COMPLAINTS POLICY AND PROCEDURE
1. Definition of Complaint
A complaint is considered to include any communication received from a learner, apprentice, customer, staff member, associate or supplier or anyone else who has dealings with AssistKD and expresses dissatisfaction with the standard of service or level of care that they have received from AssistKD. The complaint may be raised by letter, email or other electronic communication. If the complaint is made verbally or by telephone, the complainant may be requested to confirm in writing.
2. Applicability of policy
This document sets out the policy to be adopted should a complaint be received. A complaint may relate to work done for a customer or to the behaviour of a member of staff. The complaint may also be raised against a third party, not directly under the control of AssistKD. An example of this would be where a customer is unhappy with an examination result from an examination body. In this case, the complaint would be passed to the appropriate body, and AssistKD would manage the communication between the complainant and the third party.
This list above is not exhaustive and there may be other types of complaint.
AssistKD strives at all times to treat customers and staff with respect, and to deliver a high standard service. AssistKD takes all complaints seriously and is committed to investigating all of them in a thorough and transparent way.
The Complaints process is owned ultimately by the Managing Director and each complaint is investigated by the appropriate Director with responsibility for the area relating to the complaint.
Every complaint is registered in the Complaints Log. The complaints process is as follows:
- A complaint is received by AssistKD (see ‘Definition of Complaint’ above)
- Complaints may be raised by phone (01844 211665) or email (firstname.lastname@example.org)
- Complaint is entered on the Complaints Log
- Complaint is acknowledged within 24 hours of receipt, generally by email.
- The complainant is advised when it is expected that a response will be available. Intended response is within one week, although some complaints may be more complex and require more time. In this case the complainant is kept up to date on progress and given a date for resolution.
- The complaint is passed to the appropriate Director for investigation.
- The Director reviews any documentation that is relevant to the complaint and interviews other staff as appropriate.
- If the complaint involves behavioural matters such as bullying or abuse, or possibly bias, the complaint is forwarded to the HR Business Consultant for review. The HR Consultant may then decide it is appropriate to take advice from the AssistKD employment lawyer.
- A response is sent to the complainant, setting out the result of the review and, if appropriate, detailing the remedial action to be taken. The response to a complaint is sent to the complainant within 5 working days unless there are exceptional circumstances that require an extended investigation.
- If the complainant accepts the outcome, the case is closed.
- If the complainant is still not satisfied, or if the complainant decides to register an official appeal, the case is passed to the Managing Director for a final review and decision.
- Any lessons learnt from dealing with the complaint and any consequent actions are put into effect as soon as possible.
- Finally, where the complaint comes from an apprentice on the UK Government’s Apprenticeship Programme, they have a right to complain to the EFSA (Education and Skills Funding Agency) if the complainant is not satisfied at the end of the process.
4. How to complain to the ESFA
- The ESFA will only accept complaints in writing, by email or letter.
- If the complainant has difficulties in providing details in writing or if they are under 18, complaints may be made on their behalf by a third party. They will need to confirm that EFSA can communicate with that third party on their behalf. If the complaint is on behalf of more than one person, the ESFA will need written permission from everyone.
- Complaints should be emailed to email@example.com, or sent by letter to:
- The ESFA will acknowledge the complaint within 5 days.
- If the complainant is still not satisfied after the ESFA response they can write to the complaints adjudicator to make a final decision on the case.