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Complaints and appeals

What should I do if I want to make a complaint?

Try to deal with any problems or complaints as soon as possible by speaking to your course leader or administrator. If the matter cannot be resolved informally, your institution has a complaints procedures which you should follow. In addition, you are entitled to address formal complaints and appeals to The Open University, once you have exhausted all appropriate internal procedures at your own institution.

The University defines Complaints and Appeals for students on validated awards as follows:

The formal complaints procedure

A formal complaint is an expression of dissatisfaction with a service provided or the lack of a service. It must relate to services that students were led to believe would be provided. The complaint must be directly related to the academic standards of the OU validated programme. If a complaint does not meet this criteria you may be able to take your complaint directly to the Office of the Independent Adjudicator (OIA) if your institution is a member of their scheme or other Ombudsman which operates in your territory. 

The formal appeals procedure

A formal appeal is a request for review of a decision taken by an academic body (for example Academic Board) charged with making decisions about student admissions, progression, assessment and awards. Students may not appeal against the academic judgement of their teachers or examiners.

Our formal appeals and complaints procedures are detailed in Appendix 1 of the Open University Handbook for Validated Awards.


If you're not a student

If you are not a student at a partner (for example a parent or member of staff at a partner) and have concerns these can be raised with the University by email to:

We will consider any concerns raised on a case by case basis and may use them to inform our ongoing monitoring of the partnership or to take further action. Please note that we may not be able to respond in detail to any concerns you raise as they may inform part of ongoing activity and we are also bound by Data Protection requirements and commercial confidentiality.

If you have concerns about how the University is managing a partnership these should be raised to the University by email to: The University’s Whistleblowing Policy may apply if there are reasonable suspicions about irregularities in the running of the University or of the activities of colleagues within the University.