Complaints from Members of the General Public

Any member of the general public may submit a complaint to the University. This includes former students and parents of a student, whether or not you live in Portsmouth.

If your complaint is about students in your community you should contact the Student and Neighbourhood Liaison Service directly by telephoning +4423 9284 3214 or emailing We have a firm commitment to solving this type of complaint through goodwill and co-operation.

Making a complaint

If your complaint relates to something the University has or has not done you may submit a complaint by emailing You need  to  make your  complaint as soon as reasonably possible, and no later than 20  working days  from when  the  matter  you  are  complaining  about  happened. We will discuss your complaint with you and can contact members of staff informally to try to resolve your concerns. 

You should include:

  • the background to your complaint
  • details of any informal attempts you have already made at resolving the complaint and details of the member of staff with whom you discussed the matter
  • why any outcomes of the informal attempts are not satisfactory
  • the desired outcome of your complaint

If you are not happy with the result of this process you can request a formal investigation. We'll decide whether an investigation is required based on your evidence. If we believe that you haven't exhausted the informal complaints procedure or that there are no grounds to overturn the outcome of your informal complaint, we may decide not to investigate your complaint. If we decide not to investigate, you will be told within 10 working days of the receipt of your complaint.

Investigating your complaint

If we decide that an investigation is needed, we will decide what format that investigation should take. In most cases and if the issues are straightforward, the Complaints team will investigate your complaint and respond, usually within 10 working days of your request for a formal investigation. 

If we decide that a more detailed investigation is necessary, the investigation will be carried out by an appropriate individual. This will be completed within 30 working days once your complaint is referred to that individual. You will be invited to discuss your complaint with that individual, either in person or virtually. 

You will receive a written report of findings after the investigation, which may include recommended actions to resolve your complaint. The decision of the individual carrying out the investigation is final.

If the report contains actions for the University a member of staff will be selected to look at the recommendations and decide whether to follow those recommendsation or to take other actions to remedy the complaint. They will do this within 10 working days of receiving the report. You will be sent a letter outlining the decision and this will close the complaint.

We will pay reasonable expenses incurred in making the complaint of up to £50. This could include travel costs to attend an interview about the complaint. You will need to provide receipts as evidence of the costs.

Withdrawing your formal complaint

You may withdraw your formal complaint at any time by contacting the individual investigating your complaint. This will close your complaint.


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