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Complaints

Please review these instructions carefully before starting to complete the complaint form. It is designed to help you organize facts and define your concerns so the Workforce Board can assist you in resolving your grievance against a private career school.

Complaint form (Word)

Please note: The Workforce Board cannot mediate a complaint filed by anyone other than a current or former student of a private vocational school that is subject to RCW 28C.10.

Time frame for filing a complaint varies
Currently open schools Once you withdraw, are terminated, or graduate, you have one year from your last date of attendance to file a complaint.
Distance education students If you are a distance education student, you must file your complaint within one year of the date the school received your last completed lesson.
Closed schools Any complaints against a closed school must be filed within 60 days of closure.

The total average time needed to process complaints is 90 days. But complex cases may take longer.

First Steps
Before you file a complaint, you should make a good faith effort to resolve the problem by:

  • Communicating directly with school officials.
  • Using the school's internal grievance or complaint process.
  • Bringing your problem to the attention of the school director, president or chief administrator.
  • Keeping notes of these efforts, as the complaint form will ask you to detail those contacts.

What Happens Next
Within 10 days of receiving your complaint, Workforce Board staff will review it and notify you whether we have jurisdiction over your complaint. If not, we may refer your complaint to another state or federal agency. In some cases, you may consider taking your issue to small claims court or civil court. Our agency does not offer legal advice.

If Your Complaint Moves Forward
If the Workforce Board accepts your complaint, we will forward it to the school for a response. The school has 15 working days to either resolve the complaint directly with you, or send the agency a written response. After receiving the school's response, we will conduct an investigation and try to reach a negotiated agreement between you and the school. If an agreement is reached, we will confirm the solution in writing and close the matter. If not, we will issue a determination that will be sent to you and the school.

Refunds and Restitution
If the school is ordered by our agency to make a refund, pay restitution, or make other arrangements, (such as additional class time or placement assistance), the school must document how it has complied. In some cases, the Workforce Board may also take separate discliplinary action against the school.

Complaints Are Public Records
Please be aware that your name, address and phone numbers might be disclosed in the event of a public records request. This information can't be used for commercial purposes, however. Contact the Workforce Board at (360) 709-4600 for more information.

Remember To Keep All Original Documents For Your Personal Records. Send Only Copies With Your Complaint Form.

 
   

 

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