The Centre for Advancing Practice Appeals and complaints procedure – Updated September 2022
1.This page sets out the procedures for appeals and complaints raised in relation to the Centre for Advancing Practice’s (‘the Centre’s’) recognition processes.
2. An appeal is a request for the re-consideration of a decision regarding the outcome of a recognition process (see below) based on the reasonable belief that a procedural irregularity or administrative error has occurred. The Centre is concerned to address any such occurrences and learn from them in how it enacts its role.
3. A complaint is any expression of dissatisfaction about the standard of services provided in relation to the Centre’s recognition processes. The Centre recognises that, on occasion, there may be legitimate complaints which individuals will wish to raise. The Centre can benefit from exploring such issues, and any lessons learnt to enhance its work and ensure continuous improvement.
Making an appeal
4. An appeal can be made in relation to outcomes of the following recognition processes:
- Programme accreditation
- ePortfolio (Supported) Route
- Credential endorsement
- Approval of an endorsed credential provider
- Module/s recognition for the First Contact Practitioner (FCP) Taught Route
5. An appeal can only be made on the grounds that the individual making the appeal reasonably believes that a procedural irregularity or administrative error has occurred in how their application for recognition has been considered. An individual cannot appeal to challenge the judgement of the reviewers or the Centre’s Education Assurance Group who ratifies the outcomes.1 The fact that an individual believes that they deserve a different outcome cannot constitute grounds for appeal.
6. An appeal must be made within 10 working days of receipt of the outcome2 of the application. It must be made in writing and addressed to the Lead for the Centre for Advancing Practice. An appeal should be emailed via email@example.com
7. The written appeal MUST include:
- the name and address of the individual making the appeal;
- a concise statement of the grounds of the appeal;
- the date, nature and other relevant details of the procedural irregularity
or administrative error; and
- any information or evidence that supports the appeal.
8. A written acknowledgment of receipt will be sent to the individual within 5 working days of the appeal being received.
9. The relevant head of process3 will prepare a report outlining the details of the application, including timelines, for the appeal panel.
10. Where it becomes clear that a procedural irregularity or administrative error has occurred, the Centre Lead can request that the relevant head of process can take action to rectify the anomaly. The individual will be notified of the action taken and then with agreement of the individual the appeals process ceased.
11. The Centre will establish a panel to consider the appeal if it is not resolved at an earlier point.
Membership of an appeals panel
12. A panel shall comprise no fewer than three members and shall include:
- no more than two people who are on a statutory register with knowledge of the Multi-professional Framework for Advanced Clinical Practice in England (2017); and
- one patient and public voice representative.
13. A person is not eligible to be a member of a panel if they have been involved in any other capacity in the submission which is to be considered by the appeal panel.
14.Each panel will have administrative support by an employee of the Centre who has not been previously involved in the decision being appealed against.
The appeals panel process
15.The appeals panel will be convened to review the appeal, any additional information supporting the appeal, and the report prepared by the relevant head of process.
16.If necessary, the appeal panel may undertake further information gathering and fact finding, including receiving written statements or conducting interviews, or request further evidence from any party involved.
17.The appeal panel will come to its conclusion, testing out the available evidence against the stated grounds of appeal and can decide that:
a. one or more procedural irregularities occurred; and
b. the evidence presented would have materially altered the outcome; or
c. there were no procedural irregularities and therefore, the original decision stands, and the appeal is dismissed.
18. Where an appeal is upheld, the panel can:
- Substitute a different outcome, or
- Remit the matter back to the Centre Lead with directions about what must happen next – for example that an accreditation submission is reassessed by a new panel of reviewers.
19.The decision of the appeal panel will be sent to the individual in writing normally within 10 working days of the appeal panel being convened. Where it is not possible to meet this deadline, due to unforeseen circumstances or the need to undertake a more detailed investigation, the Centre will inform the individual of the revised time scales.
20.The outcome will include the reason(s) for reaching that decision. The decision of the panel is final.
21. A record will be retained by the Centre in line with NHS England’s data retention schedule.
22.The outcome of the appeal will also be notified to relevant parties including, as appropriate, the Chair of the Education Assurance Group and/or the Supplier (in respect of the ePortfolio (Supported) route.
Summary timeline – appeals
|Working Days after receipt of the appeal
|Receipt of the appeal and any additional evidence by the Lead for the Centre for Advancing Practice via the firstname.lastname@example.org email address
|The Centre Lead (or nominee) will acknowledge receipt of the appeal via email and convene the appeal panel.
|The relevant head of process produces a report outlining the details of the application, including timelines and submits to the appeal panel.
|The appeal panel is convened and considers the documentation provided
The panel determines whether there are grounds for appeal and any actions to be taken.
|The panel decision is notified to relevant parties, including, as
appropriate, the following:
the individual who has made an appeal
the Chair of the Education Assurance Group
the Supplier (in respect of the ePortfolio (supported) route)
A record of the outcome is kept on file.
