Nations Grievance Policy
Academic and Non-Academic Grievance Handling Procedure
1.1. Nations School of Business and Management (NSBM) is committed to developing and maintaining an effective, timely, fair and equitable grievance handling system which is easily accessible to all complainants. The terms and conditions in this document applies to all NSBM students. If the grievance relates to an academic issue, the NSBM Academic Director (or a nominated person within the Academic Department) will action the process, and if the grievance relates to a non-academic issue, the NSBM Academic Director will nominate the head of the relevant programme (or suitable alternative) to action the process.
1.2. NSBM aims:
1.2.1. To protect the rights of students and the reputation of NSBM and its partners.
1.2.2. Develop a culture that views grievances as an opportunity to improve the organisation and how it works;
1.2.3. Set in place a grievance handling system that is student focused and helps NSBM to prevent grievances from recurring;
1.2.4. Ensure that any grievances are resolved promptly, objectively and with sensitivity and in complete confidentiality;
1.2.5. Ensure that the views of each complainant and respondent are respected and that any party to a grievance is not discriminated against nor victimised;
1.2.6. Ensure that there is a consistent response to grievances.
1.3. A grievance can be defined as a person’s expression of dissatisfaction with any aspect of NSBM’s services and activities, including both academic and non-academic matters, such as:
1.3.1. the enrolment, induction/orientation process;
1.3.2. the quality of education provided;
1.3.3. academic issues, including student progress, assessment, curriculum and awards in a course of study;
1.3.4. handling of personal information and access to personal records;
1.3.5. the way someone has been treated.
1.4. These grievance procedures are designed to ensure that NSBM responds effectively to individual cases of dissatisfaction.
1.5. A written record of student grievances and outcomes shall be kept in hard copy or electronically in the student file. A summary of student grievance information will be kept secure within a grievance register.
2. Policy coverage
In relation to non-academic grievances, the term “complainant” applies to both current students of NSBM and persons seeking to enrol with NSBM. These grievance procedures will be made available to complainants via the NSBM website and URL placed in the Student Handbook.
If the issue relates to a student’s dissatisfaction with an assessment or subject mark/grade, the student must refer to the Assessment Policies and Procedures which relates to re-marking assessments for the specific University/Institute from which they are pursuing studies.
3. Before an issue becomes a formal grievance
3.1. Complainants are encouraged, wherever possible, to resolve concerns or difficulties informally with the person(s) concerned. There are staff available to assist the resolution of issues at this level. Complainants may raise an informal grievance by contacting the relevant Student Support team in person, by email or by calling 225-4211.
4.1. This procedure can be utilised by complainants to submit a grievance of an academic or non-academic nature. Grievances of an academic nature include issues related to student progress, assessment, curriculum and awards in a course of study. Grievances of a non-academic nature cover all other matters including grievances in relation to personal information that NSBM holds in relation to an individual.
4.2. During all stages of this procedure:
4.2.1. the complainant and any respondent will not be victimised or discriminated against;
4.2.2. if requested the complainant will have an opportunity to formally present their case and each party to a grievance may be accompanied and assisted by a support person at any relevant meetings;
4.2.3. a full explanation in writing for decisions and actions taken as part of the process will be provided if so requested by the complainant or a respondent;
4.2.4. where the internal or external grievance handling or appeal process results in a decision that supports the complainant, NSBM will immediately implement any decision and/or corrective and preventative action required and advise the complainant of the outcome.
4.2.5. where required, a complainant may seek an appointment with the NSBM Academic Director or nominee so that this policy and associated procedures may be explained further. The complainant has the right to be accompanied by a support person.
5. Stage one – formal grievance:
5.1. After following the process referred to in section 3 above, complainants may submit a formal grievance in relation to academic and non-academic issues.
5.2. Formal grievances must be submitted in writing (together with details and documentary evidence) marked to the attention of the NSBM Academic Director at the address for the NSBM Campus detailed in the NSBM website or emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org. Submission must take place within 10 working days after completion of the informal process described in section 3.
