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1. Introduction

This document outlines Kaplan Professional Awards (KPAs) Appeals process. It sets out the process you should follow when submitting appeals to us and the process we will follow when responding to appeals.

KPA is regulated by Ofqual, and this policy is aligned to Condition I1 and I2 from Ofqual’s Handbook on General Conditions of Recognition.

1.1 Purpose and scope

The purpose of this document is to inform all KPA stakeholders on our appeals process, and includes appeals from:

  • candidates and/or centres in relation to an assessment decision on the basis that we did not apply procedures consistently or that procedures were not followed properly and fairly, examples being (this list is not exhaustive):
    • Procedural or organisational irregularities in the conduct of an assessment.
    • The assessment did not follow the assessment plan for the unit.
    • Misleading information in relation to the assessment has been given.
    • Insufficient or inappropriate instructions or guidance has been provided.
    • Insufficient opportunity to be able to demonstrate knowledge / skills or competence has been provided.
  • centres in relation to a KPA decision concerning a centre’s application to offer a KPA qualification.
  • centres concerning the content of a centre monitoring report.
  • centres and/or candidates relating to a KPA decision to decline a centre's request to make reasonable adjustments or give special considerations.
  • centres or candidates relating any action to be taken against a candidate or a Centre following an investigation into malpractice or maladministration.
  • centres relating to a decision made by KPA following an investigation to a complaint against a centre.

1.2 Out of Scope

Marking Judgement

The appeals policy does not cover making judgements about candidates’ work in the examination and an appeal will not involve re-marking or re-assessment of a candidate’s work, although further re-marking might be ordered as a result of an appeal if it is found that procedures have not been satisfactorily followed.

Where an outcome of an appeal brings into question the accuracy of the grades awarded to other candidates in the same assessment, KPA will take the necessary steps to protect their interest.

Note: Should an appeal be submitted which is in fact an enquiry or a complaint, we will advise the relevant party that the issue is being considered, as such in accordance with the relevant KPA policy or procedure.

Centre’s Responsibility

This policy does not supersede a centre’s own internal appeal arrangements which they must have in place for their candidates to access for appeals against a decision taken by the centre. If an individual wishes to appeal against a decision taken by a centre it must first of all go through the centre’s appeals process before bringing the matter to KPA.

1.3 Before making an appeal

Appeals relating to the decisions or actions of a KPA centre

Where the assessment is centre assessed, candidates who wish to appeal their assessment results or a related decision should be supported by their centre and should have exhausted their centre’s own appeals process before appealing to us. Candidates must provide us with evidence that they have first appealed to their centre. It is expected that candidates will only appeal directly to us in exceptional circumstances.

A fee per candidate is charged upon submission for each stage, this fee will be refunded where the outcome is upheld in favour of the appellant.

Appeals relating to KPA decisions

If a centre wishes to appeal a decision made by KPA in relation to the result of a malpractice/maladministration investigation, centre monitoring or KPA administration arrangements must do so in line with this policy.

A fee is charged upon submission for each stage, this fee will be refunded where the outcome is upheld in favour of the appellant.

1.4 Confidentiality

Information provided by candidates or stakeholders under this policy will be treated as confidential, and only be shared with the persons necessary when considering the claim/request.

1.5 Review of this policy

This policy will be monitored by Kaplan Professional Awards (KPA) and any necessary amendments will be made and implemented at the earliest opportunity. As a minimum, KPA will review this and all associated policies on an annual basis as part of its ongoing quality assurance procedures.

2. Making an appeal

Appellants have 15 working days, from receipt of the decision, in which to submit an appeal and pay the initial review fee. The appeal must be made using the KPA Appeals form, and clearly outlines the grounds on which the appeal is being submitted. The Appeal form is attached as Appendix A.

Centres appealing on behalf of their candidates must obtain written permission from their candidates before doing so.

2.1 Handling appeals

KPA will acknowledge receipt of the appeal within 48 hours.

For appeals relating to a KPA set assessment, appeal panels are held one month after the date of results release, and the outcome will be communicated to you within 3 working days of the panel being held.

For appeals relating to a centre set assessment, the outcome will be communicated to appellants within 15 working days of receipt of the appeal.

Following the review of the appeal, KPA will write to the appellant with details of the decision to either:

  • Amend the original decision in light of the new rationale/evidence being put forward which has been reviewed.
  • To confirm KPA stands by the original decision and in doing so the rationale for this decision. KPA will also request that it is confirmed, in writing within 14 days, whether the appellant now accepts this decision or if they wish to proceed to the independent review appeals process.

2.2 Independent Review

If the appellant is not satisfied with the decision following the initial appeal and wants to proceed to the next appeal stage, KPA will arrange for an independent review to be carried out. All independent reviews will incur an additional fee upon submission.

Where the outcome of the review is upheld and in favour of the appellant, KPA will refund the fee in full.

The independent reviewer must meet the following criteria:

  • They will not be employees of KPA.
  • They must have the relevant competence to make a decision in relation to the appeal.
  • They must not have a personal interest in the decision being appealed.

The independent reviewer will review all the evidence from the previous review stages and review whether KPA have applied the procedures fairly, appropriately and consistently in line with the KPA policy and procedures.

The independent review process may involve:

  • A discussion with the appellant and KPA personnel.
  • A request for further information from the appellant or KPA personnel.
  • A centre visit.

The Independent Reviewer's decision is final in relation to how KPA will consider such appeals and KPA will inform the appellant of the outcome of the review within 14 days of receipt of the independent appeal. However, in some cases the process may take longer and in these instances KPA will contact all concerned and inform them of the revised timescale.

3. Taking an appeal further

If the centre and/or candidate is still unhappy with the outcome, they are entitled to raise the matter with the relevant regulatory authority for the qualification. Each of these organisations will have a formal procedure in place to handle appeals.

4. Successful Appeals and/or Issues brought to our Attention by a Regulator

If any part of an appeal is upheld we will give due regard to the outcome (as part of our review process) and determine how best we can improve our service and/or processes. In particular, we will review our procedures to assess the impact on our product development, delivery or awarding arrangements and assessment process as appropriate.

In situations where the outcome of an appeal or a notification from the regulators indicates a failure in our processes, we will give due consideration to the outcome and we will take all reasonable steps to:

  • Identify any other candidate and/or centre that may have been affected by that failure,
  • Correct or, where it cannot be corrected, mitigate as far as possible the effect of the failure,
  • Ensure that the failure does not reoccur in the future.

5. Charges

There will be a charge of £55 for the submission of an appeal to each of stages 1 (initial review) and 2 (the independent review), plus any additional expenses that may be incurred during the independent review in seeking the opinion of professional experts. These charges will be refunded in full if the appeal is upheld.