Complaints procedure

The Education and Training Inspectorate (ETI) aims to provide an efficient and effective service guided by its principles, values and standards.

Working in partnership

During an inspection, the organisation has the opportunity to provide all of the evidence necessary for the inspection team to make its evaluations. In line with best practice, the ETI seeks to resolve any issues that may arise as soon as possible at the point of inspection. All organisations are encouraged to work in partnership with ETI during the inspection by raising any issues or concerns as quickly as possible with the Reporting Inspector so that they can work to resolve them.

Investigating a complaint

The ETI Complaints Procedure cannot be used to contest the professional evaluations of inspectors because: their findings are unwelcome; change is promised by the organisation at some time in the future; or because changes are made after an inspection.

All complaints to or about the ETI are investigated thoroughly, fairly and handled in confidence.

The ETI will investigate a complaint if it is:

a. an expression of dissatisfaction with an aspect of the work of the ETI;

b. a reference to action or lack of action by the ETI affecting an individual, group or organisation;

c. an allegation that the ETI has failed to observe its published procedures; or

d. an allegation that there has been unacceptable delay in dealing with a matter or about how an individual has been treated by the ETI.

Evidence based evaluations

The ETI has a statutory function and responsibility to make, and report publically on, evidence based evaluations. The ETI Complaints Procedure may also be used if you feel that an inspection finding, (evaluation, performance level or conclusion) was not based on the evidence available at the time of the inspection.  Should, as a result of investigating a formal complaint, ETI find that an inspection finding was not supported by evidence, appropriate and necessary action will be taken.

Making a complaint

Organisations or individuals can make a complaint at any stage during the inspection or up to 12 weeks from the visit or final oral report back at the conclusion of the inspection. If you are a teacher/lecturer/member of support staff/leader or chair of governors/management committee and you need to raise an issue/complaint about an inspection, please refer to the ETI Complaints Procedure.

Standards for complaint handling

The ETI Standards for Complaint Handling have been developed to conform to the government’s minimum standards for complaint handling by all departments, agencies and arms length bodies. These compliment ETI’s existing complaints procedure and provide a measure against which to assess the effectiveness of our arrangements for handling complaints. In line with these standards and as a self-reflective organisation, ETI reviews annually all complaints received to identify corporate learning and areas for development.

The ETI has a service standard to publish reports within 30 days of the final oral report back so that parents and guardians, the school and other stakeholders are informed in a timely manner. Consequently, the publication of an inspection report is not normally delayed by a complaint. This allows the organisation, and other key stakeholders, to focus their efforts on any reported areas for development in the best interest of the learners.

Inspection Services Team (IST)

An individual or organisation can also write to Inspection Services Team with a comment, an enquiry or a compliment.