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Client care | Code of ethicsComplaints | Equality and diversity | Grading appeals | Particular needs | Refunds | Recruitment | Safety awareness

Client care policy

We will try our best to:

  • Adhere to our accreditors’ codes and standards
  • Be courteous, friendly, and helpful.
  • Answer your emails and calls personally and quickly.
  • Keep our promises.
  • Give you honest, informed and objective advice.
  • Help you find another provider if we are not right for you.
  • Store your information securely and confidentially.
  • Strive to be carbon neutral.
  • Apologise quickly when we make a mistake, and put things right straight away.

Client care policy v19.00 ©

Updated April 2019

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Code of ethics

INTRODUCTION

This statement outlines our position on business and related matters with respect to our organisation, the College of Media and Publishing (the College).

We are committed to ensuring that the College is run in a proper, responsible and ethical way. This means that all College decisions are made for justifiable business reasons, honestly and in accordance with any applicable codes, laws, regulations and accreditors or awarding bodies’ requirements.

In order to support this, this Code of Ethics (Code) clarifies our mission, values, and principles; and communicates our values to learners, staff members (including employees, tutors, and freelancers), partners and all others who encounter any aspect of the College.

Mission Statement

To provide learners with a high-quality, personal enjoyable, ethical and effective online learning experience that enables them to learn new skills and gain certifications.

Principles that underpin this statement are:

  1. Placing learners at the heart of all we do. We believe people can reach their goals with the right attitude and support.
  2. Showing fairness, courtesy and mutual respect, and by “going the extra mile” when we can.
  3. Teaching and learning as the keys to our success.
  4. Aspiring to excellence: quality is everyone’s responsibility.
  5. Working together to get the best results.
  6. Empowering others to achieve their potential.
  7. Developing good relationships with learners so each feels as if they are the only learner we have.
  8. Being honest about a learner’s strengths and weaknesses which can only be corrected if they are recognised in the first place.
  9. Providing a practical learning experience as we believe people learn best by doing things. We tell learners where and how to find out how to do something, but we do not do it for them.

Purpose

This Code details our expectations of anyone involved with the College. We strive to maintain a work environment in which honesty, integrity and respect for learners, staff members and partners is reflected in personal behaviour and standards of conduct.

It focuses on promoting good business practice and exemplary behaviour for the benefit of the College, and of our learners, staff members and partners.

We make this commitment not only out of legal obligation but because of our commitment to act with honesty and in an ethical manner. The College’s success depends on a reputation for integrity and quality in everything we do.

Scope

This document is non-contractual and may be amended from time to time to reflect best practice and any changes in legislation.

All staff members and partners are expected to take individual responsibility for the highest standards of personal conduct and are required to comply with this Code.

Those with management responsibilities are required to support the Code by demonstrating the highest level of personal conduct, ensuring all colleagues are aware of this Code.

Failure to comply with any areas of the Code may be a disciplinary matter. If any learner, staff member or partner believes they are being required to act in a way which:

  • Is improper, inappropriate, illegal, unethical or discriminatory;
  • Is in breach of a professional code;
  • May involve possible maladministration, fraud, bribery, corruption or misuse of public funds; or
  • Is otherwise inconsistent with this Code,

They should contact the College’s Operations Director:

[email protected]

STANDARDS OF BEHAVIOUR

Health and safety

It is the responsibility of staff members and partners to ensure that they operate in a safe working environment. They should:

  • Be fully familiar and remain up to date with all health and safety information.
  • Conduct their day-to-day work in line with the health and safety information available.
  • Not do anything to jeopardise the health and safety of any other person associated with the College.
  • Follow recommendations for safe use of display screen equipment.

All College activities must fully comply with applicable laws and policies relating to health and safety.

Equality, diversity and dignity at work

The College is committed to providing equality of opportunity in all aspects of work, as well as being committed to creating an environment free from bullying and harassment, where everyone is treated with dignity and respect, both in the face-to-face and online spheres.

Any person associated with the College who becomes aware of any disrespectful or discriminatory behaviour from another learner, staff member or partner, should report this to the Operations Director.

The College will not tolerate bullying and harassment of any kind. All allegations of harassment and bullying will be investigated and, if discovered, appropriate disciplinary action will be taken. The College will not tolerate victimisation of a person for making allegations of bullying and harassment in good faith or supporting someone in making such a complaint.

Performance

The College expects its staff members and partners to follow all reasonable rules and instructions given by those supervising or managing activities or work areas, and it expects its learners to follow the Website terms and conditions policy when interacting with tutors and other learners.

Timekeeping and attendance

The College expects tutors to be ready and able to carry out their duties and maintain our turn-around times without fail, ie, two workings days to reply to queries, and three working days to mark assignments. The clock starts ticking from the time the query or assignment is received.

Respect for the property of others

All staff members should respect the property of others. Disciplinary action may be taken against any staff member found to have stolen or intentionally abused the property of the College or that of another staff member.

All learners, staff members and partners have a legal and ethical duty to respect the College’s and each other’s intellectual property at all time.

Personal relationships

We recognise that staff members who work together may form personal friendships and, in some cases, close personal relationships. While we do not wish to interfere with these personal relationships, it is necessary for us to ensure that all staff members behave in an appropriate and professional manner at work. They must use good judgment in ensuring that those relationships do not negatively impact their job performance, their ability to supervise others, or the work environment.

Any workplace conduct arising from a romantic or intimate relationship, family relationship or friendship between staff members, partners, tutors or learners, may be deemed improper if the conduct creates an uncomfortable or unethical environment. Favouritism, open displays of affection, and making business or academic decisions based on emotions or friendships rather than on the best interests of the College are examples of inappropriate conduct. Staff members and partners who find themselves in an intimate relationship or friendship with a colleague or learner should use tact, good judgment and sensitivity, not just towards each other but in their professional relationship with learners and each other.

We do not prevent relatives or other individuals with whom staff members have a personal relationship from being employed by the College. It is their responsibility to ensure that the College is informed of any relationship at the time of making an application for employment and during their employment, to enable us to ensure that no conflict of interest arises.

Staff members and partners working with learners should ensure they do not become involved in anything which could lead to harm or actions that could be misinterpreted and possibly lead to allegations, false or otherwise, being made against them.

