Complaints, good or bad?

It can be difficult to make a complaint or to receive one, but if you consider what the outcomes of the complaint could be, such as improving the system, we should probably complain more and learn from any complaints received.

The first point to consider is how valid the complaint is and what you want to achieve. If the complaint is about an examination result, was a contributing factor the lack of practical experience at work? Did you take the examination the day after the course finished, giving yourself no revision time? Were there undue external pressures on you to pass? Were there personal or family problems that affected your ability to learn on the course and subsequently underperform in the examination? Did you give yourself the best opportunity to perform well in the examination by having a good night’s sleep, or did you have a long journey to the AQB before you even started? How prepared were you before you attended the course? Did you visit the BINDT website and study the documents relating to the course and the examination, including the Z1 syllabus document?

If you still feel there is good reason to complain, be sure to make a reasoned verbal explanation as to what the issue is as this could clear up the problem before it escalates.

Most organisations have a complaints procedure and some have a specific form that needs completing for the complaint to be processed (PCN has form CP21 – Complaints and Appeals). Ensure that you ask if such a form exists and request a copy. Complete the form or written report with as many factual details as possible, recording dates and the people involved. The organisation concerned should initially acknowledge receipt of the complaint and give a time frame for the outcome of the investigation and a full response. If the response is still unsatisfactory, there will be an appeals procedure, but do not have higher expectations than are reasonably practical.

The organisation receiving the complaint should look upon it as a way to improve rather than direct criticism. In the case of BINDT, outside organisations oversee the complaints procedure, including UKAS for PCN. Ideally, there should be no need to complain at all.

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