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Apprenticeship training complaints policy

This policy covers all apprentices, employers, service partners and associated staff posts.


The purpose of this policy is to:

  • ensure all apprentices are enabled to raise a complaint if they feel unhappy about the service they have received
  • compliment Derbyshire County Council's complaints procedure
  • determine responsibilities and resources which will underpin the complaint plan

Policy statement

Derbyshire Adult Community Education Service (DACES) believes that all apprentices should feel satisfied with the support, training, and overall service they receive. By the implementation of the complaint plan for apprentices, we can ensure that we maintain a high standard of training which will give our apprentices an environment in which to develop and achieve successful learning outcomes.

This will be achieved by:

  • identifying where and how complaints can be raised
  • a clear process for acknowledging, investigating, and responding to complaints
  • developing a range of appropriate actions and outcomes linked to complaints
  • recording all complaints and outcomes
  • enabling apprentices and staff to understand and engage in actions that could reduce the potential for complaints
  • linkage with the council's complaints procedures
  • communicating with all apprentices and associated staff, service partners and employers to ensure they are aware of their responsibilities and standards expected


Complaints are important to ensure individual issues are identified and addressed. They support the continued improvement of services, enable individuals to provide feedback, and give a general indication on the quality of services.

A complaint is defined as:

"An expression of dissatisfaction from a service user about a specific council service that has been already provided, that isn't resolved at the first point of contact."

In general complaints will usually relate to one of the following:

  • problems accessing services
  • failure to provide responses or information within agreed timescales
  • behaviour or attitude of a member of staff
  • disagreement with a decision
  • disagreement with how a policy has been applied
  • failure to provide services within agreed timescales
  • standard or quality of the service provided
  • incorrect use or storage of data


This policy statement covers all apprentices, learners, other service users, members of the governance board, staff, volunteers, employers, and partners of the service. 

Monitoring, evaluation and reporting

The DACES apprenticeship complaints plan will be reviewed on an annual cycle led by an identified member of the DACES senior management team.

Equality, diversity, and inclusion

This policy will be used to promote fairness and accessibility in all aspects of practice within the service and support the service's commitment to be fully inclusive.

All learners regardless of age, disability, gender, racial heritage, religious belief, sexual orientation, or identity have the right to equal protection from all types of harm, abuse, and the risk of radicalisation. The service is committed to using its complaints policy to ensure that meets its responsibility for achieving this.

Confidentiality, information sharing and GDPR

DACES is required to ensure that it can demonstrate full compliance with the principles of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). All staff are required to be familiar with data protection guidance, accessible on Derbyshire Learning Online and within the DACES staff handbook, or from their line manager.

Associated policies, procedures, and documentation

Post holder to contact

Senior management team member with responsibility for complaints is Tim Baker, email: or tel: 01629 536554.


The policy will be reviewed by the service management team in March 2022.

Roles and responsibilities in relation to complaints

The senior management team lead is responsible for:

  • giving a consistent high-profile lead in ensuring complaint resolution is  integrated in apprenticeship staff roles, employers, and service partners
  • oversight and recording of complaints
  • ensuring organisational improvement takes place to mitigate against further complaints

Senior management team is responsible for:

  • development of the apprenticeship training complaints procedure and process plan
  • conducting timely monitoring of the complaints tracker
  • ensuring the service's strategic plan includes a recognition of the impact of  complaints when planning, and are reflected in the service Self-Assessment Report (SAR) and Quality Improvement Plan (QIP)

DACES apprenticeship management team:

  • managers and all apprenticeship staff take the lead in supporting development the process documentation for receiving, considering, and resolving all complaints covering apprenticeships, employers, and service partners
  • create and maintain complaints process chart and tracking sheet
  • recruitment and selection processes include complaint resolution skills assessment

All staff are responsible for ensuring that they:

  • engage with the apprenticeship complaints procedures and initiatives including promoting good practice, service improvement in and across all communications channels, e-bulletins, staff newsletters, service briefings and other social media-based communications and activities
  • use appropriate activities to engage all apprentices, learners, and other service users to inspire and support them into positive behaviours and destinations

DACES apprenticeship complaints 7-day timeline

Day 1

Complaint received. Complaint acknowledged and entered onto tracking sheet.

Day 2

Complaint assigned to staff member. Complaint information assessed and further information sought if required.

Day 3

Complaint resolution. Response and resolution drafted. Designated officer authorises release of response.

Day 6

Complaint resolution outcome supplied to the complainant.

Day 7

Complete and review complaint tracked and inform improvement plan.

Apprenticeship complaint process - how to make a complaint

Your apprenticeship provider will always hope to provide a high-quality apprenticeship experience. However, there may be occasions when you're not happy with how things have happened or the way you've been treated. We'll always take your complaint seriously and investigate the expressed concerns efficiently and within a stated time.

There are several options you can follow if you wish to make a complaint:

  1. Raising your complaint, verbally or in writing, with your apprenticeship supervisor or member of staff supporting you during your apprenticeship.
  2. Contact Call Derbyshire tel: 01629 533190, open 8am to 8pm on Monday to Friday and 9.30am to 4pm on Saturday and Sunday.
  3. Fill in a Putting People First form, which is attached to this page and available at all Derbyshire County Council sites and offices.