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Trinity CertTESOL Appeals and Complaints Procedure

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1. Procedure for appeals by trainees

 

1.1 Grounds for appeal

a. Trinity considers appeals only against overall awards of fail, but not against awards of referral, or against overall grades or marks where the trainee is deemed to have passed the course. Trinity does not itself award levels of pass (e.g. merit or distinction) but simply pass, referral or fail.

b. Trinity considers appeals against overall awards of fail only where trainees provide information or evidence to indicate that courses were possibly not delivered in line with the course provider’s publicity and course information and/or Trinity’s validation requirements and that therefore they were deprived of appropriate training and/or an appropriate assessment procedure. Such an appeal may relate to the assessment system in place and the way in which it was operated. 

c. In handling appeals against fail, Trinity does not re-mark assignments or teaching practice. Trinity obtains information from the appellant, the course provider and the course moderator in order to reach a judgement as to whether the course has been appropriately delivered and the assessment system fairly implemented.

d. Trinity does not enter into disputes between trainees and course providers relating to payment or refund of fees or other charges, or financial compensation for delivery of services. 

e. If an appeal is accompanied by a written or verbal proposal of legal action, then Trinity does not pursue the normal appeals procedure but refers the matter to its solicitors.

 

1.2 First level of appeal

a. There is no charge to trainees wishing to appeal at first level. Trainees wishing to appeal against an overall fail mark must write to the Head of TESOL at Trinity’s head office setting out the following clearly and on numbered pages:

  • the grounds for appeal which must be consistent with section 1.1 above
  • the range of grades or marks that they believe they have been awarded for individual assignments including teaching practice
  • any other relevant evidence, including any assignments that they have failed where the course provider’s grades, marks or written comments are included
  • a note of the date when their fail was confirmed, and by whom, and in what mode—e.g. meeting, telephone, letter, email, etc
  • written confirmation that their letter of appeal may be shown to the course provider and the moderator for an investigation to take place.

b. The letter must be postmarked or fax dated not later than fourteen days after trainees have received official confirmation from the course provider or from Trinity that they have failed. Appeals are not accepted by email.

c. It must be noted that the course moderator, following consultation with the course provider, makes recommendations as to whether trainees have passed, been referred on or failed the course. Trinity determines the final award and this is confirmed in a pro forma letter to the course provider from the Head of TESOL. Occasionally the Head of TESOL will ask the course provider in that pro forma letter to provide additional information before Trinity confirms the award of fail.

d. On receipt of an appeal, Trinity normally acknowledges the appeal in writing within seven days of its receipt. If the appeal is under the terms of appeal procedures, Trinity forwards the relevant material to the course provider and course moderator with a view to investigating the grounds for appeal. If the appeal is not accepted as being consistent with Trinity’s terms of appeal, the Head of TESOL writes to the appellant to explain the reasons for this decision. Rejection of the appeal terminates the first level appeal procedure but does not remove the appellant’s right to pursue a higher level appeal.

e. The Head of TESOL reaches a decision after receiving the comments of the course provider and course moderator and replies to the appellant as appropriate. The target time for resolving appeals at first level is 28 days maximum from the date of receipt, depending on the completeness of information from the appellant and on the availability of relevant course tutors and moderator to comment, and on that of the Head of TESOL.

 

1.3 Second level appeal

a. Appellants whose appeal at first level is not granted and who are not satisfied with the decision of the Head of TESOL may if they wish proceed to a second level of appeal to the Director of Language Examinations. Appellants must write directly to the Director of Language Examinations giving their grounds for their continuance of the appeal procedure and their written permission for their second appeal letter to be copied to the course provider and course moderator. 

b. The letter must be postmarked or fax dated not later than fourteen days after the date of the letter from the Head of TESOL confirming that their first level appeal is not granted. Second level appeals are not accepted by email.

c. Appellants must enclose a fee of £25.00 (twenty-five pounds) made payable to Trinity College London with a second level appeal. If writing from outside the UK this must be drawn in pounds sterling on a UK clearing bank.

d. If the appeal is accepted under the terms of appeal procedures, the Director normally acknowledges the appeal in writing within seven days of its receipt, copies the second level appeal letter to the Head of TESOL for information and forwards the relevant material to the course provider and course moderator with a view to investigating the grounds for appeal. This material includes the original appeal documentation and any additional documentation received.

e. The Director reaches a decision after receiving the comments of the course provider and moderator and replies to the appellant as appropriate. The target time for resolving appeals at second level is 28 days maximum from the date of receipt, depending on the completeness of information from the appellant and on the availability of relevant course tutors and course moderator to comment, and also on that of the Director.

f. If the second level appeal is upheld, the fee of £25.00 is returned to the appellant, but not otherwise.

