Complaints and Appeals Procedures


The procedures outlined below detail the stages involved in a complaint (an expression of dissatisfaction with a service) and an appeal (relating to a training or assessment result).

Complaints

Aim

To provide a complaints process available to all Mountain Training* candidates (including prospective candidates), course providers, course directors and associated staff which is transparent, fair and equitable and seeks to resolve all complaints in a timely and professional manner.

What is a complaint?
A complaint is any expression of dissatisfaction, whether oral or written, from or on behalf of an eligible complainant about Mountain Training’s provision of, or failure to provide, a service.

*The term ‘Mountain Training’ encompasses the national Mountain Training organisations and their staff, courses, and workshops provided by approved providers and their associated staff.

What constitutes a complaint?
  • The conduct and behaviour of a course staff member and/or the course provider is alleged to have fallen below the complainant’s expectations.
  • The service or quality of experience provided by a Course Provider and/or their associated staff is alleged to have failed to meet expectations.
  • A course director and/or the provider is alleged to have failed to deliver the service required by the Provider Agreement; or that they (or any associated staff) failed to follow the procedures set out in the relevant national Mountain Training organisation Quality Manual (including guidance contained in the appropriate award handbook and guidance notes).
  • A failure to reasonably ensure a candidate’s safety and well-being is alleged against a course staff member and/or the course provider.
  • An allegation of discrimination in breach of the Equality Act 2010

Complaint Procedure

Stage One
The complainant should seek resolution directly with the individual or organisation involved, for example if the complaint involves any aspect of a training or assessment course they should contact the course provider and/or the course director involved. If it involves any aspect of the work undertaken by Mountain Training or its representatives/paid staff, then the complainant should contact the representatives/paid staff directly.

Stage Two (Formal)
If the complainant feels that the problem has not been satisfactorily resolved at Stage One, they can request that the complaint is reviewed by Mountain Training. Notifications of formal complaints should be lodge with Mountain Training within three months of the date of the complaint occurring.

The complainant should formally submit the following information to Mountain Training via email or in writing:
  • Their name;
  • MT ID (if they have one). If no MT ID then their home address, contact number and email address.
Nature of complaint
This should outline:
  • Factual summary of what happened. This should clearly state why it was significant, inappropriate or unacceptable to the complainant.
  • Who does your complaint concern (name of individual, their role e.g Mountain Training staff member, course provider, staff member etc).
  • If the complaint involves multiple/recurring issues then examples, with specific details, should be provided.
  • An acceptable resolution for the complaint
If it involves a course
Provide the following details:
  • Course provider name;
  • Course dates;
  • Course type (e.g. Mountain Leader training).
Timescale
Complaints should be acknowledged by Mountain Training within 3 working days. A record of all correspondence will be kept to assist with any potential future investigation by Mountain Training. The acknowledgement should name who the Lead for the complaint investigation is and the timescale for the complainant to be notified of an outcome to their formal complaint. Normally complaints are dealt with within 28 working days of Mountain Training acknowledging receipt.

At this stage, the complaint will be passed to the appropriate Mountain Training staff to deal with:
  • If it concerns an award, scheme, course or workshop related issue it is handed to the relevant technical officer from the national Mountain Training organisation responsible.
  • If it concerns a customer service related issue it is handed to the Customer Services Manager.
The Complaint Investigation Lead will seek to ascertain the key facts of the case. To assist in this process the Complaint Investigation Lead will appoint an advisory panel consisting of two representatives, one each from two other national Mountain Training organisations. In most cases this will involve the Technical Staff from the other training organisations; however each organisation will determine a suitable person to represent.

Whether the complaint is upheld or not, the reply to the complainant should describe the action taken to investigate the complaint, any conclusions that were reached and any action taken as a result of the complaint.

Final Appeal Against Complaints Process Outcome

If the outcome from Stage 2 is not acceptable to any involved party they have a right of Final Appeal against the outcome.

Notification of such an appeal should be made, no later than, within one month of receiving notification of the outcome of a Stage 2 (Formal) complaint from Mountain Training.

Appellants should formally lodge their appeal with Mountain Training. On receipt Mountain Training will form a Final Appeal Panel.

