Complaints procedure

As part of our commitment to ensuring a high standard and quality in our courses, services and facilities, International House Belfast has established this procedure to deal with complaints from students. Every reasonable effort will be made to deal promptly and efficiently with all complaints, to investigate them thoroughly and objectively and to resolve them satisfactorily.

At the same time it is expected that in raising issues of complaint, students themselves will have observed their obligations as students, through meeting their academic commitments and a reasonable level of behaviour.

The time limits set out in this procedure will normally be followed. However, where, for good reason, this is not possible, the complainant will be kept informed of progress.

All complaints will be dealt with in confidence with the proviso that the person or persons against whom a complaint is made has a right to be supplied with a copy of the complaint.

Scope of the Procedure

This Procedure should be followed by all students.  The Procedure, which can be used by students for both individual and collective complaints, is designed for complaints relating to:

  • Course, services or facilities provided by IH Belfast;
  • Actions or lack of actions by IH Belfast or its staff;
  • The following list indicates examples of the type of complaint covered by this procedure:
  • Poor teaching;
  • Poor facilities;
  • The behaviour of a member of staff;
  • A failing in one of our services, academic or non-academic.

Informal Procedure

Most complaints can be resolved informally and where possible a complaint should be dealt with as close as possible to the point at which it arises.

Complaints should be made orally or in writing as soon as possible.

Written complaints may be in English or in the student’s own language.

The member of staff who receives the complaint will look into the matter and give a response orally or in writing to the complainant normally with 10 working days following receipt of the complaint.

Who to complain to

Problem with… Speak to… Where are they?
Accommodation A member of administrative staff Reception
Your Class
  1. Your teacher
  2. If you are still not happy, speak to the Director of Studies/Assistant Director of Studies
Your Teacher
  1. Director of Studies/Assistant Director of Studies
  2. If still unhappy, the Director (Paul) in writing

Director’s Office First Floor Landing

Any other facilities Member of administrative staff Reception

Complaints about courses

Students who have problems with their class should speak to their teacher in the first instance. If they feel uncomfortable about speaking to their teacher or they feel that the teacher is / was not able to resolve the issue to their satisfaction they should speak to the Director of Studies/Assistant Director of Studies as soon as possible.

Complaints about services

Complaints about one of our services i.e. accommodation, social programme, Self Access Centre should be referred to our admin team on reception.

Complaints about other facilities

e.g. kitchen, toilets, etc should also be referred to the admin team on reception. The complaint will then be passed on to the relevant responsible person.

Complaints about a member of staff

Any complaint about a member of staff should be referred to the Director of Studies/Director.


Formal Procedure (Internal)

If, having pursued the matter informally, the student is unhappy with the response, s/he should refer the matter formally in writing to the Director together with copies of any correspondence exchanged during the informal procedure and any other relevant documentation:


Paul McMullan

c/o International House Belfast

109 – 111 University Street





If the Director is satisfied that the informal procedure has been followed, he may:

  • Seek to resolve the issue of the basis of the documentation that has been provided;
  • Call a hearing at which the student and any other persons involved may submit their respective cases.

The Director will decide whether there is reasonable justification for the complaint or not. The Director will also decide on the action to be taken and this decision will be communicated in writing to the complainant normally within 20 working days of the receipt of the complaint.

Formal Procedure (External)

This Procedure may only normally be invoked once the Informal Procedure and the Formal Procedure (Internal) have been exhausted.

If having pursued the Formal Procedure (Internal) the student is unhappy with the response s/he should refer the matter formally in writing to International House World Organisation:

Lucy Horsefeld

IH World Organisation Ltd

Unity Wharf

13 Mill St

London SE1 2BH

United Kingdom