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Complaints Policy

We believe, should any person affected by our activities wish to make a complaint or register a concern they should find the process as easy as possible. It is our policy to welcome complaints and look upon them as an opportunity to learn and improve our services. This policy is intended to ensure that all complaints are dealt with in a correct manner and that all complaints or comments by third parties are taken seriously.

Complaints Policy

The policy is not designed to apportion blame or to consider the possibility of negligence or to provide compensation. This policy does not form any part of our disciplinary policy.

We believe failure to listen or acknowledge complaints will lead to an aggravation of the situation, subsequently leading to dissatisfaction and possible litigation. We support the concept that most complaints, if promptly dealt in an open and friendly manner can be resolved at a local level between the complainant and the most senior on-site person.

In the event this fails due to the dissatisfaction of the complainant or the site operative, the complainant will be referred to one of our directors and subsequently where applicable the relevant governing/accrediting body. Legal advice will be sought where we feel necessary.

Aim

The aim of Acadame is to ensure that its complaints procedure is properly and effectively implemented, and that third parties feel confident their worries, concerns or complaints are listened to and acted upon in a prompt and fair manner.

Oral procedure

All oral complaints, no matter how trivial or seemingly unimportant should be taken seriously. Staff and delegates must always remain calm and respectful, nothing will be gained by adopting an aggressive or defensive attitude.

  • Staff who receive an oral complaint should attempt to resolve the problem immediately if possible.
  • Where the problem cannot be resolved the staff member should offer to contact the Chief Operating Officer in order to resolve the problem.
  • All contact with the complainant should be polite, courteous and sympathetic towards their concern.
  • All staff should not except blame, make excuses or blame other persons including other operatives.
  • After talking the problem through the site operative or Chief Operating Officer should suggest a course of action in order to resolve the complaint, where the action is acceptable by the complainant clarify the agreement with the complainant and verify what future communication if any is required. e.g., Verbal/written.
  • Should the course of action not be acceptable by the complainant request the complainant to put their complaint in writing to the Chief Operating Officer. Freely offering the appropriate address to the complainant.

Written procedure

Where a complaint is received in writing the Chief Operating Officer will record the complaint in the complaints record and acknowledge receipt of complaint within two working days

  • If necessary, further details maybe sort from the complainant
  • Where necessary the Chief Operating Officer may be required to contact third parties, where this action is taken the complainant must be made aware of the situation.
  • If the complaint raises serious concerns, we should seek legal representation.
  • Where necessary we shall proceed to investigate the complaint and be able to answer the complaint within 28 days either in writing or a meeting by prior arrangement with the complainant.
  • In the case of a complex complaint and the investigation taking longer than the 28 days the complainant should be informed of the situation.
  • During the meeting, a detailed explanation should be given of the results of the investigation and an apology given if deemed appropriate. (an apology need not be an admission of liability)
  • Minutes detailing the meeting should be taken and a copy given to the complainant and a copy kept on file.
  • Any short comings on behalf of Acadame procedures should be identified and acted upon.

Training

Acadame staff shall be trained in dealing with and responding to complaints. This complaints policy shall be included within new staff induction training and reviewed, as necessary.

Data Protection

To process a complaint Acadame will hold personal data about the complainant, which the individual provides, and which other people give in response to the complaint. We will hold this data securely and only use it to address the complaint. The identity of the person making the complaint will only be known to those who need to consider the complaint and will not be revealed to other people or made public. However, it may not be possible to preserve confidentiality in some circumstances, for example, where relevant legislation applied, or allegations are made which involve the conduct of third parties.

Acadame will normally destroy complaints files in a secure manner six years after the complaint has been closed.

Monitoring

Complaints are an important tool which, alongside data provided by exit surveys, stakeholder surveys, learner and apprentice feedback and focus groups, will allow us to learn about the services we provide. They provide a useful source of information about how individuals see our services and how we are serving them. To ensure we can learn from complaints the following data will be collected:

  • Name and address
  • Name of person dealing with the complaint
  • Date of complaint and response
  • Nature of complaint
  • Action(s) taken/recommendations made in response to the complaint
  • Lessons learnt

Wherever possible the data will be used to improve and develop our service.