Complaints Appeal Procedure
The 2012 recruitment and selection process to 2012 Mersey Deanery specialty and GP training aims to be legal, fair, transparent and free from discrimination. Final decisions will be made in accordance with relevant Deanery and national policies, employment legislation and statutory procedures.
Your privacy and confidentiality will be respected, balanced with the need for an open and fair investigation and for the outcome of the investigation to be reported appropriately. Your complaint will need to be shared with others who have been involved with the recruitment and selection process, e.g. Deanery staff lead employer and interview panel members. The intention is both to protect your privacy and to protect those involved with the complaints.
Responsibility for employment rests with the relevant Lead Employer. Whilst the Lead Employer is involved in the selection process and has agreed to its use for appointing trainees who will become employees in its health organisation, It has delegated responsibility from the Postgraduate Dean and is accountable for the selection process itself in accordance with National and Deanery guidance. Consequently, if an applicant is selected and offered a placement on a training programme, the employing body ultimately has the right not to offer employment but must be able to offer robust reasons for failing to do so.
It is inevitable that some applicants will be disappointed by the outcome of the recruitment and selection process, as it is a highly competitive one. Nevertheless it is recognised that during such a process with tight deadlines and high volume applications, that sometimes errors or failings can occur in process or procedure or in the way decisions are made. This complaints procedure provides a mechanism through which complaints can be investigated, responded to and, where necessary, provided with a remedy.
We recognise that an effective complaints process needs to encompass provision for a timely remedy, where errors or failings have occurred. For this reason we need you to
- Provide full details and appropriate evidence when making your complaint;
- Make your complaint in a timely manner. Please see the recruitment schedule on the Deanery website at: www.merseydeanery.nhs.uk.
All complaints will be handled locally. A log of the complaints, how they were handled and subsequent outcomes will be maintained by the Mersey Deanery. This will be collated continually and used in anonymous form to inform learning for 2011.
Grounds for complaint
There are two grounds for complaint:
- You have evidence that you complied with the requirements of the recruitment and selection process in submitting or attempting to submit your application or other documents and you consequently dispute the Deanery’s view that you failed to meet the deadlines or comply with other published requirements;
- You have evidence that processes or procedures have not been followed fairly, or the objectivity of decisions is called into question resulting in an adverse effect.
You must follow the National and Deanery guidance about recruitment. We cannot register and investigate a complaint if you have not followed the guidance which have been communicated at various stages throughout the recruitment process and which is on the Mersey Deanery website www.merseydeanery.nhs.uk
- Provide a reliable email address
- Submit your fully completed application form before the deadline. Late applications cannot be accepted
- Fulfil eligibility criteria as outlined in the national person specification
- Provide all original certificates and qualifications and relevant documents stated on your application form at interview.
- Provide promptly any requested documentation, such as allocation preferences within Lead Employer deadlines.
- Respond to job offers as determined by Lead Employers within 48 hours, otherwise you will be deemed not to have accepted the job.
What is excluded from the complaints process?
Specialty recruitment is highly competitive and operates within tight time constraints and national legislation. Therefore you cannot register a complaint because you:
- Have not followed the rules regarding responsibilities
- Disagree with the principle of the process, judgements or outcomes that have been made by the short listing or interview panels
- Allege unfairness of practice and process but do not supply evidence to substantiate your complaint
- Were judged insufficiently strong to merit competitive appointment to a training post: making a direct inference of bias on the basis of your ranking in shortlisting or interview
- Wish to appeal against any decisions the Deanery or Lead Employer is obliged to take to remain within appropriate employment law and procedures
The Deanery aims to resolve issues at the earliest opportunity.
All complaints shoud be addressed to:
Specialty Complaints Manager
Brunswick Business Park
Complaints after Shortlisting
If you have a complaint about the recruitment and selection process after being shortlisted, but before your interview, you should communicate your complaint within 15 working days after shortlisting has closed.
Complaints during Interview
If you have a complaint about issues which arise on the day of your interview e.g. if you are concerned that your interview was not conducted fairly:
- You should raise this issue with the Lead Employer Medical Staffing Officer who is on duty at the interview venue and explain the evidence for your complaint. You should note his or her name at the time.
Complaints after Interview
Delaying submission of your complaint is likely to compromise a thorough investigation and the possibility of a timely remedy.
Submitting you complaint
You need to state your specialty and level, together with the heading COMPLAINT in the subject line and provide full evidence to substantiate your complaint either within your email or as an attachment. If your complaint is about a late application or submission of documentation, you need to provide evidence about postal failure. If you do not provide this information, your complaint cannot be investigated.
With effect from the publication date of this procedure, the Deanery will acknowledge your complaint within 5 working days or explain why it cannot be investigated.
Investigating your complaint
The Deanery will appoint an Associate Dean who has had no prior involvement in the recruitment process for the specialty on which your complaint is based, to investigate and determine whether your complaint is upheld or not. We aim to investigate your complaint within 20 working days of our acknowledgement and will write and explain the reasons to you if this is not possible.
The only grounds on which you can appeal are:
- New evidence has come to light, which was previously unavailable
- There is evidence that the Deanery misunderstood, or did not consider your complaint fairly and fully.
You must provide evidence to substantiate the basis for your Appeal.
The Deanery will acknowledge your Appeal and advise whether you have provided sufficient grounds for the Appeals process within 10 working days of its receipt. The Postgraduate Dean will review the documentation.
If your evidence is sufficient to meet the Appeals Process, the Postgraduate Dean, together with two advisors (one of whom will be an HR representative not previously involved with either the recruitment process, or the first stage of your complaint) will review the evidence provided and respond to you within 20 working days of the acknowledgement.