Making a complaint
23.The Centre regards any complaint as an expression of dissatisfaction about the standard of service provided in relation to the Centre’s functions.
24.Complaints might be made about things such as:
- the quality of the recognition processes the Centre provides;
- the behaviour of staff involved in providing the recognition processes;
- dissatisfaction with the Centre’s processes relating to recognition.4
25.The Centre is not able to deal with some matters through the complaint’s procedure for example:
- a request under Freedom of Information or Data Protection legislation;
- a request for information or an explanation of policy or practice;
- an appeal about a recognition outcome;
- an issue which is being, or has been, considered by a court, tribunal, or statutory regulatory body;
- an attempt to have a complaint reconsidered where the Centre has already given the final decision following an investigation.
How to make a complaint
26.A complaint should be made in writing and addressed to Lead for the Centre for Advancing Practice. A complainant can email a complaint via email@example.com
27.The complaint MUST include the following details:
- the complainant’s full name and address;
- details about the complaint;
- a copy of any documents to support the complaint; and
- what outcome is being sought.
Once a complaint is received
28.The Centre for Advancing Practice encourages the resolution of complaints in an informal way with the individual, team or supplier involved in the first instance. Upon receipt of a complaint the Lead for the Centre will review the complaint and consider whether it can be dealt with informally. This might involve informal discussions with the complainant and any individual involved.
If the complaint cannot be resolved informally then the Lead for the Centre nominates a member of Centre senior staff to undertake an investigation in the matter(s) outlined in the complaint and prepare a short report outlining the recommended action to take if required.
29.Where the formal complaint process is used, the response to the complaint is agreed with the Centre Lead and communicated in writing to the complainant normally within 20 working days. A record will be retained by the Centre in line with NHS England’s data retention schedule.
30.The Centre will act on the recommendations from the investigation which may result in a change process, or training, or potentially disciplinary action if the conduct of an employee is unacceptable. This process is the only process for raising and managing complaints and there is no further mechanism for complaint within the Centre.
Summary timeline – making a complaint, formal process
|Working Days after receipt of a complaint
|Receipt of the complaint via firstname.lastname@example.org
|The Centre Lead (or nominee) acknowledges receipt of the appeal via email. The Centre Lead identifies a member of senior Centre staff to investigate the matter.
|The member of staff reviews the matter and prepares a short report outlining the issues and any recommended actions to be taken and sends to the Centre Lead.
|The agreed response is sent to the complainant, outlining any action to be taken and the timescales involved.
31. A sample of, or a minimum of three whichever is larger, appeals and complaints will be audited annually as part of the Centre’s quality assurance process.
‘Appeal’ means a written request to review the outcome of a recognition route specified in this procedure, based on alleged procedural irregularity or administrative error during the submission, assessment, or ratification of the application.
‘Applicant’ means an individual or organisation who has gone or is going through a recognition process specified in this procedure.
‘Centre’ means the Centre for Advancing Practice.
‘Complaint’ means an expression of dissatisfaction by an individual practitioner the Centre’s action or lack of action, about the standard of service provided in relation to the recognition routes listed at the start of the document.
‘Complainant’ means a person raising a complaint about the Centre’s processes.
‘Education Assurance Group’ means a Group established to oversee the Centre’s recognition processes as set out in its Terms of Reference.
‘Head of Process’ means the person responsible for the delivery of one of the Centre’s recognition processes – e.g. programme accreditation.
‘Individual making an appeal’ means a person making an appeal, including appeals made on behalf of an organisation – for example, an education provider.
‘Panel’ means three or more individuals requested to convene to review the appeal or complaint and the supporting evidence.
‘Patient and Public Voice representative’ means a person who is a member of NHS England’s People’s Advisory Forum.
‘Supplier’ means an education provider or other supplier contracted to deliver the ePortfolio (supported) route.
- Please note, that in the case of the ePortfolio (supported) route, individual outcome decisions are made by a
contracted supplier(‘the Supplier’), normally an education provider, and not by the Education Assurance
- In keeping with the document – A Reference Guide for Postgraduate Foundation and Specialty Training in the
UK; ‘The Gold Guide’8th Edition (March 2020). Available at:
[least accessed 07.05.21] ↩︎
- This is the individual with functional responsibility for the route described, including but not limited to
programme accreditation, ePortfolio (Supported) Route, credential endorsement and FCPs. ↩︎
- For the avoidance of any doubt, complaints can be made to the Centre about recognition process activity
delivered by outsourced suppliers. ↩︎
The Centre for Advancing Practice
Appeals and complaints procedure