Dated: March 2021
Cornwall Heritage Trust aims to provide the best possible service, but if we should, in your opinion, fall short of the high standards we set, there is a redress procedure which you can use.
Cornwall Heritage Trust is committed to providing an excellent service to its members and other stakeholders working in an open and accountable way that builds trust and respect. We have developed a Compliments and Complaints Policy and Procedure that explains our approach to receiving compliments and complaints.
Compliments are valuable, welcome and important and when they are received, either verbally or in writing, they will be recorded.
Compliments enable CHT to:
- Understand that our service is being provided to the satisfaction of members and the general public
- Provide positive feedback to our staff and trustees
- Influence our organisational and service development
CHT aims to resolve complaints quickly, fairly and effectively. One of the ways in which we can continue to improve the services that we provide is by listening and responding to the views of our members, partners and stakeholders, by responding positively to complaints and by putting mistakes right.
We aim to ensure that:
- Making a complaint is as easy as possible;
- We treat a complaint as a clear expression of dissatisfaction with our service which calls for an immediate response.
- We deal with every complaint promptly, politely and when appropriate confidentially;
- We respond in the correct way – for example, with an explanation, or an apology or information on any action taken.
- We learn from complaints and use them to improve the services that we offer;
- We review annually our complaints policy and procedures.
CHT recognises that many concerns raised will be informal and we aim to deal with these quickly. In the first instance we would expect any complaint to be raised directly with the member of staff or trustee concerned. If concerns cannot be satisfactorily resolved informally, then the formal complaints procedure will be followed.
A complaint is any expression of dissatisfaction with our services, whether justified or not, with CHT, with a member of staff, or with a CHT Trustee, that relates to CHT and that requires a formal response
CHT’s complaint procedure is intended to ensure that all complaints are handled fairly, consistently and wherever possible resolved to the complainant’s satisfaction.
CHT’s responsibility will be to:
- Retain all records of complaints for at least 24 months and make them available to the Fundraising Regulator if required.
- Take appropriate action if required;
- Deal reasonably and sensitively with the complaint;
- Respond within a stated period of time;
- Acknowledge the formal complaint in writing;
The complainant’s responsibility is to:
- Raise their concerns promptly and directly with the person concerned and if their concerns cannot be resolved satisfactorily informally, then to follow the formal complaints procedure as detailed;
- Explain the problem as clearly and as fully as possible, including any action taken to date;
- Allow CHT a reasonable amount of time to deal with the matter as detailed in the formal complaints procedure;
- Recognise that some circumstances may be beyond CHT’s control.
Monitoring and Reporting
Trustees of CHT will receive regularly an anonymised report of complaints made and their resolution.
Except in exceptional circumstances, every attempt will be made to ensure that both the complainant and CHT maintain confidentiality. However the circumstances giving rise to the complaint may be such that it may not be possible to maintain confidentiality. Should this be the case, the situation will be explained to the complainant.
Principles of the Complaints Policy
The CHT Complaints policy is based on the principle of a three-stage process (as detailed in the Complaints Procedure).
- The Complaints Policy will apply to all the services that CHT provides.
- If at any time during the investigation of a complaint matters arise that warrant investigation under disciplinary proceedings, or through a criminal investigation, the complaints procedure will be suspended until those investigations are concluded. Similarly, the complaints procedure should be suspended if a complainant is actively seeking legal redress.
- Where a complaint is against a member of staff they should be informed of the support services available to them.
- The CEO should be informed of the receipt of a Stage 1 formal complaint. A complete record of the entire process should be kept. A copy of all reports, transcripts of interviews and other relevant information should be forwarded to the CEO for immediate review.
- CHT may, at any stage of the formal complaints procedure, review a complaint and give a decision without a formal investigation, where the Trustees deem the complaint to be deliberately repetitive or vexatious. Examples include complaints that are unsubstantiated or repetitive complaints against an individual or service, or where a complaint has previously been investigated and appropriate action taken.
- When appealing against a previous decision, the complainant will be asked to state why they are dissatisfied with how their complaint was handled.
Formal Complaints Procedure
1.1) If you are unable to resolve the issue informally and wish to make a formal complaint you should request a copy of CHT’s formal Complaints Policy and Procedure from the CEO. This will be sent to you on the day of request. If we hear nothing further from you 28 calendar days from this date we will consider the complaint to be closed.
1.2) Upon receipt of CHT’s Complaints Policy and Procedure, you should write a formal letter of complaint to the CEO.
1.3) In your letter you should set out the details of your complaint, the consequences for you as a result, and the remedy you are seeking.
1.4) If your complaint is about the CEO it will be passed to the Chairman for investigation
1.5) You can expect the complaint to be acknowledged within 4 working days of receipt. You should get a response and an explanation within 10 working days. The written response will also notify the complainant that they have 28 days in which to ask for the complaint and response to be reviewed (stage 2); if they are dissatisfied with the response they have received.
1.6) Your complaint should be addressed to the CEO of The Cornwall Heritage Trust, G03 The Percy Williams Building, Krowji, West Park, Redruth TR15 3AJ.
1.7) Our further contact details are:
telephone: 01209 707008
2.1) If you are dissatisfied with the Stage 1 response to your complaint then you can write to the Chairman stating the reason why you are dissatisfied with the outcome and ask for your complaint and the response to be given further consideration. You can expect your request to be acknowledged within 4 working days of receipt, describing the process the complaint investigation will follow.
2.2) If your complaint is about the Chairman it will be passed directly to the Vice Chairman.
2.3) A Stage 2 complaint will be co-ordinated by the Chairman or other delegated Trustee who will respond within 20 working days with a full written response giving details of any right of appeal.
2.4) CHT’s aim is to resolve all matters as quickly as possible, but if a matter requires more detailed investigation, you will receive an interim response describing what is being done to deal with the matter, when a full reply can be expected and from whom.
3.1) If you are not satisfied with the response from Stage 2, you then have the option of asking for a review of your complaint in writing to the Appeals Committee c/o The Vice Chairman, Cornwall Heritage Trust, G03 Percy Williams Building, West Park, Redruth, TR15 3AJ stating the reason why you are dissatisfied with the outcome of your complaint. You should do this within 10 days of receiving the written response from Stage 2.
3.2) The Vice Chairman will respond normally within 5 working days to inform you of the action which will be taken to investigate the complaint, and the expected timescale of the investigation. If your original complaint was against the Vice Chairman or a member of the Appeals Committee then the Chairman will appoint another trustee to step in and handle this final stage.
3.3) The relevant history of the complaint will be made available to the Vice Chairman and the Appeals Committee so that a full investigation can be carried out. That investigation may include interviews with the complainant, any staff involved, any witnesses and will also include documentation evidence where appropriate.
3.4) The outcome of the investigation will be communicated to the complainant in writing with details of any action taken and a time-scale for implementation (if applicable and appropriate). All appropriate members of staff will also receive a copy of this report, which will also be presented to the Board of Trustees.
3.5) Should a complainant still be dissatisfied with the outcome they should be informed of their right to seek legal redress or to make representation to any appropriate statutory body, which includes the Fundraising Regulator www.fundraisingregulator.org.uk. The decision of the Appeals Committee is final.
3.6) Appropriate staff concerned should report back to the Vice Chairman within ten days of their receipt of the outcome of the Stage 3 complaint, explaining how they have implemented any recommendations.
Policy written by: Cathy Woolcock
Approved by: Council of Management
Approval date: March 2021
Review date: March 2023