Do you have a suggestion or a complaint?
If you notice that a particular aspect of the educational organization’s service is not functioning adequately, you can choose to either make a report or to submit an official complaint.
Reports and suggestions
If you wish to make a report on the content of an educational component you can do so during an educational evaluation. If you have a suggestion for VUmc School of Medical Sciences (SMS) regarding the educational organization and logistical process, you can e-mail this to email@example.com. You will receive an acknowledgement of receipt. In principle, we will not provide feedback on reports or suggestions. We will discuss your report or suggestion and take it into consideration. If we have any questions about your suggestion or report then we will certainly get back to you.
If you wish to submit a complaint, you can do so at the VUmc School of Medical Sciences complaints desk. This desk is for students who have an individual complaint about the behaviour of IOO (Institute for Education and Training) staff members or teaching staff, or a complaint related to failure to keep an agreement, failure to comply with a code of conduct, unfair treatment and suchlike. In other words the complaint must concern certain behaviour towards the student. You cannot submit a complaint to the VUmc School of Medical Sciences complaints desk concerning a general VU University Amsterdam regulation or about the contents of educational components. If you have a complaint about the implementation of a general VU University Amsterdam regulation then you can submit this to the student ombudsman.
If you are confronted with intimidating, aggressive or discriminatory behaviour or sexual harassment by staff members or other students, you should see a confidential adviser.
How does the complaints procedure work?
If you wish to submit a complaint you are expected to follow a certain procedure. The first two steps of a complaint are informal in nature. The complaint is formalized in step 3.
We recommend that you first discuss the complaint with the involved party (lecturer, mentor, support staff member, etc.). This is the preferred way to resolve a complaint. Complaints are often based on insufficient communication or mutual misunderstandings.
If you are unsure whether to make a complaint or you are nervous about approaching the involved person then your student counsellor may be able to help you with this. You can make an appointment with a student advisors via the desk, or send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you are sure you want to submit a complaint you can send an e-mail to email@example.com.
Make sure you include the following information in your e-mail:
- your name and address, student number and academic year;
- a telephone number where you can be contacted;
- the date;
- a clear description of the behaviour and/or the individual about whom you wish to submit a complaint;
- a report of the results of any actions taken under step 1.
You will receive an acknowledgement of receipt within three working days.
All complaints are treated as confidential. The complaint will be passed on to the head of the relevant department. The person who receives the complaint will treat it with all due care. Within twenty working days you will receive a written response or an invitation to a face-to-face or telephone meeting.
If you have a meeting, the person with whom you meet will provide a meeting report to you within ten working days. You will then have the opportunity to respond to this report: does it provide an adequate summary of the meeting in your opinion? So in any case, you will always receive some form of personal response.
It may be that you consider your complaint adequately resolved on the basis of the response you received or the meeting you had. If this is not the case then you can continue to submit a ‘formal complaint’. This does not imply that your complaint in step 2 was not official, but that the complaint is to be forwarded to a more superior staff member.
If the above mentioned steps failed to adequately resolve your complaint, you can submit a ‘formal complaint’ to the programme director of VUmc School of Medical Sciences. If the complaint concerns a director of studies then you can submit it to the director of the Institute for Education and Training. A term of twenty working days applies to the processing of complaints to the VUmc School of Medical Sciences programme director.
In this case too, you will be contacted personally and you will receive a report of the meeting. Your complaint will be treated as confidential. Should you decide to submit a formal complaint to the director or programme director, then you are asked to include all relevant correspondence and appendices from steps 1 and 2 with your complaint. The contact details of the director or programme director are available via firstname.lastname@example.org.
No obligation to process complaints
- VUmc School of Medical Sciences is not obliged to process a complaint if the reason for the complaint took place more than one year ago; or
- the complaint has been submitted before, when it was successfully resolved; or
VUmc School of Medical Sciences is not the competent body to decide on this complaint.