Conduct outside of work

Life outside of work is the staff members’ and partners’ own concern, but they must not put themselves in a position where their personal interests conflict with their jobs, and especially with their relationship with learners. This includes behaviour which may undermine the College’s confidence or trust in them:

  • The College recognises that many staff members and partners make use of social media in a personal capacity.

They should be aware that they can damage the College if they are recognised as being one of our staff members or partners.

Any social media activity which may cause serious damage to the College reputation may result in future work opportunities being withdrawn.

  • Any staff member or partner who is arrested and refused bail on any charge must take all reasonable steps to inform the Operations Director.
  • Any staff member or partner convicted of or found guilty of any criminal offence (except minor traffic offences or fixed penalty charges) or who receives a police caution for any offence must report this to the Operations Director.
  • Any staff member or partner convicted of, or cautioned for, a criminal offence which is related to their work for the College or which may bring the College into disrepute is at risk of disciplinary proceedings, which may result in dismissal or the withdrawal of future offers of work. This applies to offences committed both off duty and while at work.

Acting in the best interests of the College

When conducting day-to-day business, all staff members and partners must act in the best interests of the College. To do this they should follow the guidelines below:

1. Financial gain

They should make work decisions based solely on the best interests of the College and not gain financial or another material benefit for themselves, their family or friends.

They should ensure that they do not place themselves under any financial or other obligation to outside persons or companies that may influence them in the performance of their duties, without first agreeing on this with the Operations Director.

2. Conflicts of interest

They must declare any actual or perceived conflicts of interest during the recruitment process. Conflicts of interest can include any public or private interests involving self, spouse, partner, family or friend which may conflict with their duties.

They must detach themselves from taking decisions or being involved in discussions which may be affected by this relationship, either informally or formally.

They must obtain the written approval of the Operations Director before conducting College business with parties such as relatives, friends, spouses or life partners. They must always keep the College’s interests as a top priority in those interactions. In addition, they may not pressure others into hiring a relative or friend as a colleague or associate of the College.

During employment (whether paid or freelance), it is their responsibility to declare to the Operations Director any change in relation to a conflict of interest.

3. Fair dealing

Staff members and partners should always deal fairly and honestly with each other and the College’s learners. They should not take unfair advantage of anyone else through manipulation, concealment, abuse of confidential information, falsification, misrepresentation of material facts or any other intentional unfair-dealing practice.

This fair dealing provision does not alter existing legal relationships between the College and its staff members and partners, including any at-will employment arrangements.

4. Bribes and improper payments

It is our policy to conduct all of our business in an honest and ethical manner. We take a zero-tolerance approach to bribery and corruption and are committed to acting professionally, fairly and with integrity in all our business dealings and relationships wherever we operate, and we implement and enforce effective systems to counter bribery.

If any such instances should occur, we will investigate them and this may lead to disciplinary action and possible reporting to the police.

5. Accepting gifts and hospitality

Staff members and partners may not accept or offer gifts or hospitality from learners.

6. Outside employment

The College is committed to retaining the highest degree of trust and confidence among its staff members and partners. It is therefore important that staff members and partners maintain the highest standards of conduct and avoid any activities, whether paid or unpaid, that may cause a conflict of interest between outside employment and association with the College.

Outside employment can be defined as:

  • Holding any other office or employment whether or not this is paid or unpaid.
  • Carrying on any trade or business or any type of self-employment. Examples of outside employment include additional employment or voluntary work.

We do not prohibit staff members and partners from taking secondary employment or non-executive directorships, whether paid or unpaid and will not unreasonably withhold permission for them to undertake outside employment, provided that this does not interfere and is not likely to interfere with their performance or integrity in their current role.

The College reserves the right to refuse a staff member’s request to take outside employment (whether as freelance, staff member, paid or unpaid) if:

  • The role is with a competitor organisation or an organisation engaged in the same type of business;
  • The role is with another associate of the College;
  • The role is with an organisation that has a contractual arrangement with the College;
  • The role or the type of work involved may, in our opinion, represent a conflict of interest or may reflect badly on the reputation of the College;
  • The hours of work would be likely, in our opinion, to interfere with their performance, attendance or timekeeping.

Intellectual property provided by the College must not be used when performing outside employment. Neither should staff members or partners give the impression that their outside activities are in any way associated with or endorsed by the College.

7. Requests for information

It is College policy to co-operate with reasonable and relevant government (or other) requests or investigations. If staff members or partners are asked to provide information (either written or verbally) for a government or accreditor’s investigation, they should inform the Operations Director before they agree to co-operate.

All information we provide or ask staff members or partners to provide, should be truthful and accurate and must not obstruct, influence or impede the request for information. Staff members and partners should not alter, falsify, mutilate, cover up, dispose of or destroy any documents or records relating to a government or accreditor’s request, investigation or legal proceedings.

If approached by the media, staff members and partners must not communicate in any way to reporters on behalf of the College but should direct members of the media with enquiries to the College’s Executive Director [email protected]

8. Respecting intellectual property rights

Staff members and partners should never make unauthorised copies of material from copyrighted books, magazines, newspapers, videotapes or computer programs. While they may generally make a copy for their own business use, making multiple copies without permission violates copyright laws.

9. The environment

We are committed to minimising the negative impact of our business activities on the environment.

10. Confidentiality

Staff members and partners should maintain all aspects of confidentiality in line with their terms and conditions of employment. In addition, they should:

  • Protect company information held in confidence.
  • Maintain confidentiality within their job role.
  • Continue to maintain confidentiality after leaving the College.

Staff members and partners may have access to information about our College which is not available to the public. As a general rule, they should regard all College information as confidential and not disclose or transmit it to anyone outside the College.

There will be occasions when disclosure of the information outside the College will be appropriate (for instance, to co-ventures) but careful consideration should take place before disclosure. If a colleague or associate is in any doubt about the appropriateness of disclosure, they should consult the Operations Director.

Staff members and partners may also learn information from the College’s co-ventures or other companies, which has been disclosed to the College on the basis that it should be kept confidential. Such information should not be disclosed to third parties without the permission of the owner of the information or without complying with the terms of any confidentiality agreement between the College and the owner of the information.

