Appeals Procedure - For Learning Providers and Candidates within Personnel Certification Schemes

To access the Appeals Form please click here.

IQ Verify operates an appeals process to allow the learning providers and candidates to challenge results and decisions issued by IQ Verify and to ensure that they are fair, consistent and based on valid judgements. IQ Verify will aim to resolve arising issues and enquiries efficiently as a matter of normal day to day contact prior to any formal application of its Enquiry about Results (EAR) policy or this Appeals process where practicable. However, learning providers and candidates can submit a formal EAR or Appeal in line with the applicable policy when they feel they are unable to make progress with the issue with their current point of contact.

Scope

The appeals policy applies but is not limited to:

  • The results of assessments:
  • Decisions arising out of reasonable adjustments (RA) / special considerations (SC) requests, and malpractice sanctions applied;
  • Penalties and sanctions applied to learning providers, including withdrawal of learning provider approval status for malpractice or maladministration.

The appeals policy does not cover:

  • Learning providers that have voluntarily withdrawn learning provider status;
  • Decisions on prospective learning providers that have been declined during application for learning provider approval;
  • Withdrawal or suspension of learning provider approval for financial or legal reasons;
  • Withdrawal or suspension of learning provider approval due to no activity for a period of 2 years or more.

In those cases, a review of IQ Verify’s decision may be requested and undertaken at the discretion of IQ Verify, or the learning provider may be advised to submit a fresh application for learning provider approval.  

Stages of Appeals               

  1. All learning providers must have internal appeal arrangements which candidates can access if they wish to appeal against a decision taken by the learning provider. IQV will normally only consider appeals after candidates have exhausted the learning provider’s appeals process.
  2. For the review of decisions arrived at by IQV, such as decisions around special consideration, reasonable adjustments or quality assurance decisions arrived at by IQV, this includes a review of evidence considered, and whether any other evidence or information should have been taken in to consideration at the time. Where necessary, IQV may conduct an onsite audit  or interview with the relevant parties to gain further information. For more information please refer to IQV’s EAR Policy and Process for all Enquiries’ about Results and Reviews.
  3. An appeal will only be considered after an EAR or review has taken place. The appeals process does not normally involve further review of marking of work or monitoring activity, unless the initial appeals investigation suggests that procedures were not followed during the EAR or review. The appeals team will also consider whether the original outcome was unreasonable (taking into account any error and any unreasonable exercise of academic judgement).
  4. Appropriate expert(s) or manager(s) that were not involved in the original decisions and reviews conducted will be appointed to review the application made by the appellant with a person independent of IQV. All information relating to the decision including documents supporting the decision in the previous stages, and provided by the appellant as part of the appeals process will be reviewed against relevant policies, procedures and decisions made by IQV to confirm the procedure have been followed.
  5. A further independent review is available if appellants are not satisfied with the outcome of their appeal. The independent review exists to ensure that there is an independent avenue of appeal when the appellant is not satisfied with the outcome following appeals. IQV will arrange for an independent review to be carried out by someone with the relevant competence to make the appropriate decision who is not otherwise connected to IQV, or hold any other conflict of interest. In some cases, a review may be considered by a committee of people.  A panel hearing comprising of 1 IQV representative and 2 independent representatives will be convened where the withdrawal of learning provider approval is being reviewed at this stage. The decision and outcomes arrived at by the independent review is final.
  6. The appellant will be provided with an opportunity to raise concern over the identity of the nominated party prior to the consideration of the appeal.
 

Timeline

Deadline for Reviews 30 calendar days from receipt of result / decision
Deadline for Appeal 14 calendar days from outcome of EAR
Deadline for Independent Review 14 calendar days from outcome of appeal
Acknowledgement & Confirmation of progression 5 working days from the receipt of all required information and payment
Outcome of EARs 20 working days from confirmation of progression
Outcome of Appeals 30 working days from confirmation of progression
Outcome of Independent Review 30 working days from confirmation of person(s) undertaking independent review

Wherever possible, IQ Verify aim to provide written confirmation of the decision arising from the above processes in the timelines indicated above. In some circumstances, the timeline quoted within this policy may not be practicable, e.g. when IQ Verify is required to audit the learning provider but key learning provider staff are not available for this visit. IQ Verify will advise of the likely extent of any delay and estimated revised date where this is the case.