 

1.4 Third level appeal

a. Appellants whose appeal at second level is not granted and who are not satisfied with the decision of the Director of Language Examinations may if they wish proceed to a third level of appeal to the Chief Executive. Appellants must write directly to the Chief Executive giving grounds for their continuance of the appeal procedure and their written permission for their third appeal letter to be copied to the course provider and course moderator.

b. The letter must be postmarked or fax dated not later than fourteen days after the date of the letter from the Director of Language Examinations confirming that their second level appeal is not granted. Third level appeals are not accepted by email.

c. Appellants must enclose a fee of £50.00 (fifty pounds) made payable to Trinity College London with a third level appeal. If writing from outside the UK this must be drawn in pounds sterling on a UK clearing bank.

d. The Chief Executive normally acknowledges the appeal in writing within seven days of its receipt, copies the third level appeal letter to the Director of Language Examinations and Head of TESOL for information and reaches a decision in association with an independent member of the ESOL and TESOL Review Board after receiving the comments of the course provider and moderator. He then replies to the appellant as appropriate. The target time for resolving appeals at third level is 28 days maximum from the date of receipt, depending on the completeness of information from the appellant and on the availability of relevant course tutors and course moderator to comment, and also on that of the Chief Executive and independent assessor.

e. If the third level appeal is upheld, the total fee for second and third level appeals of £75.00 is returned to the appellant, but not otherwise.

 

1.5 Possible outcomes of appeal where granted

In the event of an appeal against fail being granted, it is possible for Trinity to take any of the following actions:

a. require course providers to re-assess a specific written assignment and give their written comments as to the reason for the final grade or mark, which may, but need not necessarily, differ from the original grade or mark

b. require moderators to re-assess the materials assignment

c. require course providers to give trainees a further opportunity to repeat the entire course and all assignments at the course provider’s whole or part expense (i.e. a referral)

d. require course providers to give trainees a further opportunity to repeat one or more assignments including all or part of teaching practice, and with appropriate support and input from the course provider, at the course providers’ whole or part expense (i.e. a referral)

e. require the course provider to make changes to their course design or delivery, including assessment systems, against a specific deadline in order to retain validation by Trinity. Trinity does not reimburse trainees with all or part of their training fees or moderation fees. In the event of a first or second level appeal not being granted, Trinity reminds appellants that they have the possibility of proceeding to a second or third level appeal respectively.

2. Procedure for complaints by trainees

 

2.1 Grounds for complaint

a. Trinity will consider serious complaints by trainees who have in fact met all course requirements and been awarded a Trinity CertTESOL, as well as by those who have failed, if they can demonstrate that courses were not delivered in line with the course providers’ publicity and course information and/or Trinity’s validation requirements and that therefore they were deprived of appropriate training. Please note the outcome of complaints where substantiated under section 2.3.

b. It must be noted that Trinity does not enter into disputes between trainees and course providers relating to payment or refund of fees or other charges, or financial compensation for inadequate delivery of services.

 

2.2 Complaints procedure

a. Trainees must write to the Head of TESOL at Trinity setting out the precise reasons for their complaint and include any relevant evidence, together with written confirmation that their letter of complaint may be shown to the course provider and the moderator for an investigation to take place.

b. If the complaint is accepted as a complaint under the terms of the complaints procedure, Trinity normally acknowledges the complaint in writing within seven days of its receipt and forwards the relevant material to the course provider and course moderator with a view to investigating the grounds for complaint.

c. Trinity reaches a decision after receiving the comments of the course provider and replies to the appellant as appropriate. The target time for deciding the outcome of complaints is 28 days maximum from the date of receipt, depending on the completeness of information from the complainant and on the availability of relevant course tutors to comment, and on that of the Head of TESOL at Trinity.

 

2.3 Possible outcomes of complaint where substantiated

a. It must be noted that if the complaint is found to be substantiated, Trinity may require the course provider to make changes to their course design or delivery, including assessment systems, against a specific deadline in order to retain validation by Trinity. 

b. Trinity does not reimburse trainees with all or part of their training fees or moderation 

 

 

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