In addition, a colleague or associate must not within one year after leaving the College:

  • Try to induce away from the College any staff member, learner or partner with whom they had dealings on behalf of the College during the period of 12 months prior to leaving.
  • At any time during or after ceasing association with the College, staff members and partners will not, in any way, disclose any business-related or personal information concerning any of the College’s staff members, learners or partners except when required or authorised to do so by the College or by Law.

11. Confidentiality of personal data

We hold and process information about learners, staff members and partners for administrative, academic and commercial purposes. When handling such information, all staff members and partners who process or use any of this personal information must comply with General Data Protection Regulation 2018.

Staff members and partners are responsible for respecting the privacy of fellow staff members and partners, and learners. They should use and maintain personal data with care and respect while guarding against inappropriate access and disclosure. They should not use any other person’s personal data for personal benefit or in any other inappropriate way.

12. Accuracy of College records and integrity in reports and communications

Accurate records are essential to the successful operation of the College. Staff members and partners are responsible for ensuring the accuracy of all College records, information, and accounts.

All business records and communications should be clear, truthful and accurate because they may become subject to public disclosure through government investigations, litigation or the media.

Business records are College assets and must be retained or destroyed in compliance with the applicable record’s retention schedules. In accordance with that policy, in the event of litigation or a government investigation, relevant records must be retained and preserved. We are required to file periodic reports and make certain public communications.

Staff members and partners must act to ensure full, fair, accurate, timely, and comprehensible disclosure and reporting of College information, including the College’s financial results and financial condition. All staff members and partners must comply with College policies, procedures and controls. Accounting and financial reporting of actual transactions and forecasts must follow the College’s accounting policies as well as all applicable and generally accepted accounting principles and laws.

Monitoring and review

This Code will be reviewed annually by the College to monitor its effectiveness and will be updated in accordance with the necessary changes.

CMP code of ethics v18.01 ©

Updated February 2019.

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Complaints procedure

CMP’s complaints procedure ensures that questions and problems you may have in connection with the college are aired quickly, and resolved fairly and consistently.

Complaints may relate to a wide range of issues, including the standards, performance, decisions or actions of one or more of our members of staff or tutors.

The procedure is designed to be accessible and transparent, although we reserve the right at our discretion to vary, replace or terminate the procedure at any stage.

It cannot be used to deal with an anonymous or social media complaint as it would be difficult to accurately determine the particular circumstances relating to such a complaint.

Please note that this procedure is to be followed by members of staff, freelancers, tutors and learners and that they must read the relevant policies relating to the areas specified below before using this procedure (follow the URLs for further details).

Please reread our Learning Agreement and your Enrolment Pack, or your Tutor manual and Memorandum of Understanding (whichever applies) before you complain. They explain our responsibilities, and yours, and may help to avoid any misunderstandings.

Complaints procedure

Our complaints procedure enables you to raise and settle any complaint you may have as quickly and as near to the point of origin as possible.

Please follow the procedure as outlined in the Learning agreement clause 12.6, which is summarised below.

  • Many issues will, and indeed should, be resolvedinformally, including complaints about your tutor’s grading, feedback or conduct, as these will be referred directly to our Head Tutor.
  • If an informal approach does not result in the required resolution, you should make a formal complaint.
  • If you are not satisfied with our final response, please contact our accrediting bodies.

Guidelines

Complaints should be raised as early as possible and, in any event, within three months, and the above procedure followed without unreasonable delay at any stage.

When considering a suitable resolution, the person hearing the complaint will consider whether similar complaints have been raised before, how they have been resolved, and any follow-up action that was taken.

Review of this procedure

The procedure will be reviewed annually following its implementation and may be changed from time to time and without notice.

Complaints procedure v19.01 ©

Updated February 2019

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Equality and diversity policy

KEY POINTS

We, the College of Media and Publishing (CMP) regard each person as unique. We believe in their potential.

We will treat all staff members, freelancers (including tutors), partners, learners and enquirers with courtesy, dignity, and respect, and will not discriminate against them because of their:

  • Sexual orientation.
  • Ethnic origin.
  • Marital status.
  • Caring or parental responsibilities.
  • Criminal convictions.

We only reject a learner’s enrolment if:

  • In our judgment, a course is not suitable for them.
  • In our judgment, they are not suited to online learning.
  • They do not accept our Learning Agreement
  • They cannot afford the fee, although we try to help them if we can.

Learners with particular needs

We recognise that disabilities take many forms, both hidden and visible, and welcome the definition of disability as set out in the Equality Act 2010 (EA).

We are committed to identifying the disadvantages that disability causes and removing any consequent barriers to learning.

We are therefore committed to enabling all learners, staff members and tutors to access as fully as possible all educational and employment opportunities that we provide. We continually focus on our duty to provide inclusive learning and equality of opportunity for all.

All of our learners are expected to provide the equipment they need to undertake any of our courses. The equipment learners will need is listed on the CMP website. This includes screen readers and any other specialist equipment they may require.

We will ensure that all our learning materials comply with the EA, and we will comply with any reasonable request to provide alternative materials, or alternative assignments, for learners with particular needs, on condition that they provide valid evidence. Our Particular needs policy covers the alternative arrangements we can offer.

COMPLETE POLICY

Scope

This statement outlines the general responsibilities and requirements that we, the College of Media and Publishing (CMP), expect from staff members, freelancers (including tutors), partners and learners in their day-to-day activities.

It is the responsibility of each staff member, freelancer, tutor, and partner to ensure that this Equality and diversity policy is fully observed and that there is no discrimination against learners. Behaviour that is not in accordance with policy is unacceptable and may result in disciplinary action being taken.

Commitment

We are committed to equality and diversity for all, both as an employer and a training provider.

We expect that all those connected with us will fully comply with this policy. In accordance with the Equality Act 2010, we encompass all strands of equality and diversity legislation (age, disability, race and ethnicity, gender and sex, religion, belief and non-belief and sexual orientation).

In this policy, we demonstrate a commitment to valuing the diversity of all existing and potential staff members, tutors, freelancers and learners.

