Capella Associates Customer Concerns Policy

Document Ref: PD/CC | Version: 1.7 | Last revised: 4th December 2020 | Document owner: K. Smith.


The purpose of this policy is to set out the intentions and key tools that Capella will use to ensure that it responds appropriately to complaints or concerns made by a customer.

For clarity:

The term “complaint” refers to expressions of dissatisfaction, whether justified or not, about any aspect of Capella’s delivery of their training services  excluding

  • complaints or concerns regarding Malpractice or Maladministration relating to assessments, assignments or examinations for Vocational Qualifications, the procedure for which is detailed within Capella’s Assessment Policy
  • complaints or concerns regarding End Point Assessment, which should be directed to the relevant End Point Assessment organisation

The term “customer”  includes both internal and external customers, which may include apprentices, their employers, other learners or providers.


All Capella Associates will be aware of and work within this policy.  The Managing Director will take lead responsibility for deployment of this policy.


We aim to:

  1. Act promptly and efficiently whenever a complaint or concern is raised regardless of whether a complaint or concern is received verbally, by phone, by email or in writing.
  2. Ensure that learning is extracted and shared and, where appropriate, is used to improve Capella processes.
  3. Endeavour to avoid repeat complaints or concerns of the same nature through our process of continuous improvement.


Key tools we will use to ensure customer complaints and concerns are addressed appropriately include:

  1. Building strong and open relationships with all customers such that they feel comfortable to raise complaints and concerns.
  2. Undertaking an annual review of this policy.
  3. Communicating this policy to Capella Associates on an annual basis, in order to promote the importance of responding to complaints and concerns in line with the Procedure detailed in Appendix 1 of this Policy
  4. Alerting the Managing Director to any instances of complaints or concerns as soon as they are recognised
  5. Following the Procedure contained in Appendix 1 of this Policy if situations arise.
  6. Acting swiftly, carefully and sensitively if any allegations are made against a member of the Capella team.
  7. Where appropriate, updating the Capella Non-Conformance Register, and/or the Capella  Safeguarding & Prevent Concerns & Incidents Log and/or the Capella Changes & Opportunities Register (as applicable) with details of the complaint or concern, and regularly monitoring these documents to identify trends.
  8. Including a regular review of the Capella Non-Conformance Register and the Capella Safeguarding & Prevent Concerns & Issues Log as a Standard Agenda Item for Capella Team Meetings
  9. Including clear guidance regarding how a complaint can be made in the Capella Apprenticeship Support Resources that are available on our website:
  1. For apprenticeships, ensuring that the 'Contract for services with employers' contains a Dispute Resolution Procedure and that a copy of the Complaints and Concerns policy and procedure is made available to apprentices and employers when the Commitment Statement is signed.
  2. Ensuring that the current live version of the Complaints and Concerns policy and procedure is published on our website.

If any complaints or concerns are raised which require reporting to relevant external bodies (eg Awarding Bodies, ESFA) the Managing Director will be responsible for alerting any such bodies and for reviewing and monitoring the progress of all such complaints and concerns.

Information on complaints and appeals appertaining to apprenticeships will be made available to the inspectorate and/or funding bodies upon request.

Review and Updates

This policy will be reviewed every 12 months as a minimum.


Appendix 1: Procedure for Handling Complaints and Concerns


Key steps:

