Complaints Policy

Date Updated: September 2022

Introduction to Aware’s Complaints Policy

Aware is constantly working to improve its services. We value all feedback and appreciate complaints as well as compliments.

What is a complaint?

“A complaint is an expression of dissatisfaction by one or more members of the public about an organisation’s action or lack of action, or about the standard of service provided by or on behalf of the organisation”. (Office of the Ombudsman 2015)

Who can make a complaint?

Any member of the public can make a complaint.

How can you make a complaint?

In Person: Talk to any member of Aware staff.
By Email: E-mail with your feedback.
By Letter: Send a letter addressed to our Complaints Officer, Aware, 9 Upper Leeson Street, Dublin 4.
By Phone: 01 6617211

How long do you have to make a complaint?

To help us deal with the cause of your complaint quickly, we ask that you make a complaint as soon as possible, and within 3 months of the incident.

What do you need to include in your complaint?

Please provide as much information as you can in your complaint either verbally or in writing, including your own contact details.

It is important for us to know
• Who was involved?
• What happened and when?
• What are you concerned about?
• Have you done anything else to resolve this matter?
• What do you want to happen now?

How Aware will respond?

We aim to resolve a complaint at the earliest opportunity and preferably, at the first point of contact. We aim to reach local resolution within 5 working days and we record the complaint and the resolution.

Where this is not possible, our Complaints Officer will look into the issues raised. Where a verbal complaint cannot be resolved at point of contact, the staff member dealing with the complaint will refer it to the Complaints Officer.

How long will it take the Complaints Officer to look into your complaint?

• The Complaints Officer will acknowledge your complaint, in writing, within 5 working days and look into your complaint within 30 working days of the date when it was acknowledged.
• If it takes longer to look into all the issues raised in your complaint the Complaints Officer will notify you within 30 working days and will give you an update on what is happening every 20 working days after that.

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 it has been managed.

What if you are not satisfied with the outcome?

You can take your complaint to the next stage of our complaints process within 4 weeks of being informed of the outcome.

What is the next stage?

The final stage is appeal on your complaint 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 5 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.

How we Record and Monitor Complaints

We retain 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 and it has all been documented.

Aware takes complaints very seriously and we constantly endeavour to improve our services.

How can I communicate my compliments to Aware volunteers/staff?

We welcome positive feedback.

We commit to communicate the compliments received to the appropriate person or persons identified.

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