We are committed to providing the best possible service, and to working in an open and accountable way. One of the ways in which we continue to improve our service is by listening to the views of our subscribers, stakeholders and customers. This includes responding positively to complaints and putting mistakes right. 

If you are not satisfied with the service you have received from us, please let us know.

Our procedure for the handling of complaints

First, you should speak to the person you have been dealing with at QAA, so that they can try to assist and to find a resolution. 

If you are not satisfied with their response, you should write to the QAA Enquiries Team and ask for your complaint and the response to be reviewed. Your complaint will then be referred to the Head of Governance, who will send you a written acknowledgement.

The Head of Governance will consider whether your complaint raises issues of service quality, and in the majority of cases will respond directly. They may decide that your complaint requires more detailed consideration, and will refer the complaint for further investigation before responding. If this is the case, we ensure that the investigating officer does not have any conflict of interests. 

Complaints classified as 'serious' are referred to QAA's Chief Executive. Examples of this might include allegations of improper conduct, fraud or dishonesty. Complaints of this nature may fall outside of the guideline timescales outlined below.

Standards of service

We aim to investigate complaints quickly and thoroughly. 

  • By end of week one – we will send you a written acknowledgement of receipt of complaint.
  • By end of week three – we will respond to complaint, or advise that it is proceeding to further investigation.
  • By end of week eight – we will give you the outcome of the further investigation.

In some cases it will be possible for us to complete our work in less time; in exceptional cases, it may take longer.

Appeals from providers against decisions

We have clear published procedures for responding to complaints from higher education providers and for handling appeals against specific decisions.

We distinguish between complaints and appeals. We regard a complaint as an expression of dissatisfaction with services we provide or actions we have taken.

Appeals are challenges to specific decisions, in specific circumstances, and these are handled through our Consolidated Appeals Procedure. 

Appeals should be submitted via the QAA Appeal Submission Form.

Please note: the appeals procedure for the Access to HE Diploma is currently under review.

Gateway Quality Review: Wales

For appeals related to the Gateway Quality Review: Wales method, there is a separate appeals procedure:

Appeals should be submitted via the Gateway Quality Review: Wales Appeal Submission Form:

Quality Review Visit

For appeals related to the Quality Review Visit method, there is a separate appeals procedure:

Appeals should be submitted via the Quality Review Visit Appeal Submission Form:

Further information

For further guidance on any aspect of our complaints procedure, please contact our Enquiries Team who will be happy to help.