Keele Gateway complaints procedure

Please note that the following procedure is for complaints relating to the Keele Gateway only. 

For information about academic appeals, student complaints, student discipline, academic conduct, and fitness to practice appeals, please visit the Student Appeals, Complaints and Conduct page.



The University aims to represent itself in a professional manner in its dealings with staff, students and external parties but recognises that occasionally things can go wrong. In many cases issues, problems or misunderstandings can be dealt with by discussion between the parties involved but in other instances, it may be appropriate to pursue the matter in a more formal way.

This document outlines the complaint procedure to be followed and will be used to resolve problems in a timely, efficient and effective manner. Those making a complaint can expect their complaint to be dealt with promptly and fairly and in accordance with the appropriate procedure.

Some complaints will require a full investigation to be carried out and other complaints will be successfully dealt with by an explanation of why something has happened and/or an apology. In whichever case, the University will seek to give a satisfactory response to any concerns raised.


A complaint may be defined as “an expression of dissatisfaction or concern”. The expression of dissatisfaction or concern may take the form of an informal verbal complaint, an informal or a formal written complaint.

A complaint is more than purely an objection to the merits of a decision or action by the University, its students, staff or sub-contractors. Examples of complaints can be claims of impropriety, irregularity, misconduct, poor performance or ineffectiveness. In summary, a complaint is concerned with the manner in which a decision has been made or action taken, rather than with the decision or action itself.

Should you wish to make a complaint relating to an equality and diversity matter your complaint should be addressed to Hannah Barjat via email ( or via post to Athena Swan Support Officer, Dorothy Hodgkin Building, Keele University, Newcastle-under-Lyme, ST5 5BG, who will process the complaint.

All complaints will be handled confidentially and sensitively in line with current General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) legislation and treated seriously. The University will endeavour to deal with all complaints promptly. Complaints that are made frivolously, vexatiously or maliciously, will not be investigated by the University.

Complaint Types

1. Informal
  • Informal complaints should be made to Joe Caine, Head of Business Development via email ( or via telephone 01782 733001.
  • A informal complaint will be investigated and responded to within ten working days.
  • Informal complaints in relation to the Head of Business Development should be made to the University’s Associate Director for Programme and Project Delivery, Paul Hodgkinson, either in person, via email ( or via telephone 01782 733442.
  • Every attempt should be made to resolve concerns on an informal basis in the first instance, by speaking to the relevant member of staff. The expectation remains that both parties should make a genuine attempt to solve any problems at this preliminary stage.
2. Formal
  • Formal complaints should be made to Joe Caine, Head of Business Development by completing the Complaint Form and sending this via email(
  • The complainant will be expected to state clearly the nature of the complaint and, if appropriate, provide copies of any related documentation. The complainant should also state the remedy they are seeking.
  • You will receive acknowledge receipt of the complaint without delay and within 10 working days and provide an indication of when the complainant could expect to hear further.
  • The Head of Business Development will determine the nature of the complaint (complaint, enquiry or allegation) and undertake to task the appropriate Head(s) of Partnership Development (HOPD) at the University to investigate the matter as the Senior Responsible Officer (SRO).
  • The Head of Business Development will endeavour to provide a written response to the complainant within ten working days from the date of the initial acknowledgement. If this is not possible, the complainant will be provided with an interim statement.
  • The written response of the University will include details of any arrangements for pursuing the matter with an independent body where necessary.
  • The Head of Business Development will keep the Director of Research, Innovation and Engagement, Dr Mark Bacon, informed of the situation, and will provide him with a written statement of the nature of the complaint and the response.
3. Appeal
  • If you have submitted a complaint but are not satisfied with how the complaint was dealt with you may submit a grievance.
  • Should you wish to submit a grievance you should do so within 14 calendar days of the date of the complaint investigation outcome letter and email to Ann Pittard, Associate Director from Engagement & Partnerships (, providing as much information about the background of the case as possible and including any documentary evidence in support of the case.
  • The grievance will be reviewed by the Associate Director from Engagement & Partnerships in conjunction with the Director of Research, Innovation and Engagement without delay and within 10 working days and provide a final written response to the complainant which will be considered final.

Keele Gateway complaints form (Word document)

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