The aim of the complaints procedure is to provide a formal and consistent approach for members, associates, officers and examiners to put forward genuine complaints.
It is to ensure that the complaints procedure is properly and effectively implemented, and that members, associates and elected officers can feel confident that their complaints and worries are listened to and acted upon promptly and fairly.
Kent Advanced Drivers Group believes that if a member, associate, elected officer or examiner wishes to make a complaint or register a concern they should find it easy to do so. It is the groups policy to welcome complaints and look upon them as an opportunity to learn, adapt, improve and provide better services. This policy is intended to ensure that complaints are dealt with properly and that all complaints or comments by members, associates, elected officers or examiners are taken seriously.
The policy is not designed to:
- apportion blame,
- consider the possibility of negligence or
- provide compensation.
Complaints are to be initially made to group officers who will pass them to the Group Chairman if they are unable to deal with them.
- All oral complaints, no matter how seemingly unimportant, should be taken seriously. There is nothing to be gained by Group Officers adopting a defensive or aggressive attitude.
- Group officers who receive an oral complaint should seek to solve the problem immediately if possible.
- If the group officer cannot solve the problem immediately they should offer to get the Group Chairman to deal with the problem.
- All contact with the complainant should be polite, courteous and sympathetic.
- At all times group officers should remain calm and respectful.
- Group officers should not accept blame, make excuses or blame others.
- If the complaint is being made on behalf of another person by an advocate it must first be verified that the person has permission to speak for the other person, especially if confidential information is involved. It is very easy to assume that the advocate has the right or power to act for the other person when they may not. If in doubt it should be assumed that the persons explicit permission is needed prior to discussing the complaint with the advocate.
- After talking the problem through, the group officer dealing with the complaint should suggest a course of action to resolve the complaint. If this course of action is acceptable then the group officer should clarify the agreement with the complainant and agree a way in which the results of the complaint will be communicated to the complainant (i.e. through another meeting or by letter).
- If the suggested plan of action is not acceptable to the complainant then the group officer should ask the complainant to put their complaint in writing to the Group Chairman.
- When a complaint is received in writing it should be passed on to Group Chairman who will send an acknowledgment letter to the complainant within two working days via e-mail or 7 days by post.
- If necessary, further details should be obtained from the complainant. If the complaint is not made by the complainant but on the persons behalf, then consent of the complainant, preferably in writing, must be obtained from the complainant.
- Immediately on receipt of the complaint the Group Chairman should launch an investigation and within 28 days should be in a position to provide a full explanation to the complainant, either in writing or by arranging a meeting with the individuals concerned.
- If the issues are too complex to complete the investigation within 28 days, the complainant should be informed of any delays.
- If a meeting is arranged the complainant should be advised that they may, if they wish, bring a friend or relative or a representative such as an advocate.
- At the meeting a detailed explanation of the results of the investigation should be given and also an apology if it is deemed appropriate (apologising for what has happened need not be an admission of liability).
- Such a meeting gives the group the opportunity to show the complainant that the matter has been taken seriously and has been thoroughly investigated.
- After the meeting, or if the complainant does not want a meeting, a written account of the investigation should be sent to the complainant.
- The outcomes of the investigation and the meeting should be recorded on appropriate documentation and any shortcomings in the groups procedures should be identified and acted upon.
Dated. 2nd November 2012.