Appeal Fees

Assessment related enquiries / appeals
Enquiry about results (per assessment / decision) £50
Appeals (per assessment / decision) £50
Independent Appeals (per assessment / decision) £50

NB: All fees quoted exclude VAT. Payment in advance is required prior to the undertaking of any review or appeals. Fees are refunded if the enquiry or appeal is successful and results in a positive change to the outcome or results awarded.

How to apply for an Appeal  

Complete the Appeals Form at the end of this document, completing the sections required depending on the type of your appeal and enclosing as much supporting information as possible.

Where possible, appeals related to a candidate’s result should be requested through the learning provider. Learning providers must:

  • Gain the consent of the candidate before making an enquiries / appeals application;
  • Make the candidate aware that grades could be lowered as a result of the process.

A candidate may also apply directly to IQV. We will require proof of identity and the reason for a direct application if candidates intend to contact IQV directly. 

Appellants must include:

  • Clear reasons for the appeal;
  • All relevant supporting evidence, where applicable;
  • For the independent appeals stage, the application form must also contain clear reasoning as to why the appellant considers that IQV did not follow the required procedures during the appeals process or any other rationale for escalating their case to this stage of appeal.

IQ Verify will acknowledge receipt of the appeal and carry out an initial assessment of the information / evidence required to deal with the appeal as well as a check on the accuracy of records held. If the application form does not include the required information, it will be returned to the appellant, with details of what information is missing. An extended deadline of 15 working days will normally be given for this information to be provided to IQ Verify.

Once in receipt of all required information, IQV will confirm progression of the appeal.

Further steps relevant to Independent Appeals

In the case of the independent appeals stage, IQV will also provide the appellant with an opportunity to raise concern over the identity of the independent reviewer. Upon confirmation, the relevant fee required to complete the appeal must be sent to IQV.

Once the appellant has agreed that IQV have provided a confirmation that an independent review is proceeding, further correspondence or communication regarding the appeal will not normally be considered, or may detrimentally impact on the timescales of the appeal. The Independent Reviewer will review all evidence which took place in the preceding stages and review if IQV has applied its procedures or policies fairly, appropriately and consistently in arriving at judgements. The independent reviewer will also take into account the results of previous similar appeals.

Failure to address IQV’s information requests or provide payment may result in IQV declining to take forward the appeal at all, or until such time those issues are addressed.

Outcome of Reviews / Appeals related to Special Considerations , Reasonable Adjustments, risks or sanction

A review or appeal may result in:

  • The original decision being overturned in the appellant’s favour;
  • The original decision upheld;
  • Further sanctions or action taken against the appellant;
  • Other action as required by IQV policies and procedures.

In all cases, IQV will provide a statement of outcome which will be sent to the applicant, or the applicant’s representative at the learning provider. IQV will include the supporting evidence unless it is not practicable to do so (e.g. if disclosure would be in contravention of IQV’s Whistle Blowers Policy).

Where the original decision is overturned in the appellant’s favour, IQV will also refund the applicable fee paid. If it is identified that the outcome may affect other candidates then the IQV employs responsible for notifying the appellant of the decision will also request that an investigation is launched to identify any candidates potentially affected and identify root causes. The outcome would then be continued through the IQV Investigation Policy & Procedure.

Outcomes of Independent Review

An independent review may result in:

  • The original decision being overturned in the appellant’s favour;
  • The original decision upheld.

The decisions and outcomes arrived by the independent review is final. Where the independent review overturns the original decision, it may also recommend further action to be taken by IQV.

Where the original decision is overturned in the appellant’s favour, IQV will also refund the applicable fee paid.

Monitoring and Evaluation of Appeals

As part of annual reports to the IQV Board, the MD will produce a statistical analysis of timescales taken, the number of decisions upheld, or overturned in the appellant’s favour, and summary of the results of all appeals, enquiries and complaints. IQV will publish these statistics annually.

Where appropriate, the report will summarise recommendations and revisions to any policies and procedures required as a result of this analysis.