Complaints and Appeals Policy


Last reviewed: April 2024

Thrive Approach is committed to ensuring that its practices are fair and transparent, conducted according to agreed policies and procedures. Thrive Approach has adopted the following appeals and complaints policy. No delegate, apprentice, applicant or candidate shall be prejudiced or disadvantaged by using this policy.
This document is for the use of: 
  • Delegates, Candidates, Trainees and Apprentices 
  • Parents, guardians and/or carers on behalf of students under the age of 18 or vulnerable adults 
  • Suppliers 
  • Employers’ criticality 



A complaint is defined as: 

Any expression of dissatisfaction with the Thrive Approach, with a member of staff, or with a Thrive Approach  Associate or Partner that requires a formal response. 

A complaint may be about: 

  • The administration of an application 
  • The training and support received whilst on the programme 
  • The assessment processes 
  • A perception that a Thrive Approach or national policy or relevant legal requirement has not been correctly implemented or adhered to when dealing with an application or candidate. 

It is important to establish the difference between a concern (an informal complaint) and a complaint. Taking informal concerns seriously at the earliest stage reduces the likelihood of them developing into formal complaints. 

Concerns should be raised with a member of staff or their manager as soon as possible, so they can quickly understand your concerns and try to put things right. 

If the response to the concern if not satisfactory, a formal complaint can be made using the procedure below. 



An appeal is defined as:

  • A request for reconsideration of a decision to reject an application or remove (withdraw) a candidate from a programme. Should a rejected applicant or a withdrawn candidate consider that either: 
    • Thrive Approach has not adhered to its own policies or procedures or is in breach of any national policies or relevant legal requirements: or
    • There is evidence of bias or prejudice against the applicant/candidate 
    • With regards to apprenticeships, a request for reconsideration of a ‘Not Met’ outcome of summative assessment based on the view of the candidate that either: 
      • Thrive Approach has not adhered to its own marking policy or process
      • the mark scheme has not been correctly applied
      • there is evidence of bias or prejudice against the applicant/candidate 


      How to make a complaint/appeal 

      If the complainant is an employer, please discuss the matter with one of the following: 

      • The apprentice’s Tutor 
      • The Head of Operations 

      An applicant/candidate/ apprentice wishing to lodge a complaint or appeal should email or write to: 

      Kate Middleton, Member Services Manager.


      Thrive Approach
      The Quadrangle
      1 Seale Hayne
      Newton Abbot
      TQ12 6NQ 

      Complaints or appeals will only be considered from the applicant/ candidate/ apprentice concerned and not from any third party unless under the age of 18 or a vulnerable adult. 

      An applicant/candidate wishing to make a complaint should do so within 21 days of the matter with which the complaint is concerned following unsatisfactory resolution of their concerns. 

      An applicant/candidate wishing to lodge an appeal should do so within 21 days of the date of the communication, informing them of the decision on their application/withdrawal. 



      Customer complaints and appeals must be brought immediately to the attention of the Member Services Manager and the Head of Operations. 

      Once the Member Services Manager is aware of the complaint or appeal, they shall: 

      • Add details of the complaint or appeal to the Thrive Approach Complaints/ Appeals Log 
      • Acknowledge the complaint or appeal to the sender in writing within 24 hours of receipt - giving an indication of how long an investigation into the complaint will take 
      • Investigate the complaint or appeal 
      • Keep the complainant/ individual appealing and Head of Operations up to date with progress throughout the process 
      • Communicate the outcome of the complaint or appeal to the complainant/ individual appealing and the Head of Operations 

      If the complaint has occurred due to a Thrive Approach error, supplier error or poor service, the matter is brought to the attention of the Head of Operations who will decide upon the appropriate action. 

      Thrive Approach will investigate the complaint or review an appeal and aim to take any necessary action to resolve the situation within 20 working days. If this is not going to be possible, the reason for the delay, along with an appropriate target date for resolution must be provided to the complainant or individual appealing. 

      The complainant/ individual appealing has a further right of appeal to Managing Director should they still feel that the problem has not been dealt with satisfactorily. 

      Complaints, appeals, and customer feedback are included in monthly programme reports and reviewed at senior management level also monthly. 

      Any training needs that are highlighted because of complaints or appeals are addressed immediately.

      The escalation route of complaints/ appeals is summarised in the figure below -

      Escalation route for complaints and appeals


      Outcomes of complaints/appeals


      The investigation of a complaint will result in either the complaint being rejected or upheld wholly or in part. Should a complaint be rejected, the applicant or candidate will be informed accordingly with a statement as to why the complaint has been rejected. 

      If the investigation determines that the complaint be upheld in whole or in part, an apology will be issued to the applicant/candidate/apprentice. Should the findings suggest that changes to procedures or policies are appropriate; this will be stated in any correspondence to the applicant. 


      Should the investigation establish that a decision to reject or withdraw, or an assessment outcome of ‘not met’ was made in breach of any Thrive Approach policy or procedure, any national policy or law, or if there is evidence of bias or prejudice against the applicant, or incorrect application of the mark scheme, the application/ candidate’s place or outcome will be reconsidered. 

      Should the reconsideration result in a decision to admit the applicant/ re-engage the candidate (subject to any conditions being met), but at such a time in the cycle that the original entry point is not possible, a suitable alternative entry point will be offered. 

      Should the investigation determine that the original decision be upheld, the applicant/candidate will be informed accordingly with a statement as to why the appeal has been rejected. 


      Further consideration and escalation 

      Should an applicant or trainee be dissatisfied with the outcome of an appeal or complaint, they can escalate the issue by writing to the Head of Operations stating the reasons for their dissatisfaction and the outcome they were seeking. The Head of Operations, in conjunction with the Managing Director, will investigate the appeal or complaint. 

      The decision of the Head of Operations and the Managing Director is final. Once this decision has been communicated to the applicant, no further correspondence will be entered into regarding this application/ withdrawal from the programme. 

      For Apprentices and Employers, Thrive Approach hope that once all stages of the complaint process have been exhausted, we will have satisfactorily resolved any complaints. On some occasions this may not be the case and if the complainant is still not satisfied with the resolution offered they may correspond with an external agency, a government funding agency or an awarding organisation but in general external agencies would look to Thrive Approach to complete internal processes and seek a satisfactory resolution to the issue in the first instance. 

      This will be the final route of escalation within our company. Therefore, if you remain unhappy after following our own internal complaints procedure and your complaint refers to services you have received relating to your course and achieving your qualification then please contact the Awarding Organisation directly.


      Awarding Organisations and Support Services 

      Should you address your complaint to the Awarding Organisation and remain unhappy with the outcome you may then raise your complaint to the relevant qualification regulator. Either a representative of Thrive Approach or Awarding Organisations will be able to offer you guidance on the appropriate qualification regulator in each instance and provide contact details.

      Complaints and appeals policy can be located on their website: 
      Alternatively, please speak to the Ncfe on 0191 239 8000. 

      ESFA (Education and Skills Funding Agency) Apprenticeship Service Support 
      08000 150 600

      Responsible for inspecting Apprenticeships up to Level 7