Regarding Compliments and Complaints

Information about our policy on compliments and complaints. 

  1. Cosgrove is committed to providing an excellent service, working in an open and transparent way that builds trust and respect.
  2. Cosgrove is open to concerns and values the opinions of parents and other stakeholders and will actively encourage concerns to be voiced.
  3. Cosgrove operates an effective mechanism for the receipt, recording, investigation and resolution of all complaints.

The arrangements for investigation of complaints are fair and transparent and are set out in this Policy.

Key Aims

The purpose of this policy is:

  1. To provide a fair complaints procedure which is clear and easy to use for anyone wishing to make a complaint
  2. To make sure members of staff know what to do if a complaint is received
  3. To make sure all complaints are investigated fairly and in a timely way
  4. To make sure that wherever possible, complaints are resolved to the satisfaction of all parties involved, and that relationships are repaired
  5. To gather information which helps us to improve what we do
  6. To publicise the existence of our complaints procedure so that people know how to contact us to make a complaint

Principles

Accessibility

Cosgrove aims to make it as easy as possible for complainants to communicate with us in order to make a complaint and access our complaints policy. A copy of our complaints policy will always be available on our website and copies will also be posted/emailed out on request.

A complaint can be received verbally, by phone, electronically or in writing. This may be directly from the complainant or via a third party.

Confidentiality

All complaint information will follow any relevant data protection requirements. Reports on complaints that are shared as part of learning will be anonymised.

Where complaints need to be kept confidential in order to safeguard those making or involved in the complaint, we will only involve third parties in the resolution of confidential complaints on a case-by-case basis and with the agreement of the complainant. The exception to this may be any complaints involving suspected criminal activities, or those relating to safeguarding children, where we may have a legal duty to share information with the authorities.

Complaints that indicate that a possible criminal offence has been committed should be referred to the relevant authorities responsible for investigating such matters.

Transparency and Timeliness

Cosgrove aims to acknowledge complaints within two working days of receiving them. We aim to provide a full response to the majority of complaints within five working days. However, there may be complex complaints that require a longer period of investigation and in these cases we would always aim to provide a full response within twenty five working days. It is important we are transparent with how we deal with complaints and keeps complainants fully apprised of what is happening with their complaint, along with any amended timescales if circumstances dictate a longer period is required.

Complaints should be made within 3 months of the relevant incident. In exceptional circumstances Cosgrove may be able to respond to a complaint that is older, although the passage of time may make it harder to resolve the complaint satisfactorily.

Mutual Respect

Everyone who makes a complaint will be treated with courtesy and respect. In return, Cosgrove expects people who make a complaint to communicate their concerns fairly and appropriately. Where complainants harass staff, make threats, behave abusively, or unreasonably pursue complaints, Cosgrove reserves the right to withdraw or modify its adherence to the complaints process.

Part of a Learning Process

We will log and monitor all complaints and results of such complaints as outlined in the complaints definition below. This information will be regularly collated, anonymised and then reviewed by the appropriate senior managers and trustees in order that we learn from our mistakes and ultimately provide a better service for our members and other stakeholders.

Scope of Complaints Policy

Who can make a complaint under this policy:

  1. Complaints may come from any person or organisation that has a legitimate interest in Cosgrove.
  2. Cosgrove will accept anonymous complaints recognising that complaints may be legitimate and the complainant may have good reasons as to why they do not want to disclose their identity, although following up such complaints will be more difficult.

Key Areas and Types of Complaints

A complaint is an expression of dissatisfaction, whether justified or not, about any aspect of work undertaken by Cosgrove that directly or indirectly cause distress to the affected party.

Key areas of possible complaint may include (but are not limited to):

  1. Concern from someone we work with about the quality of programme delivery
  2. Concern from a member of the public or supporter about a particular fundraising approach or campaign
  3. Concern about the behaviour of staff, volunteers, consultants or partners contracted to deliver on behalf of Cosgrove. This could include action taken or conversely, action not taken
  4. Concern about HR processes and decisions
  5. Concern about late payment of invoices

A complaint has to be about an action for which Cosgrove is responsible.

A complaint is not:

  1. A general query about Cosgrove’s work or a request for information
  2. A contractual dispute
  3. A request to amend records e.g. to correct an address, update communication preferences, or cancel a donation
  4. A request to unsubscribe from Cosgrove ‘service’ e.g. a campaign newsletter or email*

* unless the request had been made previously and had not been actioned by Cosgrove to the complainant’s satisfaction

Recording, Monitoring and Reporting Complaints

Complaints will be recorded on Cosgrove’s organisational database, allowing details to be logged on receipt, actions tracked and outcomes recorded. Cosgrove will also use this data to monitor the type of complaints received, the procedures followed and from where the complaint originates. Reports will be generated and distributed bi-annually to senior management and to the Board of Trustees annually.

Cosgrove will retain details of complaints on the database, enabling us to respond appropriately to any future queries related to the complaint and to monitor complaint levels and patterns.

Learning from Complaints

Complaints will be used to identify any issues that need to be addressed in service delivery or ways of working. Cosgrove aims to adapt and evolve in response to all feedback received.  Complaints should therefore be recorded in order to generate information through which possible weaknesses in assessing, planning, implementation, monitoring or evaluation can be identified. Cosgrove Senior Management will review the collated complaints, agreeing improvement opportunities and next steps on a bi-annual basis.

Resolution

All complaints will be dealt with by a senior member of Management within Cosgrove.

Satisfaction for a complainant may come from any of the following:

  1. Knowing that changes have been made and that matters will be different in the future.
  2. Knowing that Cosgrove is now alert to a possible problem.
  3. Feeling that concerns have been considered seriously.
  4. An outcome that may be different from the one sought initially, but which is perceived to be well-considered.
  5. A considered letter.
  6. An apology.

In appropriate circumstances, the complainant will receive a report letter covering:

  1. The issues raised. 
  2. How the issues were considered. 
  3. The people consulted
  4. The action that is to be taken.
  5. An apology, if appropriate.

Right to Appeal

Complainants who are not satisfied with Cosgrove’s response to that complaint have the right to appeal via internal escalation within Cosgrove (in most circumstances this will be to the Chief Executive or the Chairman of Board of Trustees). If complainants are still unhappy with the response from Cosgrove they have the right to take their complaint to the relevant external regulating bodies. The primary bodies are Social Care and Social Work Improvement Scotland (also known as the Care Inspectorate) at Compass House, 11 Riverside Drive, Dundee, DD1 4NY ([email protected]); the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator (OSCR) where specific fundraising complaints are covered by the Fundraising Regulator.

Nothing in this policy should be understood as taking away the right of any individual, group or organisation to seek redress under any relevant legislation.

Management and Responsibility

This policy is reviewed and updated as required. Overall responsibility for this policy and its implementation lies with the Board of Trustees and Chief Executive.