Arrangements for Considering Appeals and Complaints concerning AIM Qualifications and Units of AIM Qualifications


This document sets out procedures for considering appeals and complaints about AIM Qualifications and units of AIM Qualifications.  Issues of malpractice are addressed in the document titled ‘Guidelines and Arrangements for dealing with Suspected Malpractice with reference to AIM Qualifications and Units of AIM Qualifications’.

Appeals and Complaints

This procedure is intended to ensure that any appeals or complaints received by Discipling The Nations College and/or AIM are dealt with quickly, fairly and effectively.  Discipling The Nations College aims to resolve appeals and complaints promptly.  However, these matters can be complex and may require scrutiny of extensive documentation.  Discipling The Nations Academy and AIM will aim to reach its final conclusion within three months of receiving the written appeal or complaint.

The Appeals/Complaints procedure may be used to:

    • Appeal by a student against an internal assessment decision.
    • Appeal against the outcome of an investigation into suspected malpractice.
    • Appeal by a student against the decision to decline his/her request for reasonable adjustment arrangements.
    • Enquiry or Appeal by a student concerning external assessment results.

Applications to appeal against results of external assessment should be made as soon as possible after the assessment concerned and, at the latest, within four weeks of the student receiving notification of results.

Appeals on the outcomes of Internal Assessment should be made as soon as possible following the assessment decision. Any further appeals to AIM should then be made within four weeks of the learner receiving the outcomes of Discipling The Nations College’s Appeal Process.

Discipling The Nations College will consider appeals or complaints from individual students or their advocates, groups of students or their representatives


The following procedure will be used when an appeal or complaint is made to Discipling The Nations Academy concerning AIM Qualifications and Units of AIM Qualifications. An appeal or complaint will normally be made in writing although, where this presents difficulty, other means of communicating will be accepted.

Stage 1

The appeal/complaint will be made to the relevant lecturer, either verbally or in writing, and will be logged by the lecturer on the relevant form (appeals/complaints form).  The relevant lecturer will respond to the appeal/complaint as soon as possible, or within 2 days of the appeal/complaint being made.  This will be verbally or in writing and will be logged by the lecturer on the relevant form (appeals/complaints form).  If the appellant/complainant should follow an alternative complaints/appeals procedure, the matter will be referred as appropriate

Stage 2

The Director of Discipling The Nations College or Representative will acknowledge the appeal or complaint within five working days of receipt. S/he will also determine whether the matter falls within the scope of Discipling The Nations Academies remit or AIM’s remit as outlined above. The Discipling The Nations Academy Director or Representative will write to the appellant/complainant explaining what actions will be taken and giving the reasons why that course of action has been taken.  If the appellant/complainant should follow an alternative complaints/appeals procedure, the matter will be referred as appropriate.

Stage 3

Within 15 working days the Chief Executive of AIM or Representative will seek:

    1. Relevant information and documentation from both the appellant/complainant and any other parties, for example, AIM, Moderator, External Assessor.
    2. Within 10 working days of receiving the full documentation, the Chief Executive or Representative will consider whether the evidence presented is sufficient to reach a decision. If it is not, further documentation may be requested from relevant parties, or further clarification from the complainant/appellant.
    3. Once the Chief Executive or Representative is satisfied that all relevant documentation is present, s/he shall reach an initial conclusion on the matter and write to the complainant/appellant, providing a judgement on each point raised and referencing this judgement with relevant evidence. The initial conclusions will, if appropriate, identify any recommendation or implications of the outcome.
    4. The appellant/complainant will be invited to comment on the factual accuracy of AIM’s initial conclusion within 10 working days.
    5. The Chief Executive or Representative will consider any additional information provided before reaching a final conclusion.  A final conclusion will be confirmed to the appellant/complainant within 10 working days.

Independent review

If the appeal is unresolved or if the appellant/complainant is dissatisfied with the decision s/he may request that the appeal or complaint be referred to the Chair of AIM Board of Trustees for review.  The AIM chair will undertake the review with two independent1 members. The AIM Chair will respond within ten working days.  The decision of the AIM Chair is final but centres or candidates are entitled to complain to the qualification’s regulators.

Outcomes of an Appeal

Where the outcome of an appeal against an assessment decision is such as to bring into question the accuracy or results of other learners in the same assessment, AIM will take appropriate steps to protect the interests of all learners and the integrity of the qualification.

AIM will report annually to the AIM Board of Trustees on the operation of its appeals and complaints arrangements (including enquiries related to appeals or complaints). This Report will cover the number and nature of enquiries and appeals submitted and their outcomes. Relevant records and data will be shared with the Qualification authorities on request.