CMP is an equal opportunity employer. No staff member, freelancer, or tutor will be discriminated against on grounds of colour, race, nationality or ethnic origin, or on grounds of gender, sexual orientation, marital status, religion, political views, disability or age.

We aim to ensure that no job applicant, staff member, freelancer or tutor receives less favourable treatment or is discriminated against in any circumstances and that they are recruited, trained, transferred and promoted on the basis of the individual’s aptitudes and the requirement of the job.

Our policy is to provide and maintain equal opportunity within our working environment including access to resources and working practices for all our staff members, tutors and learners to enable them to achieve their goals and to provide such information, advice and guidance as they need for this purpose.

To ensure that all staff members and tutors, irrespective of position within CMP, understand CMP’s commitment to equality, copies of this policy are displayed on our website and Online Learning Area and summarised within our Enrolment pack and Tutor manual.

We support the concept of consultation with our staff members on equality of opportunity matters.

Our practices and guidelines relating to equal opportunities must be strictly adhered to by all staff members, freelancers and tutors. Discrimination, abuse or failure to observe these guidelines may result in disciplinary action being taken, up to and including summary dismissal (without notice) in serious cases.

If you believe that you have not been treated equally, you should raise the matter through our Complaints procedure (also see the Enrolment pack or the Tutor manual).

Positive action

  • Any person who has a disability, physical or mental (hidden) will be given opportunity equal to all others and based on merit and suitability for positions and courses.
  • As training providers, we are committed to being proactive in encouraging staff members, freelancers, tutors, learners and all others connected to us to embrace the diversity of individuals.
  • Learners, tutors and staff members will be supported to make sure they understand their duty to cooperate and comply with any measures set out to improve or sustain equality and diversity within CMP.
  • Learners, staff members, freelancers, tutors and others are asked to report any incident in order that it may be addressed. These will be investigated thoroughly on the basis of natural justice, ie, that someone is innocent until proven guilty. Any allegation is no more than an allegation until it is proven.
  • All staff members and tutors are asked to carry out their duties in a professional and proper manner considering the requirements of legislation and commitment to compliance.

Breach of policy

Disciplinary action will be taken against any staff member, freelancer, tutor or learner who is found to have committed a proven act of discrimination or harassment. Serious breaches of policy will be taken as gross misconduct.

Harassment, bullying, victimisation

Harassment is unsolicited and unwelcome workplace behaviour that adversely affects the dignity of the recipient. Where such behaviour is motivated by gender, sexual orientation, marital status, race, colour, national or ethnic origin, nationality, age or disability it also amounts to infringement of equal employment opportunity.

Bullying is persistent, offensive, malicious, intimidating or humiliating behaviour, often associated with the misuse of power or position, which aims to undermine the confidence or self-esteem of the recipient.

Victimisation as a result of giving information about any act by any person that contravenes this Equality and diversity policy, or for any other reason will not be tolerated. No person, staff member, freelancer, tutor, or learner will be victimised for their religion, religious or philosophical beliefs, or sexual orientation.

We are committed to ensuring that no harassment or victimisation at work, whatever the motivation, is overlooked or condoned. Such behaviour can range from extreme forms such as violence or bullying to less obvious actions like practical jokes and ridiculing colleagues or subordinates.

Conduct becomes harassment if it persists after the recipient has made clear that it is regarded as offensive, although a single offensive act can amount to harassment if it is so serious as to be obviously offensive towards the recipient.

If you believe you are the subject of any of these you should make a formal complaint. (The aim throughout is to resolve the complaints sensitively, impartially, effectively and quickly.) Depending on the seriousness of the allegation, the alleged harasser (whether a staff member, freelancer, tutor or learner) may be suspended from work or learning while the matter is being investigated under our disciplinary procedures.

All staff members and tutors must discourage sexual or racial harassment and seek to prevent it from taking place. In particular, they should:

  • Take prompt action to stop any form of harassment as soon as it is identified.
  • Ensure that potentially offensive material is not displayed or circulated in the offices, website, Online Learning Area, social media or via email.
  • Make it clear that this kind of behaviour is not acceptable and where appropriate will be treated as a disciplinary matter.

Confidentiality

Any information disclosed that is considered personal or sensitive, including disability, will be on the understanding that it is done so in confidence and will only be shared with relevant personnel by prior written agreement and not shared without explicit consent being given by the individual.

Where written permission is given by individuals to pass on information, the whole organisation shall be considered to know. It will be the responsibility of the informed person to pass information to the appropriate individuals and make all appropriate arrangements to facilitate the needs of the staff member, tutor, or learner without cause to embarrassment or disadvantage.

We will conduct thorough induction for staff members and tutors to ensure they understand the importance of maintaining confidentiality and how to maintain it.

Complaints

In order to protect staff and learners alike, we will ensure that each person has redress against harassment and bullying at work or during any part of learning.

We will ensure that any staff member, tutor or learner who feels that he or she has been treated unfairly or subjected to direct or indirect unfair discrimination can raise the matter through our Complaints procedure (also see the Enrolment pack or the Tutor manual) when every effort will be made to secure a satisfactory resolution. Any staff member, freelancer, tutor, or learner making a complaint of unfair discrimination will be protected from victimisation in any form. However, the rules of natural justice will apply at every stage.

  • Learners must use the guidelines and procedures issued to them as part of their induction, in particular, the Learning agreement and the Enrolment pack.
  • A record of all complaints made by learners will be held in confidence on their learner file.
  • Staff members, freelancers and tutors must use the line management structure that is in place.
  • A record of all complaints made by staff members, freelancers and tutors will be held by the Operations Director in accordance with procedures and in compliance of all legislation.
  • The reasons for all proven complaints will be reviewed, and action will be taken where appropriate in an endeavour to prevent a reoccurrence.

Right to advice, counselling & mediation

We support everyone’s right to advice and to legal protection. We aim to address complaints internally through our own policies and procedures. If this is not possible, we will endeavour to source independent advice, counselling or mediation for the individual to pursue, if they so wish.

Monitoring

Regular monitoring of our recruitment together with all other equality and diversity policies and processes for staff members, freelancers, tutors, and learners will take place to ensure that we pursue an effective policy of equality of opportunity.

