Compliments, Complaints and Comments Policy and Procedure

1. Statement

1.1 Royal Voluntary Service (“the Charity”) recognises that it is only with the support of its volunteers, employees and service users that it can succeed in its mission to inspire and enable people to give the gift of voluntary service to meet the needs of the day in their communities. It is therefore vital for the Charity to know when things go wrong so that it can try and put things right and improve its activities. Feedback on positive experiences is also welcomed – the Charity can use that feedback to recognise and reward good practice and to encourage similar experiences for others.

1.2 If and when things do go wrong, the Charity believes that it is best to deal with things straightaway before they grow into a big issue. The Charity also believes that complaints should be addressed in ways that are professional, practical, personal and positive so that complaints can be satisfactorily resolved and the same issue avoided in the future.

2. Aims of this policy

2.1 This Policy aims to:
  • provide a clear, easy to use and readily available guide to the way in which the Charity will handle complaints and compliments so that individuals know how to make a complaint and everyone at the Charity knows what to do if a complaint is received;
  • ensure that all complaints are investigated fairly, consistently and promptly;
  • ensure that complaints are resolved in a courteous, professional and positive way; and
  • help the Charity gather information to help it continually improve the way it works.

3. What this policy covers

3.1 The Charity believes that it is better to apply a wider definition of what counts as a “complaint” than a narrower one; that way the Charity has the opportunity to hear more about how well it is or isn’t performing. Any expression of dissatisfaction, whether justified or not, about any aspect of the Charity and received from a volunteer, service user or other member of the public will therefore be treated as a complaint unless it relates to:

  • a general enquiry about the work of the Charity or a request for information about us;
  • a contractual or legal dispute;
  • a formal request for disclosure of information for example under data protection legislation;
  • the immediate resolution of a minor query or day to day dissatisfaction which may be dealt with on a day to day basis at a local level;
  • a personal grievance from an employee when the Charity’s Grievance Policy and Procedure should be used;
  • a formal incident, for example incidents regarding safeguarding, food hygiene, health and safety, fraud, theft, major financial, system or process irregularities, property or vehicle damage or burglary when the relevant incident reporting process should be used;
  • our fundraising practices when our Fundraising Complaints Policy should be used and the complaint addressed to the Charity’s Fundraising Complaints Coordinator;
  • an activity where we are delivering services on behalf of another organisation, such as a Local Authority or the NHS and where there may be other arrangements in place that are better suited to handling the matter in which case we will let you know the relevant detail;
  • serious concerns about fraud, misconduct or wrongdoing when the Charity’s Whistleblowing Policy should be used.

3.2 If there is concern about possible abuse of a vulnerable person or someone is at risk of immediate harm then call 999. If the risk is not immediate then contact our safeguarding team on 07760 171577 or email safeguarding@royalvoluntaryservice.org.uk and follow the Charity’s Safeguarding Policy and Procedure.

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