We expect to set the highest standards in all we do. We aim to learn from our mistakes and use the information we gain to improve our processes.
You must bring your complaint or concern to us within six months of the issue occurring. This is to avoid information being lost and ensure you can speak to the relevant member of staff.
We have set ourselves time constraints to deal with complaints and we expect to achieve those unless your complaint is complex and requires additional time to carry out a thorough investigation.
Our pledge to you is that we will be fair and reasonable in our dealings with you. We do ask that you are patient and courteous with us as we handle your complaint.
Having a good outcome for all concerned is important to us. Where possible we like to deal with things informally and straight away.
If you have concerns, then it is best to make us aware as quickly as possible so that we can try to address the issues. You should first give us a chance to respond to your query. If you are not happy with our response, you will be able to make your concern known as we describe below.
If possible, we believe it’s best to deal with things straight away rather than try to sort them out later. If you have a concern, raise it first with the person you’re dealing with. They will try to resolve it for you there and then.
If there are any lessons to learn from addressing your concern, then the member of staff will draw them to our attention. If the member of staff can’t help, they will explain why, refer the matter where appropriate and if you remain unsatisfied with the outcome you can then ask for a formal investigation.
If you wish to raise a formal complaint, you can find the information you need in our Corporate Complaints Policy.
Please note that this policy does not cover the following which are dealt with in a different way:
- complaints concerning decisions made by Qualifications Wales in its role as a regulator - this is explained in our Regulatory Appeals Policy
- complaints concerning a decision we have made to withdraw recognition from an awarding body - see our Regulatory Appeals Policy for more information
- complaints about awarding bodies - if a complaint about one of our regulated awarding bodies has been considered by them, but has not been resolved, then we will be able to consider it please see below
- complaints about a decision we have made relating to the offer or award of a contract - please contact the Head of Procurement on email@example.com
If you believe your complaint hasn’t been dealt with adequately or properly, there are other opportunities to take your concern further which we will advise you about when we write to you with a decision on your formal complaint.
Complaining about an awarding body
Complaints about exam results
You can challenge the result of an exam or qualification if you think it’s wrong.
Approved GCSE, AS and A level and Welsh Baccalaureate Skills Challenge Certificates
If you believe an error persists after a centre review has been completed, ask your school or college to contact WJEC to submit an appeal of your result(s). Private candidates should contact the centre that entered them for the qualification.
You have a limited time to challenge results, so it’s important to act quickly. Check with WJEC to find out the deadline for submitting an appeal.
If your result affects your university place, it’s important to make this clear to WJEC, so the appeal can be dealt with quickly.
If you remain unsatisfied following an appeal, you can ask us for an Exam Procedures Review Service (EPRS) for a review of whether the awarding body complied with our requirements and their own policies and procedures in handling the appeal.
The EPRS will not review whether a school or college has complied with its own policies and procedures or those set by WJEC for it to follow – this takes place at Stage 2 of the appeals process by WJEC. The EPRS will also not review the accuracy of the grading decision and will not change any grades.
All other qualifications
You should contact the awarding body directly to challenge the result.
If your result affects your university place, you should make this clear so that your appeal can be dealt with quickly.
If you think the awarding body hasn’t followed the appeals procedure consistently, fairly and properly, you can complain to Qualifications Wales. We will consider whether the awarding body has followed the right procedure, but we cannot change your result.
If you are taking a GCSE, AS or A level offered by AQA, Eduqas, Pearson or OCR you can submit an application to Ofqual’s EPRS process which can be found on their website.
Complaints about something else
For complaints about the service you've received from an awarding body, the decisions they have made, or anything else. You should complain to the awarding body first and give them the opportunity to put things right.
We can only investigate complaints that have been through the awarding body’s own complaints process, unless there are 'exceptional circumstances'.
If you tried to complain to the awarding body, but it refused to consider your complaint or won’t progress it to the next stage of the complaints procedure, this might count as 'exceptional circumstances'.
Another example might be a conflict of interests which casts doubt on the awarding body’s ability to investigate properly.
You can find further guidance on making a complaint to the awarding body here.
Submitting a complaint about an awarding body
We can accept complaints about how qualifications are designed, assessed, awarded and certificated, and about an awarding body’s failure to comply with our regulatory requirements.
The complaint must also be about a qualification which is assessed in Wales, or which is assessed elsewhere but the issues could affect learners in Wales.
We won’t be able to deal with your complaint if:
- you are complaining about something that happened more than 12 months ago
- we have already dealt with a complaint about the issue
- there are ongoing legal proceedings relating to your complaint
Our ‘Complaints about Awarding Bodies Policy’ tells you more about how we will consider your complaint.
If the awarding body is not regulated by Qualifications Wales
If the body or qualification is not regulated in the UK, you should raise your concerns with your training provider.
If you work for a school, college, training centre or an awarding body, you may come across wrongdoing in relation to qualifications and assessments. We strongly encourage you to tell someone about your concerns.
Most people speak to their employer first, but not everyone feels able to do this.
If you work for a school, college or training centre
If you don’t want to raise concerns with your employer, you should tell the awarding body that offers the qualification. The awarding body should investigate and tell us about any issues that could affect learners, standards or public confidence in Wales.
If you work for an awarding body
We encourage you to tell us if you have concerns about an awarding body - we can consider disclosures about:
- the design, assessment, award or certification of regulated qualifications
- an awarding body’s failure to comply with our requirements, including malpractice, maladministration, conflicts of interest and incident reporting.
We cannot consider disclosures about:
- qualifications that are not assessed in Wales or issues that do not affect Welsh learners
- matters that happened more than 12 months ago.
More information on how we will handle your whistleblowing disclosure can be found in our Regulatory Whistleblowing Policy
Whistleblowing disclosures about Qualifications Wales
As public servants, we set the highest standards for ourselves and for the services we deliver, not only in terms of what we do, but also how we do it.
We are expected to work with integrity, honesty and objectivity, and to be impartial and ethical. If you suspect that these standards are not being met, we encourage you to tell us about your concerns.
To make a whistleblowing disclosure about any individual or individual working at Qualifications Wales, please outline your concerns in writing and email it to firstname.lastname@example.org
If you have a query about any part of our complaints process, please contact the Head of Corporate Governance on 01633 373296 or via the above email address.