Information computer technology

We will not require anyone to put down any detail on their application about which they are uncomfortable.

Anyone whose personal data is stored by us will have the right of access to it. We are fully in agreement with and support the regulations in the GDPR 2018. See our Privacy and data protection policy

Recruitment and selection

Recruitment will be on the sole basis of the applicant’s abilities. Applicants are “invisible” to us, in that we will not know their race, background, sexual orientation or other circumstances unless they tell us. A disability (physical or mental) will not of itself justify the non-recruitment of an applicant. We will take into account previous qualifications, achievements and experience for the purposes of recruitment and accreditation of prior learning for all staff members, freelancers and tutors.

Reasonable adjustments to the application procedures will be made as required to ensure that applicants are not disadvantaged because of disability. For example, where written documentation is used, alternative arrangements will be made for visually impaired applicants.

Before an applicant is judged because of a reason related to their disability to have failed to meet the requirements of their job description and personal specification or to have been less suitable than other applicants, full consideration will be given as to whether a reasonable adjustment can be made which will counteract this disadvantage.

Consequently, in addition to following CMP’s initial selection procedure the following general guidelines will be followed to ensure equal opportunities for all. CMP will:

  • Make it clear that applications both for jobs and government-funded training programmes are welcome from all people.
  • Choose photos or illustrations for recruitment literature that reflect the diversity of our society.
  • Eliminate the use of racist or sexist language.
  • Not prejudge people’s abilities because of their race, sex or disability.
  • Plan interviews carefully to ensure any questions asked relate directly to the position applied for in order to make decisions based on knowledge, abilities, experience and merit.
  • Wherever possible ask the same questions, in the same words, of everyone being interviewed.
  • Keep full and accurate records of interviews and reasons for selection or non-selection.
  • Be aware of the dangers of stereotyping on the grounds of age, disability, sex, sexual orientation, race, religion or belief, marriage or civil partnership, pregnancy or maternity when considering individual abilities.

Induction

When a disabled staff member, freelancer, tutor or learner commences their employment or programme it will be the responsibility of the managers, directors and staff members in consultation with the disabled person to ensure that such reasonable adjustments are made as are required to enable him or her to work or study safely and effectively and to secure equal access to the benefits of employment or their programme.

Where managers or staff members do not have the relevant expertise to resolve a problem they will consult with the directors and, where required, an outside specialist may be consulted.

Learners are made aware, in the Enrolment pack, that this policy relates also to their own behaviour towards others, and that they must not harass, abuse or intimidate fellow learners, tutors or staff members on account of their age, disability, sex, sexual orientation, race, religion or belief, marriage or civil partnership, pregnancy or maternity.

Should a learner approach a tutor regarding a complaint, the tutor should ask the learner to contact the college via the OLA.

Tutors and freelancers must make their own arrangements if they have a disability that affects their work.

Training and career development

We will train, develop and promote on the basis of merit and ability and encourage staff members and staff applicants from all backgrounds. In particular, each element of the promotion procedure and all necessary training will be made accessible to staff members by such adjustments as are reasonable.

Where during the course of their employment or programme a disabled staff member recognises their need for a reasonable adjustment to be made to employment or training arrangements or premises, he or she should discuss this requirement with his or her manager. The manager, in consultation with the directors, will then determine the appropriate action.

Every effort will be made to try to provide internal organisational support. Where it is identified and agreed that additional support is needed for a staff member, we will make every effort to try to provide internal organisational support. In cases where this cannot be achieved, access to other agencies or organisations will be sought so that a continuous pathway of help and advice is identified for that individual.

Where it is identified and agreed that this ability or skill is in need of refreshment at a later time, re-assessment can take place and if necessary support organised.

Rehabilitation of offenders

We will not discriminate against anyone who has a spent conviction under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974.

Benefits

Disabled staff members will have equal access to all benefits and facilities and reasonable adjustments will be made where necessary. The responsibility for implementation of the policy will lie with the managers in consultation with the directors.

Retention

As part of our commitment to equal opportunities for disabled people, we will ensure that all reasonable measures are taken to retain disabled staff members or learners in their employment or programme.

It will be the responsibility of the directors to identify when there is an issue of retention for an individual staff member or learner, for example where the dismissal of a disabled person is being considered on the grounds of sickness or incapacity.

We will make such adjustments as are reasonable to enable a disabled staff member or learner to carry out his or her duties or study programme. This will include but is not limited to consideration of the provision of specialist equipment, job re-design, re-training, flexible hours, remote working or redeployment for staff members, or the provision of alternative course material for learners.

If, as a result of their disability, a staff member is absent from work for a period of four weeks, a phased return to work should be arranged in consultation with the directors.

During this period a staff member may request vocational, medical or functional assessment.

If redeployment is necessary the staff member will be viewed as a priority within the redeployment procedure.

Adjustment

The prime responsibility for arranging the appropriate adjustment will lie with the directors. However, in many cases, a team approach by the managers and directors will be appropriate.

The person with responsibility for arranging adjustments will at all times consult with the staff member concerned whose agreement will be sought. The expertise of the disabled staff member concerning their own disability will be recognised.

Where the person with initial responsibility does not have the relevant expertise to resolve the problem, they will consult with the directors. Where required, an outside specialist may be consulted with prior authorisation from the directors.

Once an adjustment has been made, this operation may need to be reviewed at agreed intervals to assess its continuing effectiveness.

Action plan – removal of barriers

We recognise the importance of taking proactive measures to remove barriers to disabled people from the working environment.

An action plan will be drawn up in consultation with the staff member, indicating which actions will be taken over a certain period of time and who has responsibility for various aspects of the plan and how it will be monitored.

The plan will address physical access to the premises, access to benefits of employment, terms and conditions of employment, recruitment and arrangements for recruitment, performance assessment, promotion and retention.

It is important that you let us know if you have any particular day-to-day care or medical needs so that we can try to make suitable arrangements for you. You can tell your line manager confidentially in person or by writing what you need.

We treat all medical disclosures including the carrying of prescribed drugs confidentially and will only share this information with other medical or paramedical personnel if necessary and with your signed agreement. We will ask for details of someone we can contact on your behalf in the event of you being taken ill. If we know your previous medical condition the right treatment can be given to you as soon as possible.

