Whilst we make every effort to meet peoples’ expectations, circumstances may arise where an individual has a concern and wishes to bring this to our attention. We will take all reasonable steps to resolve the situation, in everyone’s best interests.
1. Informal Complaints
Anyone who has a concern should initially raise this with a member of our team, or via
firstname.lastname@example.org This enables us to respond to and deal with any issue quickly.
We will seek to resolve the issue and meet any reasonable expectations the individual may have, ideally to their satisfaction. If we are unable to meet reasonable expectations immediately, we will make a note of:
• The complainant’s name and contact details, unless they are unwilling to provide
• The nature of the concern and anything that they wish to be done about it.
• The circumstances surrounding the complaint, including when, where any action that
was taken and the details of others who were present/involved.
We will advise the complainant that their concern will be passed to the Complaints Manager.
2. Formal Complaints
Where an individual wishes to make a formal complaint, they will be provided with the e mail address of the Complaints Manager and/or our registered office address, as they wish.
Correspondence should be marked private and confidential. They should also be provided with a copy of this policy by post or e mail.
To help resolve the complaint as quickly and effectively as possible, the individual making the complaint should do so as soon as possible and should include in it:
• Name, organisation (if relevant), address, telephone number and e mail.
• If you do not wish to be contacted in a particular way, please let us know and we will
of course respect this.
• As much information as possible, such as what happened, where, when (date/time),
who was present and any action taken, and by whom.
• What it is they felt to be unsatisfactory.
• What they believe should be done to address their concern.
• Receipt will be acknowledged within 7 working days. The complaint will then be
investigated. If necessary, specialist advice will be sought. Where clarification or further information is felt to be necessary, the Complaints Manager will contact the person complaining to request this.
A response will be sent within 14 working days of the acknowledgment of receipt. If this is not possible, a holding reply will be sent at that time advising when we estimate the investigation will be completed.
The complaint response will explain our findings and what action we will be taking/have taken, subject to the constraints of the Data Protection Act.
If the complainant is not satisfied with the response, he or she may appeal the decision, in writing to the Chief Executive, the contact details of whom will included in our response.
Appeals must be submitted within 28 days of our response to the complaint.
The appeal should be specific about why the individual feels the decision made was wrong and provide the facts and information necessary to demonstrate this.
All complaints will be investigated using a fair and reasonable process. A decision will be notified within 28 days and will be final.
Staff complainants are referred to the grievance and whistleblowing policies.
3. Wider Action
Irrespective of the outcome of any complaint, we will consider if there is any requirement in respect of wider action and/or statutory reporting to the Charity Commission, H&SW Executive, other regulator, or the Police.
Consideration will also to be given to whether any changes should be made to policies, procedures, training etc to see if anything might reasonably be done to prevent a similar issue arising in future.
Consideration will be given to the role of our insurance - our insurance company may require to be notified.
4. Anonymous Complaints
Anonymous complaints will be recorded and any facts available looked in to. However, in doing so we will be mindful that anonymous complaints can sometimes be malicious.
Everyone involved in our work, even incidentally, has a right to complain and we will hold anyone accountable but, equally, individuals have a right to be protected from unsubstantiated and, potentially, malicious allegations.
Consequently, anyone wishing to complain is strongly encouraged to provide the information requested above and their contact details. This will also allow us to advise them of the outcome.
The complaint will be treated as confidential and any communication on this issue, including
responding to the complainant, will be subject to compliance with the Data Protection Act.
This policy is to be made publicly available on the Council website and given to anyone who advises that he/she wishes to submit a complaint.