We are providing this information following a Freedom of Information request.
Complaints received by Ofqual
The table shows the regulated awarding organisations where we have received complaints in the last 3 years. It shows the number of complaints and those that were upheld and partially upheld. It also shows the number of certificates issued by each awarding organisation.
We view a complaint as an expression of dissatisfaction about an organisation or qualification we regulate. Anyone is able to make a complaint to Ofqual about an awarding organisation. We ask complainants to first contact the awarding organisation to give them the opportunity to resolve the complaint. We record these initial approaches and they are part of the complaints received figures.
The table shows the number of upheld and partially upheld complaints. This is because the number of complaints received is not a reliable indicator of an awarding organisation’s performance. Sometimes the substance of a complaint is not upheld but there are other issues, for example, the timeliness of handling the complaint, which means the complaint is partially upheld. Many complaints have several aspects which we look at individually and so do not always uphold every aspect of a complaint. We have also published the number of certificates issued for each awarding organisation. This is because awarding organisations who issue more certificates generally receive more complaints. It should also be noted that awarding organisations vary greatly in the number and types of qualifications that they offer as well as the sectors in which they operate.
The overall totals shown in the table might not match our annual report and account figures. This is because we receive complaints that are not specific to individual awarding organisations, for example complaints about A levels, GCSEs or other qualifications. Also, in the past, whistleblower allegations have been combined with the number of complaints received, whereas such matters are now reported separately. Complaints that are open at the end of the financial year are reported in the number of complaints received, but outcomes (upheld or not upheld) are reported in the year in which the complaint was closed.