Equal pay

Men and women are entitled to be paid equally without any bias on the grounds of gender. This right is set out in the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union and is enforceable under UK Law. All reasonable steps will be taken to ensure that male and female staff members receive equal pay for the same work and for work rated as equivalent and for work of equal value.

Age

Discrimination or harassment (whether direct or indirect) on grounds of age, by employers, is prohibited in the areas of recruitment, promotion and training.

Disability

We are committed to equal opportunities for staff members, freelancers, tutors or learners regardless of whether or not they have a disability. Any individual who believes that he or she has been unfairly discriminated against for reasons related to their disability can use our Complaints procedure (also see the Enrolment pack or Tutor manual).

Race & ethnicity

We are committed to racial equality for all learners and staff members. We aim to ensure that the environment is supportive, where all individuals are treated with courtesy and respect and their contribution to the learning process is valued. We aim to create and maintain the conditions whereby learners, staff members, freelancers and tutors are treated solely on the basis of their merits, abilities and potential, regardless of ethnic or national origin.

Gender & sex

We will give due weight to the need to promote gender equality. The duty requires us to identify and tackle discrimination, to prevent harassment, and to ensure that we promote equality of opportunity between men and women.

The duty requires us to take action on the most important gender equality issues within our functions. Under the duty, we also have an obligation to eliminate discrimination and harassment towards current and potential transgender staff members, freelancers, tutors, and learners.

We will:

  • Ensure that all of a transgender staff member or tutor’s rights are met, as are every employee’s rights, under the Sex Discrimination Act 1975.
  • Ensure that transgender staff members and tutors have equal access to all forms of training and staff development.
  • Ensure that there is no discrimination on the grounds of gender identity in relation to the dismissal of staff members. In particular, should a redundancy situation occur, we will ensure that gender identity or gender reassignment are not factors in the selection of those to be made

External support:

The Gender Trust is recognised as an authoritative centre for professional people who encounter gender-identity-related issues in the course of their work. This group includes employers, human resources officers, health workers and information services.

Website: http://www.gendertrust.org.uk

Sexual harassment at work

Sexual harassment is a particular form of harassment. It is conduct at work directed towards employees by other employees or a group of employees which is of a sexual nature, or which is based on a person’s sex, and which is regarded as unwelcome or offensive to the recipient.

The following examples illustrate the sort of conduct that may be treated as sexual harassment:

  • Unwanted physical contact or conduct which is intimidating or physically or verbally abusive. Harassment can also be non-verbal, for example, staring or gestures.
  • Suggestions that sexual favours may further a person’s career or that refusal may hinder it.
  • Sexual advances, propositions, suggestions or pressure for sexual activity at or outside work.
  • Derogatory or demeaning remarks based on gender, or the display of sexually explicit material in the workplace.

Sexual harassment is a denial of equal employment opportunity and has the effect of insulting and demeaning the employee who is harassed.

Sexual orientation

It is our aim to create an inclusive community where people are enabled to meet their full potential and are treated as individuals. This includes recognising and supporting a person’s self-identity.

This is an important aspect of our overall commitment to providing equal opportunities in employment and to ensure that no current or prospective staff members or tutors are subject to discrimination or victimisation as a result of their sexual orientation.

Religion, belief & non-belief

Through the implementation of the relevant policies and procedures, we seek to ensure that:

  • Recruitment and selection are based entirely on relevant criteria, which do not include religious belief or non-belief (except in the case of a genuine occupational requirement).
  • Members of any religion, or none, are treated with equal dignity and fairness.
  • Under-represented groups in society are encouraged to apply for jobs.
  • Where possible, appropriate services are provided to meet the cultural and religious needs of all staff members.

The right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion is absolute, but the right to manifest beliefs is qualified by the need to protect the rights and freedoms of others, bearing in mind each individual’s right to freedom of expression.

Complaints procedure

CMP’s Complaints procedure is to be used by staff members, tutors, freelancers and learners for all types of complaint.

Contact information

The nominated person to contact for equality and diversity, and the contents of this policy, is the Operations Director:

[email protected]

Equality and diversity policy v19.03 ©

Updated May 2019

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Grading appeals procedure

You are entitled to challenge your tutor’s grade for any assignment.

This is the process:

1. If you feel that your grade is inappropriate, message your tutor in the first instance, using the CONTACT MY TUTOR box in the OLA, and discuss it with them.

2. If you are dissatisfied with your tutor’s response, please message us, using the CONTACT THE COLLEGE box in the OLA. Please tell us:

  • a. Your name.
  • b. Your course.
  • c. The assignment number.
  • d. Why you believe your grade was wrong.

3. We will acknowledge your message within two working days, and the head tutor will investigate, as follows. He will:

  • a. Examine your assignment and your tutor’s comments with a view to confirming your tutor’s grade, or changing it. He may change it to a higher or a lower grade.
  • b. Inform you, and your tutor, of your new grade within three working days.

4. If you are dissatisfied with the head tutor’s decision, please message us, using the CONTACT THE COLLEGE box in the OLA and tell us why you think the decision is wrong.

5. We will then ask another tutor, who has no prior knowledge of any previous grades, to mark your assignment.

6. That grade will be final. However, you can appeal to the ABCC if you believe we have breached its code of ethics. These are the ABCC’s contact details: www.homestudy.org.uk/contact-us/

Grading appeals procedure v18.00 ©

Updated January 2019

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Particular needs policy

INTRODUCTION

This policy outlines:

  • Our arrangements for making reasonable adjustments and special considerations in relation to online study to achieve our certifications.
  • How learners qualify for reasonable adjustments and special considerations.
  • The reasonable adjustments we will permit and those where permission is required in advance before they are applied.

Review arrangements

We review the policy annually as part of its overall policy review process and revise it as and when necessary in response to tutor and learner feedback, changes in our practices, actions from the regulatory authorities or external agencies or changes in legislation.

Policy overview

We are committed to complying with all current and relevant legislation in relation to the development and delivery of our certifications and, which, at the time of writing, includes but is not limited to the Equality Act 2010. We seek to uphold human rights relating to race relations, disability discrimination and special educational needs of our learners and to provide equal reasonable adjustments and special considerations for all learners registered on our courses.