  1. Complaints or concerns can be made verbally, in writing (via the form available from the Capella Apprenticeship Resources area on our webiste) or via email. If a complaint or concern is made verbally, the recipient of the complaint or concern should listen carefully to the complaint/concern and note down all details, asking questions to ensure all facts are understood, then state to the client (apprentices, their employers, other learners, providers or stakeholders as applicable) that their complaint/concern will be investigated in full and that a nominated person from Capella will contact them within 5 Working Days to provide a formal acknowledgement of the complaint/concern and to provide them with an indicative timescale for investigating the complaint/concern.  The Associate receiving the complaint/concern should not seek to respond to the complaint in any way but should acknowledge that a complaint/concern has been raised and thank them for their feedback.
  2. If a complaint or concern is raised regarding End Point Assessment  the complainant should be advised to direct their complaint/concern to the relevant End Point Assessment Organisation. The Associate should sign-post the complainant to the relevant organisation if requested to do so.
  3. If a complaint or concern relates to Malpractice or Maladministration relating to an Assessment, assignment or examination for a Vocational Qualification, the complainant should be directed to Capella’s Assessment Policy which details the procedure that will be followed in all such instances.
  4. Within 2 Working Days of a complaint or concern having been raised with an Associate, the Associate must
  • inform the Managing Director about the complaint/concern and share all details provided by the complainant
  • agree next steps for Capella to investigate/validate the complaint
  • agree an appropriate acknowledgement response (which should include an indicative timescale for investigation/resolution of the complaint/concern)
  • agree who will communicate with the complainant going forwards and via what means
  • update the Capella Non-Conformance Register and/or the Capella Safeguarding & Prevent Concerns & Incidents Log and/or the Capella Changes and Opportunities Register (as applicable) with the details regarding the complaint/concern and the action that is being taken
  1. Within 5 Working Days of the complaint or concern having been raised, the Capella Managing Director, or whomever she has delegated the investigation of the complaint/concern to, should send an acknowledgement response to the complainant which must include an indicative timescale for providing a formal response to the complaint/concern. Capella will endeavour to provide a formal response within as short a timeframe as possible, although Capella note that the length of time may vary in each individual case depending upon the complexity of the complaint/concern.
  2. Once the formal reply has been provided to the complainant, the Managing Director will review any additional actions arising to ensure all learning from the situation are captured and will update the Non-Conformance Register and/or the Safeguarding & Prevent Concerns & Issues Log and/or the Changes & Opportunities Register (as applicable) as required. The Managing Director may share anonymised findings from the complaint/concern investigation with the Capella Advisory Board.
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    • Capella’s focus on developing long-term relationships and their continual search for innovative approaches to upskilling has enabled Toyota and many other employers to learn and apply best practice Problem Solving tools which deliver great outcomes for all. In our experience, no other training provider has taken such a lead role in the development of sector wide initiatives such as the Automotive Industrial Partnership and development of the ‘improvement suite’ of Apprenticeship standards. Capella constantly seeks innovative opportunities to deliver an excellent service to the learner and to the business.

      Paul Fitzpatrick | Senior Manager | Toyota UK

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      Chris Bauman | Group Managing Director

    • Capella are delivering the Business Improvement L4 programme to a cohort of 12 staff at our Barnard Castle site. We chose Capella after a series of meeting with Kate and her team and from day 1 we have been impressed with the professionalism, enthusiasm and knowledge of the team. The staff have really thrived on the learning schedule and through working with the programme tutors and we have had nothing but positive feedback. Internal changes on site have impacted on the programme delivery, which Capella took this in their stride, adapting delivery timelines, providing support and working with those facing change has added another dimension to the relationship that has been developed between the site and Capella. While still in delivery mode GSK already believes that the programme has been a success for all involved and we look forward to its completion and sharing that success within the organisation.

      Tim Buchanan | Apprenticeship Vendor Manager | Talent, Leadership and Organisation Development- Centre of Excellence

    • Capella worked closely with Wilko to deeply understand our needs at a strategic and operational level, helping us to jointly explore a range of options to meet these needs. Capella have an experienced team of Lean Six Sigma experts. Their programme design, management expertise and resources are second to none. Wilko have been allocated a dedicated Account Manager which helps us ensure the learner is always front of mind. Capella’s programmes have developed the knowledge, skills and drive of our Wilko delegates to seek and implement improvements in every process, constantly reducing costs, waste and inefficiencies. Capella also enabled Wilko’s leadership of continuous improvement to be showcased through the publication of an extensive article for the Chartered Quality Institute's Quality World magazine.

      Teresa Ward, Wilko Talent Programme Manager, Wilko

    • I would sincerely like to thank you again and the fabulous team at Capella for the dedication shown in achieving the Black Belt qualification. It is such a pleasure to work so closely with passionate professional people and I hope our partnership continues to grow especially with the role out of the new standards.

      Richard Bates, Managing Director, Qualitrain

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