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PLP Complaints Policy | Reporting of Incidents/Accidents during PLP Child Safeguarding | Bullying, Intimidation & Sexual Harassment | Data Protection

PLP Complaints Policy

In coordinating PLP, Teagasc aims to deliver an efficient and quality service to learners, and host farmers. However, things can go wrong and learners and hosts have a right of complaint if issues arise during PLP.
Teagasc has a PLP Complaints Policy to guide how complaints will be addressed. It is intended to help resolve problems in an effective way. Those making a complaint can expect to be dealt with promptly, fairly and in
accordance with the PLP Complaints Policy.
This policy outlines how a learner or host farmer can make a complaint or seek a review of Teagasc PLP arrangements. 
The purpose of the policy is to resolve complaints or problems, as far as is possible to the mutual satisfaction of the complainant and Teagasc.
There are four stages in the Teagasc PLP Complaints Process

Stage 1 - Informal Review

  • The learner or host farmer contacts the local PLP Officer to raise concerns regarding PLP. 
  • If the issues remain unresolved the learner or host can elevate the matter to Stage 2.

Stage 2 - Formal College review

  • The learner/host complete a PLP Complaint Form. 
  • The College Principal supported by the National Placement Specialist investigate the complaint and issue recommendations. 
  • If at this stage, the issue is not resolved, the learner/host can refer the matter to the Teagasc
    Quality Customer Service Officer.

Stage 3 - National Review 

  • Quality Customer Service Officer with the Head of Education will refer the complaint to an independent review group.
  • The review group will investigate the complaint and issue final recomendation.
  • If a learner/host is not satisfied that their complaint has been adequately resolved by Teagasc, they can contact the Ombudsman, or the Ombudsman for Children.

Stage 4 - Offices of the Ombudsman

  • The complaint can be referred to the Ombudsman, or the Ombudsman for Children.
  • The recommendations of the Ombudsman or the Ombudsman for Children will be adopted by

Reporting of Incidents/Accidents during PLP

Learners complete their PLP on working host farms and while every effort is taken to ensure safety, accidents can sometimes occur. It is a requirement that host farmers inform Teagasc of all accidents involving learners that occur during PLP. The following is a summary of the actions, which must be taken in the event of an accident:

  • All accidents should be reported to the PLP Officer within 24 hours of occurrence.
  • The accident will be investigated by the PLP Officer or another nominated person to determine the root cause of the accident.
  • The host farmer and learner may be interviewed as part of an investigation process.
  • A written summary of interviews will be prepared, photographs may be taken and an accident report will be completed.
  • If required, the host farm may be inspected by a representative of the Teagasc Insurance Company. The host farmer will be informed of any such inspections in advance.
  • New safety protocols and work procedures may need to be introduced on the farm to mitigate risk of a recurrence.
  • The learner absent from PLP due to an accident, may be required to provide a medical certificate to confirm that they are fit to recommence PLP. A copy of such medical certificate should be provided to the College PLP Officer. 
  • The host farmer is also required to adhere to national Health and Safety legislation with reporting accidents. Access the online Health and Safety Authority (HSA) link to the reporting system here 
  • A procedure should be in place on the host farm to review “near misses” so that accidents are minimised and safety management improved.

Teagasc Child Safeguarding Policy

Teagasc is committed to safeguarding children (minors under 18 years of age) undertaking training with Teagasc. The Teagasc Child Safeguarding Policy is prepared in accordance with the Children First Act 2015 and the Children First: National Guidance.
It sets out the principles and procedures to be observed to ensure, as far as possible, that a child availing of Teagasc’s services is safe from harm.
Teagasc may also, in its discretion, adapt and apply certain provisions of this policy for use in the safeguarding of vulnerable adults.
View the Teagasc Child Safeguarding Policy here  
In line with this policy host farmers are required to complete the online Tusla ‘Introduction to Child First e-learning programme’ course. This programme must be completed by all host farmers and a copy of the completion certificate submitted to the National PLP Specialist. 
Teagasc requires that host farmers are Garda Vetted. This process is managed and coordinated by the National Placement Specialist.

Learners under 18 years of Age

The following procedures are in place to protect minors under 18 years at the time of commencing PLP:

  • The host farmer will be made aware of the fact that the learner is under 18 years and therefore a minor. 
  • Learners under the age of 18 cannot reside on a host farm while on PLP. 
  • Hosts providing PLP for minors will be Garda vetted prior to the commencement of PLP. 
  • The PLP officer/Supervisor will maintain regular contact with the minor while on PLP.

Guidelines on Bullying, Intimidation and Sexual Harassment

All learners and agricultural hosts are entitled to be treated with respect:

  • Learners on PLP and host farmers must be allowed to perform their duties in a climate free from intimidation, bullying and sexual harassment.
  • It is the responsibility of Teagasc to ensure that learners and hosts are not subjected to bullying, intimidation or sexual harassment during PLP. Complaints received by Teagasc will initiate an investigation which will bear in mind the sensitivity of the complaint. 
  • Learners and host farmers are made aware of the Teagasc Dignity and Respect Policy Statement which includes guidance on intimidation, bullying and sexual harassment and disciplinary procedures related to
    such behaviours. Download the Teagasc Dignity and Respect Policy (pdf) 


Teagasc Data Protection

Teagasc has a number of policies in place designed to support the protection of your personal data:

  • Personal Data provided to Teagasc will only be used for the purpose for which it was collected.
  • Teagasc’s commitment to data protection and your rights under our 
    policies are available in the Data Protection Policies section of our website

Disclosure and Confidentiality

For health and safety reasons, and to facilitate successful PLP, Teagasc will share relevant information with learners and hosts. The sharing of personal information will be limited to factors that may affect the successful completion of PLP and will be treated in confidence between the host, learner and PLP officer.