We ensure that our certifications and assessments do not bar learners from taking our certifications. We recognise that reasonable adjustments or special considerations may be required at the time of assessment where:

  • Learners have a permanent disability or specific learning needs.
  • Learners have a temporary disability, medical condition or learning needs.

Definition of reasonable adjustments

A reasonable adjustment is any action that helps to reduce the effect of a disability or difficulty that places the learner at a substantial disadvantage in the assessment situation. Adjustments are made to an assessment for a certification to enable a disabled learner to demonstrate his or her knowledge, skills and understanding of the levels of attainment required by the specification for that certification. Reasonable adjustments must not affect the integrity of what needs to be assessed, but may involve:

  • Changing usual assignment requirements.
  • Adapting learning and assignment materials.
  • Providing documents that are compatible with screen-readers, and scripts for videos and podcasts.

Reasonable adjustments are approved and set in place before the assessment activity takes place. The use of a reasonable adjustment will not be taken into consideration during the assessment of a learner’s work. We are only required by law to do what is “reasonable” in terms of giving access. What is reasonable will depend on the individual circumstances, cost implications and the practicality and effectiveness of the adjustment.

Definition of special considerations

Special considerations can be applied after an assessment if there is a reason the learner may have been disadvantaged during the assessment.

We recognise that the occasions when these are needed will be rare. Learners complete assignments when and where they are ready, and if they experience difficulties such as illness, disturbance, etc, they can usually complete the assignment at another time.

However, there are some occasions where, for example, a learner may be disturbed by bad weather, or where an interview with someone may be interrupted.

Special considerations should not give the learner an unfair advantage; neither should its use cause the user of the certificate to be misled regarding a learner’s achievements.

Process for requesting reasonable adjustments or special considerations

To request a reasonable adjustment or special consideration, the learner must email [email protected], or message the college via the Online Learning Area.

For reasonable adjustment requests, appropriate supporting evidence must also be supplied with the request forms in order for the request to be considered. Supporting evidence may include a:

  • Medical certificate.
  • Psychological or other professional assessment report.

For special consideration requests, supporting evidence may be requested, depending on the nature of the request submitted.

How we will deal with requests

In the first instance, we will respond to acknowledge the request within two working days of receipt. We will respond to confirm the outcome of the request within five working days of receipt.

MAKING REASONABLE ADJUSTMENTS

Principles of making reasonable adjustments

These principles should be followed when making decisions about a learner’s need for reasonable adjustments to assessments:

  • It should not invalidate the assessment requirements of the certification.
  • It should not give the learner in question an unfair advantage.
  • It should reflect the learner’s normal way of working.
  • It should be based on the individual need of the learner.
  • Reasonable adjustments should not compensate the learner for lack of knowledge and skills. The learner must be able to cope with the content of the assessment and be able to work at the level required for the assessment.
  • A reasonable adjustment must not invalidate the assessment requirements of the certification or the requirements of the assessment strategy. While we will take all reasonable steps to ensure that a learner with a disability or difficulty is not placed at a substantial disadvantage in comparison with persons who are not disabled in terms of access to assessment, there is no duty to make any adjustment to a provision, criterion or practice. All learners’ performance must be assessed against set standards. These standards cannot be altered, but it may be possible to change the course delivery so that each learner has an equal opportunity to demonstrate what they know, understand and can do.
  • A reasonable adjustment must not give the learner an unfair advantage or disadvantage over other learners. The certification of a learner who was awarded a reasonable adjustment must have the same credibility as that of any other learner. As vocational certifications may lead to employment, achievement of such certifications must give a realistic indication to the potential employer of what the holder of the certificate can do.
  • A reasonable adjustment must be based on the individual need of the learner. Decisions about adjustments to assessment should be taken after careful consideration of the assessment needs of each individual learner, the assessment requirements of the certification or unit and the nature and extent of the support given as part of normal teaching practice. Different certifications and different methods of assessment can make different demands on the learner. The learner should be consulted throughout the process.
  • A reasonable adjustment should reflect the learner’s normal way of working providing this does not affect what is being assessed in any way. The learner should have experience of and practice in the use of the adjustment.
  • A reasonable adjustment must be supported by evidence which is sufficient, valid and reliable. Where the implications of a particular difficulty are unclear, we will use specialist advice in order to determine how the difficulty will affect the learner’s performance in the assessment.
  • We will avoid making assumptions on the basis of previous experience about whether adjustments may be necessary. Judgments should be made on the basis of individual need. If an adjustment is needed, it should be documented for audit purposes.

Identifying and obtaining supporting evidence

Any application for a reasonable adjustment must be supported by appropriate evidence which is valid, sufficient and reliable.

To ensure that any adjustment to assessment will only provide the learner with the necessary assistance without giving him or her an unfair advantage over others, we must be clear about the extent to which the learner is affected by the disability or difficulty.

A learner with a Statement of Special Educational Need does not automatically qualify for reasonable adjustments. The demands of the certifications or Lesson should be taken into account.

Particular needs policy v18.01 ©

Updated May 2019

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Refunds policy

If you enrolled on or after 3 September 2019, you are protected by the Consumer Rights Act 2015 and may request a full refund of your course fee within 14 days of receipt of your enrolment by emailing [email protected]

See further details: https://collegeofmediaandpublishing.co.uk/money-back-guarantee/

We do not issue refunds in any other circumstances.

This does not affect your statutory rights.

Refunds policy v18.01 ©

Updated September 2019

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Recruitment policy

KEY POINTS

1. This recruitment policy ensures that we, the College of Media and Publishing (CMP), will:

a. Be fair and consistent.

b. Be non-discriminatory.

c. Conform to all statutory regulations and agreed best practice.

 2. Our priority is to recruit staff members and tutors:

a. Who our team members know personally, or

b. Who are CMP graduates (having completed at least one course), and with whom we have built a strong e-relationship.

 3. All those considered for tutor roles must:

a. Have the necessary skills and experience to teach the subject(s).

b. Have up-to-date knowledge of their sectors.

c. Still be working in their sectors.

