1. What does this mean?
Bullying is offensive, malicious, intimidating or insulting
behaviour which through the abuse or misuse of power or
position makes the recipient feel vulnerable, upset, humiliated,
undermined and /or threatened.
Harassment is any unwanted physical, verbal or non-verbal
conduct or behaviour, which violates a person’s dignity or creates
an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive
environment for them.
If you think that you are experiencing or have experienced bullying
and/or harassment, you should not feel that you are to blame and
you should be able to discuss it with an appropriate person. This
could be a Students’ Union Representative or Student Services.
Using the bullying and harassment procedure to make an allegation against a member
of staff will have no effect on the way University staff assess the standard of your
2. How might you be affected?
It may be that you are experiencing bullying and harassment, and
this can affect your working, learning and social conditions. On
the other hand, there may be a complaint of alleged bullying or
harassment brought against you
3. What should I do?
In the first instance, you may wish to seek advice before deciding
on how to proceed. You can get advice from the Students’ Union
or the Complaints Manager via Student Services.
The decision as to whether a complaint will progress is up to you,
however, in a duty to protect all staff and students the University
may pursue the matter independently if they feel it is appropriate
to do so.
All allegations will need to be supported by evidence. Try to
include witness statements, written proof and additional evidence
before proceeding. Wherever possible, keep a written record of
incidents, including the dates and times and the behaviour which
4. What is the procedure?
If you feel able to you should approach the perpetrator and explain to them that you
object to their behaviour, or try their immediate manager/supervisor/mentor/tutor. In
some cases, it may be that the person against whom you have complained may be
unaware that their behaviour is inappropriate.
Often a misunderstanding can be cleared up promptly. Every effort will be made to
resolve the situation on an informal basis, within 10 working days.
Mediation – what is this?
This is a process where an independent/impartial person helps others to resolve their
difficulties. It can be used at the informal or the formal stage of procedures.
This can often be very helpful in looking at the issues, feelings and concerns of all
participants and assist in the rebuilding of relationships. If you think mediation would
help you, you should discuss the matter with the Complaints Manager at Student
If you feel that the informal stage has not resolved your issue, then your complaint will
move to the formal stage. You should then discuss this with the Complaints Manager.
You will be asked to complete a complaint form in writing, detailing the conduct in
question, including the name(s) of the harasser or bully, dates, times, any witnesses
and any action that has been taken so far to stop it from occurring.
When your formal complaint is received, an Investigating Officer will be nominated to
look at your complaint.
Be aware that any members of staff or students who are perceived as alleged harassers
and/or bullies have a right to be informed of the complaint and an opportunity to
You will be informed what the procedure and timescales are for your complaint to be
5. What about confidentiality?
Any complaints of bullying and harassment will be dealt with
confidentially and sensitively. Only those who ‘need to know’ will
be given the name of the complainant and the alleged harasser
and/ or bully.
The Investigating Officer will arrange to meet with you to hear
your account of the events and will also meet with the alleged
harasser and/or bully. They may also want to meet with any
When you give your statement you may, if you wish, be
accompanied by a fellow student or a Students’ Union
6. And then what?
The Investigating Officer will present their findings to the
member of the Vice Chancellors Board (VCB) who commissioned
the report: included in this will be their recommendations for any
action. The member of VCB will then decide the course of action.
You will be informed whether your complaint is upheld and given
a copy of the report. The outcome, but not the report of the
investigation will be disclosed to the alleged bully/harasser.
7. What if I’m not happy with the result?
If you are unhappy with the outcome of the investigation you
can appeal - your request for this should be submitted in writing
within 14 working days of receipt of the findings. The grounds for
your appeal should be set out in full.
The person who is hearing the appeal will arrange to meet with
you. If you require, you may have a fellow student or a Students’
Union Representative with you.
If you are unhappy with the findings you can make a complaint
to the Office of the Independent Adjudicator (OIA). Any complaint
made to the OIA needs to be submitted within 12 months of
receiving your Completion of Procedures (COP) letter from the
Please see the OIA website for further details www.oiahe.org.uk
57-75 Kings Road
Tel: 0118 959 9813