Complaints Policy

Policy statement

RAFT aims to resolve complaints quickly, fairly and effectively. One of the ways we can continue to improve in what we do is by listening and responding positively to complaints and by putting mistakes right.  A complaint is any expression of dissatisfaction about any aspect of RAFT, whether or not RAFT acted wrongly.

RAFT’s policy on complaints 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 RAFT knows what to do if a complaint is received
  • To make sure that all complaints are investigated fairly and in a timely manner
  • To make sure that complaints are, wherever possible, resolved and relationships repaired
  • To gather information which helps us to improve for the future

This policy does not apply to RAFT staff or volunteers as the Employee Handbook covers how staff or volunteers may raise any grievance.

Complaint process

If you have a complaint about our organisation we want to hear about it and we will do our best to put it right.

RAFT would like to resolve any complaint as soon as possible. Many complaints can be resolved informally. In the first instance, please contact RAFT and speak to the member of staff who is working with you or ask to speak to their manager, who will endeavour to resolve the matter.

If you make contact in person or by phone, make a note of the name of the person you speak to. If a solution is offered at this point, make a note of this as well.

If you are not satisfied, or do not wish an informal solution, you may pursue a formal complaint. In this case, write down your complaint and send it to:

Chief Executive Officer, RAFT
Leopold Muller Building, Mount Vernon Hospital, Northwood, Middlesex HA6 2RN
E-mail: charity@raft.ac.uk

You are encouraged to summarise the nature of your complaint and to describe what you consider you would like to be done to remedy the situation. Written complaints will normally be acknowledged by RAFT within two weeks. The acknowledgement will say who is dealing with the compliant and when the person making the complaint can expect a reply. A copy of this complaints procedure should also be attached.

The complaint will be investigated thoroughly and fairly, protecting confidentiality for all involved as much as possible. Ideally complainants should receive a definitive reply within four weeks. If this is not possible, for example if the investigation is still in progress, a progress report should be sent with an indication of when a full reply will be given.

The reply should indicate the action taken to investigate the complaint, the conclusions from the investigation and any action taken as a result.

Complainant response

If, at the conclusion of the investigation above, the complainant feels that the problem has not satisfactorily been resolved, they can request a review, as a second stage. For this stage two review, the complaint will be passed to an appeal committee constituted by the chairman or another suitable trustee.

The request for this appeal committee review would normally be acknowledged within two weeks of receiving it. The acknowledgement should also say who will deal with the case and when the complainant can expect a reply.

This committee will investigate the facts of the case themselves. This may involve reviewing the paperwork, speaking to the person who dealt with the complaint at its first stage, speaking to other people impacted by the complaint and meeting with the complainant.

Ideally the complainant should receive a definitive reply within four weeks. If this is not possible, for example because the review has not been fully completed, a progress report may be sent, along 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 actions 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.

External assistance

In addition to the Board considering external assistance, the complainant can complain to the Charity Commission at this third stage, or in fact at any point if they feel that progress towards a resolution is inadequate.

Information about the kinds of complaint the Charity Commission can involve itself in can be found on their website at:  www.gov.uk/government/publications/complaints-about-charities

A complainant may also complain to the Fundraising Regulator if appropriate. Details can be found on their website at: www.fundraisingregulator.org.uk/make-a-complaint/complaints/

Monitoring and learning from this policy

Complaints are reviewed annually to identify any trends that may indicate a need to take further action or to revise the overall complaints policy.