 4. All those considered for non-tutorial roles must:

a. Have the necessary qualifications, skills and experience.

b. Provide two references – one personal, one professional.

 5. All tutors and support staff are self-employed. There are no set hours.

6. We do not advertise vacancies or invite applications. We approach suitable candidates and, if they are interested, send them further information using our “know and nurture” process (see below).

7. If interviews are required, they will be done by Skype or FaceTime.

8. If a candidate wishes to work for us, we will email them our Memorandum of understanding to read, sign and return by email or post. The agreement requires them to read and accept all our policies and relevant handouts.

9. On acceptance, a freelance tutor is required to take part in our training programme.

COMPLETE POLICY

Scope

This statement outlines the general responsibilities and requirements that we, the College of Media and Publishing (CMP) expect from staff members in the process of recruiting other staff members or freelancers (including tutors).

We recognise that our staff members and freelancers are our greatest asset, and that the right recruitment and induction processes are vital in ensuring that new colleagues become effective in the shortest time. Our success is based on having staff members and freelancers with the right skills and abilities. Recruiting people who are wrong for the organisation can lead to increased employee turnover, increased costs for the organisation, and lowering of morale in the existing workforce.

Our approach

We have a recruitment system which produces staff members and tutors who:

  1. Are highly qualified and experienced at what they do.
  2. Are familiar with the online learning environment.
  3. Understand our culture, especially with regards to quality, friendliness and rapid response times.
  4. Are straightforward and easy to work with.

In addition, we require tutors to be currently working in their sectors.

We have a legal responsibility to ensure that no unlawful discrimination occurs in the recruitment and selection process on the grounds of gender, sexual orientation, marital or civil partner status, gender reassignment, race, colour, nationality, ethnic or national origin, religion or belief, disability or age. Equality of opportunity is an integral part of our recruitment and selection process.

Jake Thom is responsible for initiating the recruitment process. The final decision on who should be appointed is that of the directors.

Stages of recruitment

The recruitment process involves the following, although not necessarily in this order.

  • Attracting applicants – an ongoing process.
  • Job analysis.
  • Job description.
  • Person specification.
  • Salary or rate.
  • Appointment process.

CMP’s “know and nurture” process

We only appoint people whom we know already.

This ensures that they have already fulfilled our requirements of points a. to d. above, so there is no risk in appointing them. We save time, money and resources by not going through the process of advertising for and identifying and interviewing candidates, most of whom will be unsuitable.

Our approach guarantees quality at every level of our operation for staff members, tutors, learners and management.

It also minimises the need for training and induction.

We have used this policy since 2003 and have never made a poor or inappropriate appointment.

Our founder used this policy when he was group editor of nine local newspapers. He always had potential recruits “on the boil” ready to step into vacancies when they arose.

The policy was warmly applauded by his employers, Reed Regional plc.

Knowing

We “know” people (either personally, or digitally):

  1. Through personal contact.
  2. Through personal recommendation from existing staff.
  3. Through knowledge of them as CMP learners.

All our current and former staff members and tutors were identified this way. The result is they are a talented, enthusiastic and highly qualified team who enjoy working for us. Each has worked for us for between four and 13 years. The low turnover, especially of tutors, enhances the learner experience. It is very rare that a tutor leaves during a course.

Nurturing

Once we identify a possible candidate, we nurture them by:

  • Letting them demonstrate the initiative in keeping in touch.
  • Getting to know them on social media and via email.
  • Introducing them to other staff members and getting feedback.
  • Asking them for small favours, such as, “Could you look at this lesson update and let us know what you think”, or, “Can you look at this logo / webpage / artwork / image and tell us what you think?”
  • Monitoring items such as:
    • Response times to messages and emails.
    • The language they use – friendly? Good humoured? Stiff and formal?
    • Their spelling, punctuation and grammar.
    • Their levels of courtesy and etiquette.
    • Their knowledge of their sector and of current developments.
    • Their enthusiasm.

And anything else that builds the relationship.

If they make a good impression during this process (and they like us), we then start offering them small pieces of freelance work, holiday cover, etc, and see how they do.

Potential tutors are eventually put on our training programme so they are ready to work if we need them.

The offer

When we are ready to offer someone regular freelance work, we send them our Memorandum of understanding which they accept by email.

Induction

Once the Memorandum of understanding has been accepted, we send the recruit, as required, the:

  1. Enrolment pack.
  2. Tutor manual.
  3. Link to the OLA instructional video.
  4. Details of invoicing and payment
  5. Contact arrangements for their line manager.
  6. Links to all our policies.

We also identify any training needs and decide with the recruit how to meet them.

Monitoring

The Operations Director carefully monitors tutors’ marking, comments and enquiry responses via the OLA – including response times.

Other staff members’ work is checked by their line manager.

Contact information

If you have any questions about this policy, please contact the Operations Director:

[email protected]

Recruitment policy v19.02 ©

Updated May 2019

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Safety awareness policy

The UK Health and Safety Executive provides guidelines that might help our students, staff and tutors work more safely and comfortably in their own environments.

You can download them:

Below are some of the main points:

Keyboards and keying in (typing):

  • A space in front of the keyboard can help you rest your hands and wrists when not keying.
  • Try to keep wrists straight when keying.
  • Good keyboard technique is important – you can do this by keeping a soft touch on the keys and not overstretching the fingers.

Using a mouse:

  • Position the mouse within easy reach, so it can be used with a straight wrist.
  • Sit upright and close to the desk to reduce working with the mouse arm stretched.
  • Move the keyboard out of the way if it is not being used.
  • Support the forearm on the desk, and don’t grip the mouse too tightly.
  • Rest fingers lightly on the buttons and do not press them hard.

Reading the screen:

  • Make sure individual characters on the screen are sharp, in focus and don’t flicker or move. If they do, the DSE may need servicing or adjustment.
  • Adjust the brightness and contrast controls on the screen to suit lighting conditions in the room.
  • Make sure the screen surface is clean.
  • When setting up software, choose text that is large enough to read easily on screen when sitting in a normal comfortable working position.
  • Select colours that are easy on the eye (avoid red text on a blue background or vice versa).

Safety awareness policy v18.00 ©

Updated January 2019

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