As an ombuds scheme our case-handling processes and our work to share learning from complaints is generally informal. But we do have some more formal requirements that are set out in our Rules. We ask higher education providers to comply with these requirements - Rule 3.4 says, “All members of the OIA must comply with the Rules and their procedures and regulations must be compatible with the Rules”. We have processes for following up compliance and setting out what happens if a provider does not comply.

During and after our review

Providing information we have requested: Rules 12.4 and 12.6

We usually need to ask the higher education provider for information about the complaint when we are reviewing it. We expect providers to give us the information we ask for – without it, it is difficult if not impossible for us to fairly review the complaint.

Complying with our Recommendations - Rules 14.7 and 14.10

If we decide that the complaint is Justified or Partly Justified we normally make Recommendations to the provider. We expect the provider to comply with our Recommendations promptly, and this is important to give confidence to students who complain to us.

Additional Rules for Large Group Complaints Rule 14:

We expect providers to help us with the administration of our review of Large Group Complaints. Without this help it would be very difficult to manage large groups effectively.

Providing general information to help us carry out our work

Rule 21.6:

We ask higher education providers to compile and send us other information we need to help us carry out our work. This includes, for example, information about Completion of Procedures Letters that the provider issues, and copies of its regulations and procedures.

Paying annual subscriptions

Rule 17.2:

Higher education providers must pay an annual subscription fee which may include a case-related element.

Following up casework-related compliance

Learn more about our process for following up casework-related compliance.

Following up compliance with requests for general information

Find out more about our process for following up compliance with requests for general information.

Our Rules

Our Rules set out how our Scheme works, who can complain, what we can and can’t look at, how we review complaints, and what higher education providers should do.