Student support and complaints

All of our students can come to us if they have an issue or complaint with any aspect of education and training.  We have a dedicated team on hand to deal with any complaints, in confidence, to ensure our duty of care of you.

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Please click on the accordion tabs below to see more information on each section. 

Although we wish to provide the best experience possible for our students, from time-to-time you may feel dissatisfied with some aspect of your time with the Trust. We want to ensure that our students have a voice and an ability to express concerns about all aspects of our delivery, and ensure that any issue is dealt with promptly and fairly without risk of disadvantage or recrimination.

We aim to resolve any complaint quickly and informally in accordance with our Student Complaints Procedure .

Examples of complaints might include:

  • Failure by the Trust to meet its obligations including those outlined in the course/student handbooks or Student Charter
  • Misleading or incorrect information provided by the Trust in prospectuses or promotional material
  • Concerns about the delivery of a programme, teaching or administration
  • Poor quality facilities, learning resources or services provided directly by the Trust.

Complaint about your studies

If you have a concern or issue about your studies that you would like to discuss, you should contact your Course Lead or personal tutor in the first instance.  If your issue has not been resolved satisfactorily by your course lead or personal tutor, or you do not feel you are able to talk to them, please contact our DET Complaints Liaison Officer, Isabelle Bratt at detcomplaints@tavi-port.nhs.uk

Complaint about another service at the Trust

If you have a concern or issue in relation to another Trust service, you should raise this with a relevant member of Trust staff involved in the service or matter, providing relevant details of the complaint and any remedy sought. 

Complaint about staff

If you have a complaint about a member of staff, you should submit a formal complaint under our Student Complaints Procedure (see below). We may send your complaint to the Trust’s Human Resources department to be considered as a staffing matter in the first instance. Any formal investigation of your complaint by us will be suspended until the staffing matter is resolved, but we may make interim arrangements with you as deemed appropriate. 

Complaint about a student

For complaints involving an allegation of misconduct by a student or dissatisfaction about an outcome of the student conduct processes, see the Student Conduct Concerns Procedure.

Complaint about an admissions application

There is a separate, formal complaints process if you wish to raise a complaint or challenge about an admissions application at the Trust. Our Admissions Procedure can be read online. 

Academic appeals and complaints

For any issues or concerns related to decisions of assessment or examination boards or about academic progress, you should refer to the Academic Appeals Procedures.

Fitness to Practice

If your conduct raises formal concerns about your suitability for qualifying to practice, we will follow the Professional Suitability to Practice Procedure. This procedure is of relevance where training has clinical components, and the student, if successful will have a qualification that permits direct contact with patients. 

You can raise a concern or issue with a relevant member of staff, usually your Course Lead or personal tutor. This can be done face-to-face, via telephone, or in writing. We will try to resolve your concerns as quickly as possible. We keep a record of any informal complaints received so that we can respond to student feedback and continue to improve our processes and the student experience. 

If you are unsure who to write to, you can send your initial concerns to detcomplaints@tavi-port.nhs.uk and it will be redirected for you.

If you are not satisfied with the response that you have received or the outcome of your informal complaint, or where it is appropriate due to the nature of the complaint, then you can submit a formal complaint that will be independently reviewed by a senior member of the directorate. 

You will need to complete a Formal Student Complaint Form and send it to detcomplaints@tavi-port.nhs.uk or complete our online complaint form. Unfortunately, we do not accept anonymous complaints or complaint submitted by a third party, save for in exceptional circumstances. 

Once received, your complaint will be referred to a Complaint Investigator who will investigate the issues or concerns raised. This will include meeting with you, and any other person involved in the complaint. Formal complaints normally take around 6 – 8 weeks to be investigated at which point we will send you an outcome letter. 

More information about how your complaint will be considered is available in the Student Complaints Procedure. 

If you have received the outcome of your complaint and you remain dissatisfied with the outcome, you may be able to request an Internal Review. An Internal Review is not a re-investigation of your complaint, but can be requested for:

  • A review of the procedures that have previously been followed
  • Consideration of whether the outcome of the complaint investigation was reasonable in all the circumstances
  • Consideration of new material evidence that you were unable, for reasons beyond your control, to provide earlier in the process. 

To request an Internal Review, please complete the Internal Review Form and send it to detcomplaints@tavi-port.nhs.uk by the deadline provided to you. 

Once an Internal Review has been completed, you may be entitled to ask the Office of the Independent Adjudicator (OIA), the independent ombudsman service of last resort, to look at your complaint. This is only available to students on a validated course. 

Full details of the Internal Review procedure, and of the Office of the Independent Adjudicator, are provided in the Student Complaints Procedure and will be provided in writing at the completion of the formal complaint investigation.

We have a duty of care to our students, and wish to provide everyone with a safe, fair and comfortable training and education environment.

We are committed to challenging inequality and to establishing an environment that is free from any form of harassment or bullying. We have a zero tolerance approach to harassment and bullying and all students and employees are expected to be treated, and to treat each other, with dignity and respect regardless of:

  • age
  • disability
  • gender identity
  • marriage and civil partnership status
  • pregnancy and maternity
  • race, religion or belief
  • sexual orientation
  • socio-economic background
  • political beliefs and affiliations
  • family circumstances or other irrelevant distinction

We therefore have a student charter which expresses how we expect you as a student to behave, and what you can expect from us. All students at the Tavistock and Portman are expected to conduct themselves at all times in a manner that is not harmful to themselves or fellow students, to maintain a professional and courteous approach in their dealings with others and to comply with the law, both on site and on placement. 

If you have any concerns about the conduct of a fellow student, or feel bullied or harassed by a fellow student, please contact your course lead or personal tutor in the first instance. 

If a concern is raised about a student’s behaviour then we will follow the Student Conduct Concerns Procedure to investigate the concerns and, where necessary, take appropriate action. Students on programmes accredited by professional bodies should be aware that adverse conduct findings may affect their ability to register and practice in the future. 

The Directorate of Education and Training, as providers of training to NHS staff and other staff working in the Public Sector believe that our students should be informed and encouraged to adhere to the recommendations of the Francis Review and to ensure that they feel supported in developing the highest standards of practice. 

Our training aims to support the required cultural shift, enhancing our expertise in reflective practice to demonstrate that flagging up problems, risks and mistakes as they occur, and learning from them, will contribute to improving patient care. 

You will need to be aware of how the freedom to speak up relates to your own work settings. Once you start your studies with us, please take time to look at the Moodle page Governance for Trainees for more information.

Since December 2020, the Tavistock and Portman has been registered with the Office for Students (OfS), the regulator for Higher Education in the UK.  Read more about the OfS and its remit on its website.   

Under our registration with the OfS, one of our duties is to publish a Student Protection Plan: a document which aims to ensure that students can continue and complete their studies, or can be compensated if this is not possible.  The plan has been approved by the OfS, and it sets out what students can expect to happen should a course, campus, or institution close.

Read or download our Student Protection Plan for 2020-21 (PDF). 

The Student Protection Plan provides an assessment of the risks around delivery of our education programmes, and sets out actions which would be taken if there was a threat to the commencement or continuation of your studies. It describes how we would communicate with you and how you would be supported if any of the events described were to come about.

The measures contained in this plan are not intended to replace the protections which you are guaranteed under consumer protection law. Instead, they are in addition to these rights and protections

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Read our complaints procedure here

Tavistock and Portman Student Complaints Procedure