Axis views complaints as an opportunity to learn and improve for the future, as well as a chance to put things right for the person or organisation that has made the complaint.
Our policy is:
To provide a fair complaints procedure which is clear and easy to use for anyone wishing to make a complaint
To publicise the existence of our complaints procedure so that people know how to contact us to make a complaint
To make sure everyone at Axis knows what to do if a complaint is received
To make sure all complaints are investigated fairly and in a timely way
To make sure that complaints are, wherever possible, resolved and that relationships are repaired
To gather information which helps us to improve what we do
Definition of a Complaint
A complaint is any expression of dissatisfaction, whether justified or not, about any aspect of Axis.
Where Complaints Come From
Complaints may come from any person or organisation who has a legitimate interest in Axis.
A complaint can be received verbally, by phone, by email or in writing.
This policy does not cover complaints from staff, who should refer to Axis’s staff handbook.
We will handle all complaint information sensitively, telling only those who need to know and following any relevant data protection requirements.
Overall responsibility for this policy and its implementation lies with the Executive Director.
Axis Complaints Procedure
Written complaints may be sent to Axis, The Arthouse, Drury Lane, Wakefield, WF1 2TE or by e-mail at [email protected].
Complaints may arrive through channels publicised for that purpose or through any other contact details or opportunities the complainant may have.
Complaints received by telephone or in person need to be documented.
In many cases, a complaint is best resolved by the person responsible for the issue being complained about. If the complaint has been received by that person, they may be able to resolve it swiftly and should do so if possible and appropriate.
Whether or not the complaint has been resolved, the complaint should be logged in the complaints log and the Executive Director be alerted, within 3 days.
Where a complaint has not been resolved, a member of staff will be delegated responsibility to investigate and to take appropriate action.
If the complaint relates to a specific person, they should be informed and given a fair opportunity to respond.
Complaints should be acknowledged by the person handling the complaint within one week. The acknowledgement should say who is dealing with the complaint and when the person complaining can expect a reply. A copy of this complaints procedure should be attached.
Ideally complainants should receive a definitive reply within four weeks. If this is not possible because, for example, an investigation has not been fully completed, a progress report should be sent with an indication of when a full reply will be given.
Whether the complaint is justified or not, the reply to the complainant should describe the action taken to investigate the complaint, the conclusions from the investigation, and any action taken as a result of the complaint.
If the complainant feels that the problem has not been satisfactorily resolved at Stage One, they can request that the complaint is reviewed at Board level. At this stage, the complaint will be passed to the Chair.
The request for Board level review should be acknowledged within one week of receiving it. The acknowledgement should say who will deal with the case and when the complainant can expect a reply.
The Chair may investigate the facts of the case themselves or delegate a suitably senior person to do so. This may involve reviewing the paperwork of the case and speaking with the person who dealt with the complaint at Stage One.
If the complaint relates to a specific person, they should be informed and given a further opportunity to respond.
The person who dealt with the original complaint at Stage One should be kept informed of what is happening.
Ideally complainants should receive a definitive reply within four weeks. If this is not possible because for example, an investigation has not been fully completed, a progress report should be sent with an indication of when a full reply will be given.
Whether the complaint is upheld or not, the reply to the complainant should describe the action taken to investigate the complaint, the conclusions from the investigation, and any action taken as a result of the complaint.
The decision taken at this stage is final, unless the Board decides it is appropriate to seek external assistance with resolution.
The complainant can complain to the Charity Commission at any stage.
Information about the kind of complaints the Commission can involve itself in may be found on their website at: www.charitycommission.gov.uk
Variation of the Complaints Procedure
The Board may vary the procedure for good reason. This may be necessary to avoid a conflict of interest: for example, a complaint about the Chair should not also have the Chair as the person leading a Stage Two review.
Monitoring and Learning from Complaints
Complaints are reviewed annually to identify any trends which may indicate a need to take further action.