What you can expect

What you can expect from us

Where a complaint is made, you can expect Royal Voluntary Service to take the complaint seriously and to treat it in an open, honest and fair way. We prefer to hear about issues and so you should feel free to raise a complaint without fear of disadvantage or repercussion.

Each complaint is likely to be unique and will therefore be handled in a way that reflects the nature of the complaint. Looking into a complaint may involve us doing some or all of the following:

  • designating somebody to look into the complaint
  • contacting or meeting you so that you can talk through your complaint in more detail and/or tell us what you are hoping for as an outcome from your complaint
  • gathering information and establishing facts in order to get back to you
  • providing written or verbal updates on the progress of the complaint, including reasons why it might take longer than anticipated to resolve
  • letting you know our conclusion(s) about your complaint including what we have found and an explanation of how and why we reached those conclusions.

If we find that we got things wrong, then we will acknowledge that, explain why and show that we understand how our error affected you. If we find there is a fault in our systems or the way we do things, we will tell you what it is and how we plan to change things to stop it happening again. If we got something wrong, we will always apologise.

If we are unable to explain the outcome of our review of a complaint for reasons of confidentiality then we will explain this in our response.

If you are unhappy with our response then you may write to the Chief Executive’s Office within 5 working days of receiving our response. Your letter should set out the reasons why you feel further consideration of your complaint is merited and should be addressed to:

Chief Executive’s Office, Royal Voluntary Service, Beck Court, Cardiff Gate Business Park, Cardiff CF23 8RP.

The Chief Executive Officer will consider and may allocate another member of staff to consider your complaint. If so that member of staff will respond to you with the conclusions of their review into your complaint within 21 working days of receipt of your letter to the Chief Executive Officer.

Royal Voluntary Service would very much like to resolve complaints itself and would always like to be given the chance to do that. If however, after following this Policy, a complaint remains unresolved then we will signpost a complainant to other organisations that might help including for example the Charity Commission, OSCR and specifically, in relation to fundraising or data, The Fundraising Regulator and the Information Commissioner’s Office respectively.

What we expect of you

We believe that complainants have the right to be heard, understood, and respected, and we recognise that the circumstances leading up to your complaint may cause you to be upset, distressed, or angry.

However, we also have a duty of care for the people working for the charity. We therefore expect you to be polite and courteous in your dealings with us and its staff and volunteers. While it may be appropriate for you to be forceful, determined or persistent to get your point across, we will not tolerate aggressive or abusive behaviour, unreasonable demands or unreasonable persistence.

Our staff and volunteers are authorised to end any telephone call or written communication where they suffer abusive language.

Complaints received internally 

A complaint that is received by anyone in Royal Voluntary Service other than General Support  team should be forwarded to the Volunteer Support team so that the Volunteer Support team can log the complaint, issue an acknowledgement to the complainant and address the complaint in line with this policy. Matters that are of particular sensitivity may, at the discretion of the Chief Executive Officer, be held separately by the Chief Executive Officer’s Office.

When a complaint won't be actioned

In very rare circumstances Royal Voluntary Service will not action a complaint or respond to a complainant. This may happen when:

  • a complaint is submitted anonymously. Whilst the complaint will still be considered the anonymous nature of it will prevent a response being given
  • a complaint is about something with which Royal Voluntary Service has no direct connection. Royal Voluntary Service may wish to address the point but will have no obligation to
  • someone unreasonably continues to pursue a complaint which Royal Voluntary Service has already considered and responded in line with this Policy
  • anyone is abusive, prejudiced or offensive in their manner or harasses a volunteer, employee, trustee or anyone connected with Royal Voluntary Service
  • a complaint is used as a mechanism to create disharmony to Royal Voluntary Service or an individual
  • a complaint is incoherent or illegible or forms part of a “round robin” or group mailing.

Where a complainant persists in pursuing a complaint despite their complaint having been considered and addressed in line with this Policy, Royal Voluntary Service will not continue to direct charitable resources to resolving the complaint. If the complainant continues to raise complaint, Royal Voluntary Service may choose to terminate service delivery or volunteering opportunity.

Learning lessons

The Charity’s Leadership Team will regularly consider reports on complaints and compliments including more serious issues raised, trends in terms of numbers of complaints or in particular areas and on the actions taken; the aim being to improve Royal Voluntary Service offering to all involved with us and to improve standards and performance. High level reports may be reported to Royal Voluntary Service Audit and Risk Committee.

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