Complaints Policy & Procedure
This procedure describes how Alumah will investigate complaints from service users, staff, volunteers or partners and identify the root causes of any problems. It also explains how Alumah will record positive feedback from service users, staff, volunteers or partners.
We will aim to listen carefully to the people we work with and investigate complaints thoroughly so that we can:
- stop the same thing happening again
- identify improvements to the way we work
- encourage good practice
with the aim of continuously improving our service and encouraging our service users to make their voice heard.
The procedure applies to all staff of Alumah, paid and unpaid. It is the responsibility of the CEO to ensure that the procedures are followed and that Trustees are kept informed. All staff should be aware of the procedure and able to encourage and support service users and partner agencies to use it.
The whistle blowing Policy explains how members of staff can raise issues.
It is important to be clear about the difference between a concern and a complaint. Taking informal concerns seriously at the earliest stage will reduce the numbers that develop into formal complaints.
Publicising the procedure
Alumah will ask for written feedback from all service users frequently and at least on completion of a course. All service users will be informed of how to raise a concern or make a complaint.
3.1 Formal complaint procedure
An effective Complaints Procedure will:
- encourage resolution of problems by informal means wherever possible
- be easily accessible and publicised
- be simple to understand and use
- be impartial
- be non-adversarial
- allow swift handling with established time-limits for action and keeping people informed of the progress ensure a full and fair investigation by an independent person where necessary
- respect people’s desire for confidentiality
- address all the points at issue and provide an effective response and appropriate redress
- provide information to management team so that services can be improved
3.2 Making a complaint or a compliment
- If the issue cannot be resolved informally, then the service user should write to or call Chair of Trustees ( email@example.com ) or telephone 07770468698 – these details will be publicised
- The complaint will be logged and a suitable person asked to investigate within 2 days of receipt of the complaint. A response must be sent to the complainent within 5 days of receipt
- The complaint will then be reviewed in a 2 stage process-
- Stage one: Investigation by CEO/Nominated member of staff; within 28 days of receipt of complaint
- Stage two:Review (If the complainent is not satisfied) complaint reviewed by a Trustee
3.3 Investigating Complaints
The person investigating the complaint should ensure that they:
- establish what has happened so far, and who has been involved;
- clarify the nature of the complaint and what remains unresolved;
- contact the complainant (if unsure or further information is necessary);
- clarify what the complainant feels would put things right;
- interview those involved in the matter and/or those complained of, allowing them to be accompanied if they wish;
- conduct the interview with an open mind and be prepared to persist in the questioning;
- keep notes of the interviews.
At this stage the process should remain as confidential as possible. If safeguarding or disciplinary concerns come to light, this should immediately be reported to the CEO and the relevant policies followed.
3.4 Resolving Complaints
At every stage, consider how the complaint may be resolved. A simple acknowledgement may be enough. The following could also be considered:
- an apology;
- an explanation;
- an admission that the situation could have been handled differently or better;
- an assurance that the event complained of will not recur;
- an explanation of the steps that have been taken to ensure that it will not happen again;
- an undertaking to review Alumah policies in light of the complaint.
The outcome of the investigation should be discussed and agreed with the complainent. This should be followed up within 28 days of the original complaint being received with a letter to the complainent explaining the outcome of the review and that they are entitled to request a review. the person originally receiving the complaint should receive a copy of this letter
3.5 Escalating complaints
If the complainant remains unhappy they should return to the person they originally complained to and request a review. The appointed reviewer should reinvestigate as above. Their decision is final.
3.6 Recording and reviewing complaints
The person receiving complaints shall maintain a log of complaints received and manage the response process.
Complaints and compliments will be reviewed quarterly by the Trustees.