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The Office of the Independent Adjudicator (OIA) is an independent body that reviews student complaints and appeals. Before you complain to the OIA, you must first complete and exhaust the relevant internal University of Liverpool procedure(s). Once you have completed the internal process, you will receive a completion of procedures (COP) letter, which must be included in your complaint to the OIA. The COP letter will detail how to complain to the OIA and the deadline you need to complain by.  

What can you complain about? 

The OIA will consider complaints about: 

  • Academic appeals 

  • Mitigating circumstances 

  • Teaching and facilities 

  • Student accommodation 

  • Research supervision 

  • Welfare 

  • Discrimination – race, sex, disability, age, sexual orientation or religious belief 

  • Bullying and harassment 

  • Placements 

  • Maladministration 

  • Procedural irregularities 

  • Unfair practices 

  • Disciplinary matters, including plagiarism 

  • Fitness to practice processes 

To find out if you are eligible to complain, you can use the OIA’s flowchart.  

Making a complaint 

Once you have completed the University of Liverpool’s internal procedure(s) and received a completion of procedures letter, you must complain to the OIA within 12 months of the date on the letter. The OIA will not normally look at complaints where the main issue(s) complained about took place more than 3 years before the complaint is received. 

A Guild Advisor can support you in formulating your complaint.  

What happens next? 

The OIA will appoint a case-handler who will normally complete their review within 90 days. If your complaint is complex, it may take longer. The OIA will keep you updated throughout the process. 

Once the case-handler is satisfied that they have all the information they require, and there is no prospect that the complaint can be resolved without the need to issue a decision, they will send you a Complaint Outcome.  

The Complaint Outcome may be justified, partly justified or not justified.  

If the complaint was found to be justified or partly justified, the OIA may make recommendations to the University.  

Further information 

You may find it useful to read through the OIA’s guide to using the scheme.  

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