The Final Appeal Panel will be made up of two senior post holders from the Mountain Training organisation and one senior post holder from a Mountaineering Council or association. These panel members will have not been involved with earlier stages of the appeal process.

Timescale
Final Appeals against the Complaints Process Outcome should be acknowledged by Mountain Training within 3 working days. The acknowledgement should name who the Lead for the Final Appeal Panel is and the timescale for the complainant to be notified of an outcome to their Final Appeal. Normally Final Appeals are dealt with within 28 working days of Mountain Training acknowledging receipt.

Monitoring and learning from complaints

Complaints are reviewed as part of the regular Mountain Training Technical Staff meetings to identify any trends which may indicate a need to take further action.

Appeals

Aim

To provide an appeals process available to all Mountain Training* candidates which is transparent, fair and equitable, and seeks to resolve all appeals in a timely and professional manner.

What is an appeal?
An appeal is where a candidate disagrees with the result of a training or assessment course.

*The term ‘Mountain Training’ encompasses the national Mountain Training organisations and their staff, courses, and workshops provided by approved providers and their associated staff.

What constitutes an appeal?
  • A candidate disagrees with the decision by a course director to mark the result for their training course as ‘Not yet completed’.
  • A candidate disagrees with an assessment result, for example defer or fail.

Appeal Procedure

Stage One
In this first instance the main objective is to assist the candidate and course director to reach a clear understanding as to why decisions were made regarding a training or assessment course outcome. Candidates should therefore, in the first instance, contact the course director (via the course provider) involved in their course and seek to clarify the result directly with them.

Stage Two (Formal)
If the candidate is unable to resolve their concerns regarding their course result with the course director involved, then they should lodge a formal appeal with Mountain Training within three months of the final date of their course finishing.

The candidate should formally submit the following information to Mountain Training via email or in writing:
  • Candidate’s name and MT ID;
  • Provider and course director's name;
  • Full details of the assessment; when, where, involving whom, etc.;
  • The nature of the appeal;
  • Any supporting documentation relating to the assessment;
  • What the candidate would consider as an acceptable resolution for the appeal.
Timescale
Appeals will be acknowledged by Mountain Training within 3 working days. A record of all correspondence will be kept to assist with any potential future investigation by Mountain Training. The acknowledgement should name who the Lead for the appeal review is and the timescale for the candidate to be notified of an outcome to their formal appeal. Normally candidates are notified of the outcome of an appeal within 28 days of Mountain Training acknowledging receipt.

At this stage, the appeal request will be passed to the Technical Officer from the national Mountain Training organisation responsible for managing the provider/course director involved.

The Appeal Investigation Lead will seek to ascertain the key facts of the case. To assist in this process the Appeal Investigation Lead will appoint an advisory panel consisting of two representatives, one each from two other national Mountain Training Boards. In most cases this will involve the Technical Staff from the other Mountain Training organisations; however each organisation will determine a suitable person to represent.

Whether the appeal is upheld or not, the reply to the candidate should describe the action taken to investigate the appeal, any conclusions that were reached and any action taken as a result of the appeal.

Final Appeal Against Training and Assessment Appeals Process Outcome

If the outcome from Stage 2 is not acceptable to any involved party they have a right of Final Appeal against the outcome.

Notification of such an appeal should be made, within one month of receiving notification of the outcome of a Stage 2 (Formal) complaint from Mountain Training.

Appellants should formally lodge their appeal with Mountain Training. On receipt Mountain Training will form a Final Appeal Panel.

The Final Appeal Panel will be made up of two senior post holders from the Mountain Training organisation and one senior post holder from a Mountaineering Council or association. These panel members will have not been involved with earlier stages of the appeal process.

Timescale
Final Appeals against the Appeals Process Outcome should be acknowledged by Mountain Training within 3 working days. The acknowledgement should name who the Lead for the Final Appeal Panel is and the timescale for the complainant to be notified of an outcome to their Final Appeal. Normally Final Appeals are dealt with within 28 working days of Mountain Training acknowledging receipt.

Monitoring and learning from appeals

Appeals are reviewed as part of the regular Mountain Training Technical Staff meetings to identify any trends which may indicate a need to take further action.