Complaints Policy


The charity seeks to ensure the effective management of, and response to, complaints regarding services delivered by Project 6.

Other Project 6 Policies that Relate to and Compliment this Policy

  • Code of Conduct (Working with Service Users Handbook)
  • Equal Opportunities and Diversity Policy (Working for Project 6 Handbook)
  • Safeguarding – Child Protection and Vulnerable Adults (Working with Service Users Handbook
  • Volunteer Policy and Procedures (Volunteer Handbook)
  • The ARC Service User Charter (Downstairs Noticeboard at Sheffield office)
  • Confidentiality Policy (Working with Service Users Handbook)

Policy Statement

  • The Project 6 Complaints Procedure seeks to demonstrate that service users have a right to expect the service to be provided for their benefit.
  • It follows that service users have a right to complain if they feel dissatisfied with the service they have received. Service users should be informed of this right when they first come to Project 6.
  • The key aim of the Project 6 Complaints Policy is to communicate to service users not only that they have a right to complain but also that Project 6 positively encourages anyone who has used the service and feels dissatisfied to express that opinion.
  • All complaints shall be treated with regard to the Confidentiality Policy.

Complaints Procedures

  • Project 6 complaints procedure is available on request.
  • If any member of staff receives a complaint, either verbal or in writing, they should inform their line manager immediately. The line manager in turn should inform the Director of Ops or the CEO who will appoint a manager as a Complaints Manager to deal with the complaint. If the CEO is the subject of the complaint, the procedure should start at Stage Three.
  • Where possible, the Complaints Manager should attempt to resolve the situation informally at that point.

Stage One

1. Where a resolution is not possible, or in the case of formal complaints, the complainant should be asked to put their complaint in writing using Appendix 1: The Complaints Form and send it to the Complaints Manager marked ‘Private and Confidential’. They should be sent a copy of this complaints procedure within one week of the complaint being received. The procedure includes details of what they can expect, with a timescale.

2. In all cases, the complainant should be advised, when notified of any meeting in the complaints procedure, that they may bring a representative of their choice, who will be supplied with the relevant papers.

3. The first stage of the formal process is an informal meeting between the complainant and the Complaints Manager. This should be offered within two weeks of the complaint being received.

4. If the outcome is satisfactory, the Complaints Manager should record the meeting, give the complainant a record of the outcome, inform the Director of Ops or CEO and take any actions agreed as an outcome of the meeting.

Stage Two

1. If the outcome of the informal meeting is unsatisfactory, the Complaints Manager must advise the complainant about the next stage of the process.

2. The complainant must lodge an appeal within four weeks of the informal meeting.

3. The complainant must be offered a meeting within 4 weeks of lodging the appeal. The Director of Ops or CEO becomes the lead officer at the formal meeting stage.

4. If the complainant is satisfied at this stage, the meeting should be recorded and the complainant given a record of the outcome.

5. If the complainant is not satisfied, they should be advised of the next stage.

Stage Three

1. The Chair of the Trustees is the lead officer at the next stage.

2. A Complaints Panel should be convened from the Trustees. An external member may join the Complaints Panel at the discretion of the Trustees.

3. The complainant should be offered a meeting within eight weeks of the formal meeting.

4. Following the meeting, the complainant should be given a record of the outcome and the CEO informed. Any actions agreed within the meeting should be taken and recorded.

5. If the complainant remains dissatisfied, a written explanation should be provided. The decision of the Complaints Panel is final.

6. The lead officer should record each stage of the process.

7. The complainant should receive a written record of the outcome at each stage of the process.

8. When the situation is resolved, the complaint must be filed in the complaints monitoring system.

9. It is a condition of some funding contracts that records shall be available for inspection by the funding partners.

10.The CEO is responsible for implementing and reviewing the policy.

Timetable for handling a complaint

TIME SCALESSTAGESACTIONS
A person makes a complaint, written or verbal
Within 1 weekStage 1 The member of staff who receives the complaint will inform their line manager. They will inform the Director of Ops or CEO who will appoint a Complaints Manager who will attempt to resolve the situation. In all cases, they should take actions 1- 3.If the complainant remains dissatisfied, the Complaints Manager should also take actions 4 – 6.1.   Record2.   File in Complaints Monitoring file3.   CEO informed4.   Client asked to put their complaint in writing and send it to the Complaints Manager marked ‘Private & Confidential’5.   Client given copy of complaints procedure with details of what they can expect with a timetable6.   Client informed they may bring a representative of their choice to any future meetings
Within 2 weeks of being receivedThe Complaints Manager should offer the complainant an informal meeting.If the complainant remains dissatisfied, the Complaints Manager should also take action 5.1.   Record2.   File in Complaints Monitoring file3.   Client given a record of the outcome 4.   Take any actions agreed as a result of the meeting5.   Advise client about next stage if necessary
Stage 2Within 4 weeks of informal meetingWithin 4 weeks of receiving the appealThe complainant must lodge the appeal The Director of Ops or CEO should offer the complainant a formal meeting. If the complainant remains dissatisfied, the Director of Ops or CEO should also take action 5.1.   Record2.   File in Complaints Monitoring file3.   Client given a record of the outcome4.   Take any actions agreed as a result of the meeting5.   Advise client about next stage if necessary
Stage 3Within 8 weeks of formal meetingThe Chair of the Trustees should convene a Complaints Panel from the Trustees.1.   Record2.   File in Complaints Monitoring file3.   Client given a record of the outcome4.   Take any actions agreed as a result of the meeting5.   Complete complaints monitoring form
Within 3 weeksThe Complaints Panel will notify the complainant of their decision and the reasons behind it. This will be final. The complaint shall be reported in the next meeting of the Management Committee.Records shall be available for inspection by the funding partners on request.
Airedale Voluntary Drug and Alcohol Agency trading as Project 6 is a registered charity number 1173006 and a company limited by guarantee and registered in England and Wales number 3430925