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The Process

The process from start to finish

Here you will find out about what will happen from when you first contact us through to the resolution of your dispute. This is a step by step guide to what to expect.

Overview of our process

Our process can be broken into five stages, starting with the first time you contact us and ending with resolution and then our learning stage. The five stages are:

  • The (optional) contact stage

  • The application stage

  • The Talk – Meet – Resolve stage

  • The Listen – Decide stage

  • Learning stage

The contact stage

We start with our optional contact stage where you can contact us to have an initial discussion and we can answer any questions you might have about our services and talk though any concerns you might have. You can decide to skip this and start the process with the apply stage.

The apply stage

This is where you formally apply to lodge your dispute for resolution with us. You can do this by completing the online form or by phoning us on 0800 00 8337. It helps if you have checked if you can use our service but if you're not sure, send your application in and we'll be in touch with you. This generally takes a few weeks from when you apply to get all of the information and for us to decide whether we can accept your dispute for resolution with us.

The Talk – Meet – Resolve stage

The Talk – Meet – Resolve stage is our consensus based process where we get everyone working together to try and sort out the problem. This generally takes a few weeks from when people agree on a date, but sometimes can take longer.

The Listen – Decide stage

Our Listen – Decide is our adjudication stage where we appoint an independent person who has not been involved to listen to both sides so they understand the dispute and then determine the outcome. This process can take a month or two after the Talk – Meet – Resolve stage has been completed.

The learning stage

Once we have resolved disputes, the first thing we do is get feedback from you and your provider to understand how people experienced the dispute resolution process. Then we look for systemic issues or patterns that we are seeing and work with government agencies, providers, student organisations and others to try and improve the experiences of people, prevent disputes and help them get resolved early. We generally do this in a way that does not identify you or the provider although there are some situations where we have legal obligations for mandatory reporting. You can learn more in our privacy policy.