Complaints and objections procedure

Procedure for complaints and objections against (the outcomes of) assessments of research units


QANU has a procedure for research units that want to issue a complaint or raise an objection against (the outcomes of) an assessment conducted by a panel that was supported by QANU. A complaint or objection can be related to the assessment itself (e.g., to the procedures used before, during or after the site visit) or to the outcomes of the assessment, laid down in the report containing the panel's assessment of the research unit.


  • A complaint or an objection has to be submitted by the board of the university to the director of QANU within a period of six weeks after the final report containing the panel's assessment has been sent to the university. The complaint or objection has to be described as clearly as possible and as detailed as necessary.
  • QANU's director forwards the complaint or objection to QANU's board. QANU's board investigates the complaint or objection. It provides a response to the complaint or objection within a period of two months after the complaint or objection has been submitted by the board of the university.
  • If the complaint or appeal refers to a procedural error made by QANU or a misunderstanding on the side of QANU, QANU will correct the error or clarify the misunderstanding.
  • If the complaint or appeal is not related to a procedural error or a misunderstanding on the side of QANU, the board will organise a hearing to give the representatives of the university the opportunity to explain the complaint or objection in detail.
  • The board of QANU decides whether the complaint or objection is justified and whether it leads to a revision of the panel’s report or to other measures.
  • If the matter cannot be settled after the hearing, QANU's board offers the opportunity to call in the assistance of a professional mediator.
  • If the university does not agree with the decision taken by the board of QANU or by the solution proposed by the mediator, it has the opportunity to take the matter to court.


Since assessments of research units as such do not have any formal implications or consequences, it is not possible to make an appeal against the assessments by panels supported by QANU.