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  4. Put in place arrangements to deal with complaints constructively, impartially and efficiently

Principle 5

Put in place arrangements to deal with complaints constructively, impartially and efficiently


The Code of Good Governance states that an effective board will handle complaints constructively, impartially and efficiently.

Every organisation will make mistakes and may from time to time receive complaints about its work.  It is the board’s responsibility to make sure that complaints are dealt with effectively and that the organisation takes time to learn from the feedback it receives.

A complaint is a voluntary expression of dissatisfaction with an organisation’s policies, procedures, staff or quality of service, whether justified or not.  It may be made in person, by phone, by email, through the website, social media and/or in writing.

An organisation should decide who is responsible for managing the complaints process and establish a policy and procedure for dealing with complaints.  Organisations should ensure that service users are aware of how to make a complaint.  The complexity of the complaints procedure will depend on the kind of organisation and the types of services delivered.

A complaints process should allow for the matter to be resolved informally and then if this is not possible for it to be taken through a formal process, with set timeframes, which has a clear conclusion.

When dealing with someone who is making a complaint, it is helpful if you can:

  1. Make the Service User feel comfortable talking to you
  2. Be helpful and friendly
  3. Deal with complaints fairly, equitably, and consistently
  4. Keep the Service User informed about progress and how to pursue their complaint further, if not satisfied with outcome
  5. Record details at all stages of complaints.

Click here for an example of a complaints procedure.

Click here for more information on whistleblowing from the Labour Relations Agency.

Download:  Complaints Process Form