Introduction to Complaints Policy
Aware is constantly working to improve the services we provide to you. If you believe that we have not given you the best possible service then tell us about it. You complaints give us the information we need to improve our services for you and for others
Who can make a complaint?
You can make a complaint if you are already using Aware’s services or if you are looking for a service from us.
What can I make a complaint about?
You can make a complaint about Aware’s services or the actions of a member of staff or a volunteer that concern you. Complaints about services outside Aware are not covered by this policy. You can talk to a member of staff if you have a complaint about any of the above.
How long do I have to make a complaint?
To help us deal with the cause of your complaint quickly we ask that you make a complaint within 3 months of the incident. We can extend the time limit for complaints in special circumstances.
How do I make a complaint?
Talk to a member of staff who will record your complaint. The staff member may be able to sort out your complaint there and then. If not, we aim to deal with your complaint within 7 working days.
When we have an outcome on your complaint we will inform you in person or by phone. At this stage we will give you details of how your complaint has been dealt with.
What if I am not satisfied with the outcome?
If you are not satisfied, you can take your complaint to the next stage of our complaints procedure. You must do this within 4 weeks of being informed of the outcome of your complaint.
Formal Complaints Procedure
Please complete the Complaint Form. If you need help completing this form, please let a member of staff know. The staff member will forward your complaint to the line manager.
We aim to deal with your complaint within 7 working days. When we have an outcome on your complaint we will inform you by both letter and in person.
If you are not satisfied at this point you can take you complaint to stage 2 of our complaints procedure. You must do this within 4 weeks of being informed of the outcome of your complaint.
At your request, a staff member will forward your completed Complaint Form to the Service Manager. The service manager will acknowledge receipt of your complaint within 3 working days and may arrange a formal investigation, if required.
The Investigation Procedure:
An investigation team will meet with you and any relevant people to get all the facts about your complaint.
The investigation team dealing with the complaint will try to resolve it within a further 14 working days. They will keep you informed of the procedure during that time. When they have an outcome on your complaint they will inform you both by latter and in person.
If you are not satisfied at this point, you can take your complaint to the next stage of our complaints procedure. You must do this within 4 weeks of being informed of the outcome of your complaint.
The final stage of appeal on your complaint is with the Director of Services or the Chief Executive Officer. You must send a written request for a review of your case, stating why you are not satisfied.
The Director of Services or the Chief Executive Officer will acknowledge your request within 3 working days. The Director of Services or the Chief Executive Officer will review your complaint, the recommendations of the investigation team, all of the steps taken so far to deal with your complaint and the issues raised by it.
The Director of Services or the Chief Executive Officer will inform you in writing of the outcome of the review and the reasons for this within 20 working days of receiving your request. The decision of the Director of Services or the Chief Executive Officer is final.
What can Aware do if my complaint is upheld?
Aware will ensure there is an outcome from your complaint. These outcomes may include:
- An explanation of what happened and whether a different approach can be taken in future.
- An apology for any hurt, hardship or inconvenience caused
- Acceptance of responsibility for any mistake that may have occurred
- A review and improvement of our procedures and the services we offer
- Action taken to address the problem
- An investigation into staff or volunteer conduct using the Aware staff or volunteer policy
How we Record and Monitor Complaints
We keep a record of all complaints that are made to us and the steps that we have taken to deal with them. This means you can be sure if you make a complaint that the proper procedure has been followed as it has all been documented.
Having a record of complaints also means that we can improve our services and prevent issues coming up in the future for you and the service you made your complaint about.