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Appeals procedure

Appeals procedure and possible grounds

VQAC has an obligation to advise you about the procedure and grounds on which you can make an appeal, and to allow all relevant records of appeals to be inspected by its management panel and by the external verifier of the awarding organisations.

If you are unhappy with any aspect of your assessment, you should discuss this initially with your assessor or contact the VQAC Centre Manager.

We aim to solve all problems at this level. If not, you should contact the VQAC Centre Manager to advise that you wish to make an appeal and you must submit your appeal in writing. The appeals procedure has been illustrated on the following page.

Appeals should be made within six weeks of the date that you first raised the issue with the VQAC Centre Manager.

The grounds on which you can appeal are based on the contravention of any of the criteria for the assessment centre’s approval and where this has resulted in you being treated unfairly.

Here are some examples of grounds for an appeal:

  • Administrative shortcomings - for example, inaccuracy in recording your progress or unreasonable delays
  • Inadequate resources - for example, inappropriate or insufficient physical resources, or inexperienced and unqualified staff
  • Shortcomings in the conduct of assessment - for example, non-availability of alternative assessment methods or the use of extraneous criteria by your assessor
  • Barriers to access - for example, the imposition of unreasonable requirements as a precondition to assessment
  • Lack of equal opportunities - for example, discrimination against your age, gender, race or creed, or other contraventions of the OU’s equal opportunities policy
  • If you feel that your assessor has made an unfair judgment or decision about your competence or evidence, you must give clear information about this and relate it to the published standards or the assessment process.

If your appeal is forwarded to the panel of the awarding body, their decision will be final. You will receive notification of any decisions from the VQAC.

Appeal outcomes

Appeal upheld

If your appeal is upheld at any stage during its hearing, you will receive a written apology from the centre and, if appropriate, your assessment record will be amended. You may be given opportunities for further assessment at no additional cost. Lessons learnt from the decisions will be immediately notified to other assessors and verifiers of the centre to prevent similar errors from occurring.

If your appeal was on the grounds of discrimination, you will receive a written apology and the situation will be immediately rectified to ensure that you have fair access to your chosen vocational qualification. As appropriate, staff will receive a full briefing on the issues, and receive any additional training required to ensure they are fully conversant and supportive of the equal opportunities policy.

Appeal not upheld

If your appeal is not upheld, you will receive written notice of this with the reason for the decision. The external quality assurer will be provided with all the relevant documentation on your appeal and may review the case as part of his/her monitoring procedures on the centre. This will not normally involve conducting re-assessments or speaking with you.


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