My Complaint Is Justified

Congratulations! Only a very small percentage of people who go to the OIA have their complaint fully upheld. This is indeed a major victory!

You may now decide that you have achieved the result that you set out to achieve, and that you are completely satisfied with the result that you got. Not many people enjoy such an outcome however. Without wishing to "rain on your parade", we know that, even with the most successful outcome from the OIA, many students (or former students), are simply left feeling bewildered that what they just achieved is lauded by the OIA as a "success". Our motto is this: if it doesn't look like one, and it doesn't feel like one, then it isn't one!

You are in perhaps the most difficult position at this juncture. Those who have lost their case, or at least have only had their case partly upheld, are at least sure that they must keep on fighting, whereas you are most probably bewildered at the resolution that the OIA have offered you. So, you must ask yourself whether you have the emotional strength to keep on fighting, and whether there is a likelihood of your continuing struggle bearing more fruit.

If the answer to both of the above is "yes", then you will need to consider your options for moving forward onto the next stage.

After The Fact

So, Your university has attacked you. Now what? You will certainly be upset, disorientated and angry. You might also be isolated, discredited, psychologically injured, financially disadvantaged, and a host of other things besides! Listen carefully!!! ...

What Do I Need To Do?

First, decide what stage you are at:

1.  It's only just happened, I don't know what to do, or where to turn!
Stay calm...
You are not alone! We have extensive experience of what you are going through. Firstly, remember that this is probably not your fault. Secondly, remember that whatever happens from this point forward, your physical and mental health are the two most important things to maintain. Take some time to carefully evaluate the situation. Use the information in our flowchart to help you to explore your options.
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2.  I've complained to my university, but I'm still not satisfied!
Your university has procedures which it MUST follow, in order to handle your case fairly. The first stage is usually to make an informal oral complaint, if the problem is not too serious. Your university may not even recognise this as part of their complaints process, so it is important to ask for the complaints procedure documentation right from the start. If your complaint is more serious, then the first stage will almost certainly involve a written complaint. In that case, your university must recognise your complaint as a formal complaint. Universities usually consider complaints at two formal stages, stage 1 and stage 2. The "Complaints Procedures" for your own university will explain how the university will deal with your complaint at each stage. On completion of a stage, your university should decide if they accept the merits of your complaint, and if so, should offer you a remedy for your complaint. They should also explain what further action is available to you, should you be unhappy with their findings. It is at this point that you need to decide whether to accept their findings and the remedy, or to move to the next stage. Each stage will have an increasing level of formality. Once all the stages available to you at the university are exhausted, the university MUST issue you a document called "Completion of Procedures". This will be written letter or form, and will indicate clearly that it is the "Completion of Procedures" document.
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3.  I've completed complaining to my university, and have a completion of procedures letter.
If you have your "Completion of Procedures" letter, you have probably been advised that if you are still not satisfied, then you must take your case to the OIA. You may have been given a leaflet which serves as a sort of idiot's guide to the OIA, and by this time, you may be tempted to believe that you still have a good chance at resolution of your complaint. Unfortunately, the OIA's statistics tell a totally diffent story!
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4.  I've sent my complaint to the OIA, What happens next?
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5.  The OIA have issued a Draft Decision. I'm still not satisfied.
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6.  The OIA have issued their Formal Decision. I'm still not satisfied
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7.  I've spoken to a lawyer/solicitor/legal advisor, instead of going to the OIA.
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8.  I've spoken to a lawyer/solicitor/legal advisor, and I've also complained to the OIA
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