writing, within three working days of receipt of the original written complaint.
2.4 A Client who has exhausted the above procedure but remains unsatisfied with the handling or outcome of a complaint may write to the Chief Executive Officer. Such a letter should be received within ten working days of the date of the Centre Director's letter (2.2 above).
3.1 Any allegation that an employee is harassing or discriminating against a Client will be dealt with in accordance with the disciplinary arrangements provided under the terms of their contract of employment.
4. Disciplinary Action
4.1 There shall be no disciplinary or other adverse implications for a Client who makes a complaint or allegation providing the Client acts in good faith, within the law, and not vexatious, or with malice, and in accordance with established procedures including those above. Victimisation of a complainant and deterring anyone from making a proper complaint are serious disciplinary offences.
5. Complaint to the British Council (as an independent external organisation)
During any stage of the complaint procedure the Client has the right to make an official complaint in writing to the British Council, an independent external organisation.
For further information please see http://www.britishcouncil.org/accreditation-students-complaints.htm or write/ email to:
Bridgewater House, 58 Whitworth Street, Manchester M1 6BB, UK
EC Bristol First Aid
EC Bristol’s aim is to ensure that in the event of any illness, accident or injury adequate, safe and effective First Aid is provided for every student, member of staff and visitor, no matter how minor or major.
All accidents, no matter how minor or major must be reported to reception immediately. Either the Customer Service Officer or a First Aid trained member of staff will fill in the Accident Report Book which is held at reception. First Aid will only be administered by one of our First Aid trained members of staff. There will always be at least one member of staff on site who is First Aid trained.
First Aid Trained Staff
Staff members with a valid Emergency First Aid At Work certificate are:
- Stella Gouzon, Student Services
- Ellie Lindsay, Teacher
- Shelly Keen, Teacher
- Pete Stone, Assistant Director of Studies
First Aid Boxes
First Aid boxes (white cross on green background) can be found on top of the cabinet in the Director of Studies’ Office and at reception.
An additional travel First Aid kit can be found on top of the book shelf in the teachers’ staff room.
Replenishment of First Aid Boxes
Dan Steward as the acting Health & Safety Officer is responsible for the correct and timely replenishment of all First Aid boxes/ kits.
What is Bullying and Harassment?
Bullying and Harassment are types of abusive behaviour. This can take different forms:
- It can be physical - such as hitting or kicking or pushing
- It can be verbal - such as teasing or name-calling or threats
- It can be non-verbal - such as ignoring or excluding someone
- It can create an intimidating environment, or leave you feeling vulnerable or upset or threatened
- It can happen once, or it can be persistent
- It could occur in your class, residence, family or homestay – or even just walking down the street
What is EC Bristol’s Policy?
Our policy is simple - we do not accept any kind of bullying or harassment, or other abusive behaviour. Our aim is to promote understanding and to embrace diversity.
Don’t Ignore it, Tell Someone!
Please tell us if you feel you are being harassed or bullied - or if you are worried about someone else.
You can talk to a member of staff that you feel comfortable with, or with one of our welfare officers – Dan Steward (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Pete Stone (email@example.com) - for more advice.
EC Bristol takes the welfare of its students seriously. All staff are expected to make adequate provision for student welfare at all times and are expected to adhere to all aspects of legal and British Council compliance, and to any other areas of good practice in this area. A significant element of this is the provision of adequate (and effective) supervision, and the aim of this policy is to provide clear instructions and guidance to staff to facilitate this.
We aim to ensure that for all scheduled activities (both on-site and off-site) there is sufficient adult supervision. This should take into account the nature of the activity, age, gender, and needs of the students.
The ratios to which we adhere (set-out below) fall in line with recommendations by the DfEE for minimum supervisory levels for under 18s. Staff is advised that these ratios should be exceeded if the safety and welfare of the students require it at any time, and there should always be enough supervisors to deal with an emergency.
We recognise too that we have a duty of care to our adult students, and activities run by EC for students will be supervised by a nominated EC representative with relevant training or experience. Additional leaders will be deployed if necessary given the nature of the activity and the level of risk involved. Higher-risk adventure-type activities will be supervised by qualified instructors.
Additional Guidance to Staff
Activities must be supervised by a responsible Social Leader. This should be a duly competent, qualified and experienced adult, as determined by the nature of the activity, the level of risk involved and any control measures deemed necessary. International Group Leaders must only be responsible for students within their own group.
Appropriate pre-activity briefings should be given.
Standard Risk Assessments (last reviewed in 2016) are available from the Customer Service Officer (also available electronically) and should be issued to regular EC Social Leaders quarterly. Infrequent Social Leaders should be issued with pertinent risk assessments before supervising activities. Regular Social Leaders should be issued with additional risk assessments if they are expected to supervise an activity which differs significantly in content from activities already undertaken routinely (for which they have received a risk assessment).
EC Child Protection Policy Statement
EC is fully committed to safeguarding the welfare and basic needs of all children and young people. We recognise our responsibility to take all reasonable steps to promote safe practice and to protect children from harm, abuse and exploitation. EC acknowledges its duty to act appropriately to any allegations, reports or suspicions of abuse. Paid staff and volunteers will endeavour to work together to encourage the development of an ethos which embraces difference and diversity and respects the rights of children, young people and adults.
In implementing this child protection policy EC will:
- Ensure that all workers understand their legal and moral responsibility to protect children and young people from harm, abuse and exploitation;
- Ensure that all workers understand their responsibility to work to the standards that are detailed in the organisation’s Child Protection Procedures and work at all times towards maintaining high standards of practice;
- Ensure that all workers understand their duty to report concerns that arise about a child or young person, or a worker’s conduct towards a child/young person, to the organisation’s named person for child protection;
- Ensure that the named person understands his/her responsibility to refer any child protection concerns to the statutory child protection agencies (i.e. Police and/or Social Work);
- Ensure that any procedures relating to the conduct of workers are implemented in a consistent and equitable manner;
- Provide opportunities for all workers to develop their skills and knowledge particularly in relation to the welfare and protection of children and young people;
- Ensure that children and young people are enabled to express their ideas and views on a wide range of issues and will have access to the organisation’s Complaints Procedure;
- Ensure that parents/carers/homestay providers are encouraged to be involved in the work of the organisation and, when requested, have access to all guidelines and procedures;
- Endeavour to keep up-to-date with national developments relating to the welfare and protection of children and young people.