SET objections policy

This policy explains the process that SET members and other stakeholders should follow when raising an objection against a decision made by the Education and Training Foundation (‘ETF’), relating to SET (Society for Education and Training) membership and its professional status programmes - Qualified Teacher Learning and Skills (QTLS) and Advanced Teacher Status (ATS).   

 

Updated July 2024

1. Policy statement

1.1. This policy aims to provide a fair, transparent and timely objections procedure which is clear and easy to use for anyone wishing to object to a decision made in relation to SET Membership and/or QTLS or ATS professional status programmes.   

 

2. Definition

Objection: “An expression or feeling of disapproval or opposition; a reason for disagreeing”. 

2.1 An objection is a request for a review of a decision made by ETF relating to membership or its professional status programmes QTLS and ATS. You may object to a decision or outcome based on evidence or procedure only, however you cannot object only on the basis of disagreement with academic judgement, or the criteria being applied, unless you have grounds to do so.

 

3. Scope

3.1. This policy covers objections against decisions made by ETF relating to membership and / or its professional status programmes QTLS and ATS.

An objection could relate to, but is not exclusive to: 

  1. Membership admission related to eligibility criteria and suitability for membership. 
  2. Withdrawing an applicant’s QTLS / ATS application for failing to complete it within the deadline stipulated.
  3. Withdrawing an applicant’s QTLS / ATS application for failing to satisfy the programme’s eligibility criteria.
  4. Withdrawing a participant’s portfolio for failing to satisfy the programme’s eligibility criteria.
  5. Holding a QTLS / ATS participant accountable for not adhering to key timeline deadlines during the QTLS / ATS developmental programme.
  6. Requiring the participant to restart their developmental programme for failing to submit QTLS / ATS portfolio by the submission deadline.
  7. Not awarding or conferring the participant with QTLS status or ATS.

3.2. The policy does not cover:

  1. complaints that may relate to the standards of service provided by ETF for which there is a separate policy – please refer to ETF’s Complaints Policy and Procedure).
  2. allegations about a SET member, who you believe may be in breach of the Code of Ethics and Conduct. Such cases should be reported to ETF, following the Investigation and Disciplinary policy and procedures.  

 

4. Procedure 

The objections process is split into three stages:

Stage 1: Informal resolution – allows you to informally address your objection and receive further feedback to better understand how the decision made was arrived at. 

Stage 2: Objection – If you are dissatisfied with the response provided at stage 1 you may progress your objection to stage 2. An objection form will need to be completed which will be investigated by ETF’s Disciplinary and Investigations Officer.

Stage 3: Appeal the objection outcome – If you are dissatisfied with the response provided at Stage 2 and you have grounds to appeal the objection outcome, you may progress your objection to stage 3. A review of the investigation will be undertaken by an Associate Director.

 

5. Stage 1 Informal resolution 

5.1. If you disagree with the decision made by ETF relating to SET membership and or its professional status programmes QTLS and ATS please email membership@etfoundation.co.uk with details of your objection, as soon as possible but no later than  10 working days after  receiving the original decision.  Please explain why you disagree with the decision taken, providing relevant, supporting information.

5.2. ETF will respond via email within 5 working days of receiving the original objection.

5.3 ETF will do everything it can to resolve the objection informally with reference to applicable terms and conditions and any other relevant policies and procedures. 

5.3 The SET team will do everything they can to resolve the objection informally with reference to applicable terms and conditions and relevant policies and procedures. 

5.4 Possible outcomes following stage 1 informal resolution:

(i)The original decision is revised

(ii) The original decision is upheld.

5.5 If you are dissatisfied with the outcome provided at Stage 1 you may wish to progress your objection to stage 2.  

 

6. Stage 2 Objection

6.1. If you  are not satisfied with the response provided under point 5 above, and you believe that you  have grounds for stage 2 objection,  please  email  objections@etfoundation.co.uk to request an objection form. Once received, you should complete and submit the form within 10 working days.

6.2. Objections may be made on one or more of the following grounds only: 

  • The decision made by ETF was one which no reasonable decision maker could have made 
  • You believe ETF made an administrative and / or procedural error. 

6.3. The completed form should be emailed to objections@etfoundation.co.uk FAO the Disciplinary and Investigations Officer. You will receive an acknowledgement within five working days. Your objection will then be fully considered by the Disciplinary and Investigations Officer, who will provide a written response  within 15 working days of receipt of the objection.

 6.4 The Disciplinary and Investigations Officer will either uphold the original decision or overturn the original decision. 

 

(Please note that time frames may vary throughout the year depending on the demands of the team, but every attempt will be made to adhere to published timescales. If there is a delay the member/non-member will be notified accordingly). 

 

7. Stage 3 Appeal the Objection outcome 

7.1. If you remain dissatisfied with the outcome of the objection, you can appeal. An appeal should be emailed to  objections@etfoundation.co.uk, Your email should clearly set out the grounds of your appeal; this will be considered by an Associate Director.  

7.2. Appeals may be made on one or more of the following grounds only: 

  • You have new evidence to put forward that for good reason could not have been provided earlier in the process 
  • The outcome of the objection was one which no reasonable decision maker could have made
  • There has been an administrative and / or procedural error in the handling of the objection. 

7.3. An Associate Director will review all the evidence including the outcome from the informal resolution stage and formal objection stage, and any further evidence which may be necessary to reach a decision. As applicable the decision will be considered against the QTLS / ATS programme terms and conditions and associated membership polices / procedures.  

7.4. You will be informed of the outcome, via email, within 10 working days of the appeal email being received. The Associate Director will either uphold the original decision or overturn the original decision. 

7.5. The Associate Director’s decision is final and there will be no further right of appeal beyond this stage. 

7.5.1. A complaint may not be made about an appeal being upheld / or not being overturned, unless there are clear grounds that SET’s policies or processes have not been followed. In such instances,  this  can  be dealt with through ETF’s complaints policy and procedure at stage 3. However, if the complaint is about a matter separate to and distinct from the original subject of the objection, then it will be investigated at stage 1 of the complaints process.

7.6 For both formal objections and complaints relating to QTLS, ATS or membership, the Head of Department will offer and ensure independent quality assurance to ensure that responses are in line with our terms, conditions and eligibility criteria. The Head of Quality and Standards may also recommend changes to ETF policies and procedures which may be identified from feedback gained through objections or complaints received.

 

8. Investigations and Disciplinary policy & procedures

8.1. If any member who submits an objection is simultaneously subject to an investigation under the Investigation and Disciplinary policy due to a suspected breach of the Code of Ethics and Conduct, the objections procedures will be placed on hold until the outcome of the investigation is known.      

8.2. If the member is found to have breached the Code of Ethics and Conduct and the sanction is removal from, or suspension of membership, the member’s objection will not be taken any further.  If a lesser sanction is applied, the objection procedures may be restarted.  

8.3. Where a member is subject to the Investigation and Disciplinary policy and ETF  considers that the information received may give rise to a concern about a member's continued suitability to hold QTLS or ATS status, it may consider that information as part of the objections process.