5.3. Receipt of the grievance will be acknowledged in writing. The grievance handling process will commence within 10 working days of the receipt of the formal grievance and all reasonable measures will be taken to finalise the process as soon as practicable.
5.4. The NSBM Academic Director or nominee, will if necessary, seek to clarify the outcome that the complainant hopes to achieve. Such clarification may be sought by written or verbal request or by a face-to-face interview with the complainant. When such clarification occurs in a face-to-face interview the complainant or respondent may ask another person to accompany them.
5.5. The NSBM Academic Director or nominee, will then endeavour to resolve the grievance and will provide a written response (“Written Response”) to the complainant on the steps taken to address the grievance, including the reasons for the decision, as soon as practicable.
5.6. Generally, in terms of actioning the process referred to in this section 5:
5.6.1. if the grievance relates to an academic issue, the NSBM Academic Director (or a nominated person within the Academic Department) will action the process, and
5.6.2. if the grievance relates to a non-academic issue, the NSBM Academic Director will nominate the head of the relevant programme (or suitable alternative) to action the process.
6. Stage two – internal appeal:
6.1. If a complainant is dissatisfied with the outcome of their formal grievance they may lodge a written appeal (together with new details and documentary evidence) to the Appeals Committee within 10 working days of the date of the Written Response. If it is not lodged within this timeframe, the outcome of the Written Response will stand.
6.2. Receipt of the appeal will be acknowledged in writing. The appeal process will commence within 10 working days of receipt of the appeal and all reasonable measures will be taken to finalise the appeal process as soon as practicable.
6.3. The Appeals Committee will consist of the following members:
6.3.1. 2 members of the Board of Directors, and
6.3.2. 2 academic staff members.
6.4. The Appeals Committee may at their discretion consult with the complainant and other relevant parties. Where possible such consultations should take the form of face-to-face meetings. The complainant or the respondent may ask another person to accompany them to these interviews.
6.5. As soon as practicable, the Appeals Committee will provide a written report (“Internal Appeal Report”) to the complainant advising the further steps taken to address the grievance, including the reasons for the decision.
7. Stage three – external appeal:
7.1. If the complainant is dissatisfied with the outcome of their internal appeal, they may lodge an external appeal within 10 working days of the date of the Internal Appeal Report.
7.2. External appeals lodged after the timeframes stipulated above will not be considered.
7.3. The purpose of an external appeal is not to review the determination of the internal appeal or outcome of the formal re-marking request (for example the external review will not review what an assessment or subject mark/grade should be) but rather it will evaluate whether the policies and procedures of the internal appeal or re-marking process were complied with. Due consideration of any recommendation arising from the external review will be given.
7.4. The external appeal is handled by the Dochas Consulting and the contact details are:
Address: Lot 27 Prince Williams Street, Plaisance, East Coast Demerara
Telephone: 592 222 4943
7.5. The services of Dochas Consulting are provided free of charge.
8. Further action
The procedures set out in this document do not replace or modify procedures or any other responsibilities which may arise under other higher education policies or under statute or any other law. Nothing in this policy and procedure limits the rights of individuals to take action under Guyana's Consumer Protection laws. Also, these procedures do not circumscribe an individual's rights to pursue other legal remedies.
9. Record keeping & confidentiality
A written record of all grievances handled under this procedure and their outcomes shall be maintained for a period of at least five years to allow all parties to the grievance appropriate access to these records, upon written request to the Registrar. These records will be maintained at NSBM campus. All records relating to grievances will be treated as confidential.
10. Approval, publication and training
This Policy and Procedure was agreed to and ratified by the Board of Directors. This Policy and Procedure will be made available to students and persons seeking to enrol with NSBM through reference in the Student Handbook and on NSBM’s website (www.nations.gy). For the purposes of communicating to and training staff, this Policy and Procedure will be referenced in the Staff Handbook and form part of the staff induction process (which will facilitated by the NSBM Academic Director).
Current Status – Version 1.1
Approved by – Board of Directors
Date of Approval – January 17, 2017
Review Date – January 17, 2019