Complaints policy and procedure


PA Media Academy’s apprenticeships team is committed to providing a supportive working and learning environment to enable all to achieve their goals. We strive to provide the highest quality services and to be responsive to concerns or complaints from any of our customers,  whether they are of a teaching or service related nature. Both negative and positive feedback is recognised as a valuable resource to enable us to improve the quality of our services and apprenticeship provision. 

In order for PA Media Academy’s apprenticeships team to learn and improve on feedback given, accurate and complete records of all complaints received, resulting correspondence, interviews and actions taken will be maintained. A report on complaints received and their outcomes will be submitted to the MD of PA Media Academy on a monthly basis. Complaints relating to issues with a direct impact on apprentice experience will be passed to the Apprenticeship Training Manager for consideration to help to improve customer service throughout the business. Effectiveness of the complaints procedure will be evaluated on an annual basis by the Managing Director and Apprenticeship Training manager. 

The purpose of this complaints procedure is to enable anyone interacting with PA Media Academy to raise matters of concern about our services or provision, so that they can be investigated and resolved in the clearest and fairest way possible. In most cases this will be achieved without having to conduct the formal complaints procedure, which should be seen as a last resort in reaching a solution. 

This complaints policy and procedure will be shared with all interested parties in advance of the commencement of training.


The complaints procedure covers any expression of dissatisfaction or concern about:

  • provisions of PA Media Academy affecting customers (applicants, apprentices, employers, stakeholders) 
  • actions or lack of actions by the PA Media Academy team and its staff 
  • standards of service, courses or facilities provided by the PA Media Academy apprenticeships team. 

The procedure does not cover the following: 

  • matters covered by separate policies or procedures; including appeals procedure, Equal Opportunities, grievance procedure 
  • judgement about individual apprentice performance or awarding organisation assessment decisions 
  • requests for new services or provision. 

This procedure is for use by any existing or prospective apprentice, employer or customer who seeks or receives a service from us. It also extends to anyone who may be directly affected by our services or activities. 

Anonymous complaints will be logged and monitored but not investigated under normal circumstances. 


You can raise a complaint by speaking or emailing any member of staff who will be able to refer your concerns to your Programme Leader, Apprenticeship Training Manager or the Managing Director. 


We recognise that many concerns may be raised informally and can be dealt with quickly and simply. We aim to resolve early and promptly, preferably keeping it as close to the source of the problem as possible and dealing with it by informal means. By encouraging complainants to come forward with concerns at an early stage, matters can be discussed and any misunderstandings resolved by telephone conversation, face to face meeting, email or letter to the appropriate person. 

Stage one – Informal 

An informal approach is appropriate in some cases: these complaints will be responded to by the appropriate person within seven days receipt of the complaint. 

If the problem is not resolved satisfactorily at this stage, complainants should raise the matter with the Apprenticeship Training Manager – – for formal investigation. 

Stage two – Formal 

PA Media Academy recognises that informal mechanisms may not resolve all problems and that some problems may be too serious or sensitive to be dealt with by raising the issue directly with the member of staff involved. In these circumstances, the formal complaints procedure should be used. 

  • A formal complaint should be submitted to the Apprenticeship Training Manager in writing:
  • The statement of complaint should be as thorough and complete as possible and include any supporting documentation 
  • The Apprenticeship Training Manager will log and acknowledge receipt of the complaint within 48 hours 
  • It is the responsibility of the Apprenticeship Training Manager to fully investigate the complaint within 14 working days of this being received 
  • The Apprenticeship Training Manager will pass their findings to the Managing Director for the central complaints log to be updated with the agreed outcome 
  • The Apprenticeship Training Manager will update the complainant of the outcome of their complaint 
  • If the complainant is not satisfied with the response received as a result of Stage 2, the complaint may be taken to Stage 3 of the procedure

Stage three – Appeal 

A copy of the complaint (with any supporting evidence) should be sent to the Managing Director by the complainant within 14 days of receiving the Stage 2 response. The complaint will be heard and the evidence reviewed. The Managing Director will investigate the complaint, including all documentary evidence. 

The Managing Director may seek to resolve the complaint based on the documentary evidence alone. Following investigation, a written response will be produced detailing whether the complaint is upheld or not and detailing action(s) necessary to resolve the issue. 

The Managing Director will acknowledge receipt of the stage 3 complaint within five working days of receipt and provide a response within 14 working days. Inevitably some issues will be more complex and may therefore require longer to be fully reviewed. Consequently, all timescales given for handling and responding to Stage 3 complaints are subject to change, in consultation with the complainant. 

The decision of the Managing Director, PA Media Academy is final. 

*If the Managing Director is involved in the investigation, the appeal will be evaluated by the PA Media Academy Governance Board.

Appealing to external agencies

If the outcome of a complaint is unsatisfactory, it is possible to complain to external regulatory bodies. All bodies require that complainants have gone through the training provider’s complaints procedure first.





All complaints will be treated seriously, handled sensitively and with due consideration to all parties involved. In line with our equal opportunities policy, all complainants will be treated fairly and not suffer any recrimination or disadvantage as a result of making a complaint. 

Any person named in a complaint will be informed and have a right of reply as part of the investigative process. 


Complaints must be made by complainants themselves, however, we recognise that some apprentices and vulnerable adults may have difficulties with this and so we encourage them to use whatever assistance is required from a third party to make their complaint effectively. The Apprenticeship Training Manager can provide general support and advice on procedures. However, it is the complainant’s responsibility to seek guidance and support when necessary. 


The Apprenticeship Training Manager will ensure the complaint is fully investigated and that regular communication is maintained with the complainant throughout the life of the complaint. Under the normal process, we will acknowledge complaints within 48 hours and resolve within 14 working days, but inevitably some issues will be more complex and may take longer. Where this is the case, we will contact the parties within 14 days by phone and in writing with an interim response describing our investigation and when it is expected to be complete. Correspondence will be retained and attached with the complaint log for our records. 


Once a complaint has been defined by the owner as resolved to the satisfaction of the complainant or to the point where PA Media Academy can reasonably do no more, the central complaints log will be updated with all details of the outcome and mark the complaint as resolved. All documentation will be kept for future reference to defend any potential legal challenge. 

The Apprenticeship Training Manager will review all complaints on a monthly basis and consideration will be given to whether an opportunity exists to avoid a reoccurrence of a similar complaint and to support with implementing any service improvement actions. 

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