If you have a complaint, please take time to tell us about it. If we are doing something wrong or badly, it is important to us that we improve.
What kind of thing can I complain about?
- If you are unhappy with the standard of a service provided by Action for A-T
- If you believe that Action for A-T has failed to do something it should have done
- If you feel that Action for A-T has done something badly
- If you feel that Action for A-T’s staff, Trustees or volunteers have been unhelpful or have treated someone unfairly
- If you believe that Action for A-T hasn’t followed its own policies, rules or procedures correctly
- If you believe that Action for A-T hasn’t followed required regulations or standards
If you believe that illegal activity is taking place or that people or property are at risk of harm, this is an emergency situation. Please contact the relevant emergency service – police, fire service or ambulance – by phoning 999. Then, contact Action for A-T as soon as possible.
Please don’t use the complaint system to make a general enquiry, to request a service, report a fault or to ask for an explanation of a situation. A phone call to us will probably help you with this kind of general enquiry.
Action for A-T will investigate all complaints, if received within three months of the situation that triggered the complaint. If the situation happened more than three months before, it will fall outside this policy and procedure and we may not be able to investigate it.
How do I make a complaint?
For non-emergency complaints, the first step is to contact Action for A-T and ask to speak to the person concerned. If you would prefer not to use the phone, you can either write to us at the head office address or e-mail info@actionforAT.org.
For all complaints, we will require some information from you. This will include the following:
- The date of the situation that you are complaining about
- The reason you are complaining
- What you would like Action for A-T to do about your complaint, if anything
- Any other information that may help us to investigate the complaint, for example details of any other people involved in the situation or who witnessed it
We may ask you about your sex, age, ethnic origin etc. You do not have to give this information but it helps us make sure that we deal fairly with complaints from all sections of the community.
Will my details be kept confidential?
We will take every reasonable step to keep your identity confidential. However, in order to investigate and respond to a complaint, some members of staff may need to know the full information. The appropriate manager responsible for dealing with the complaint will be responsible for deciding who receives this information. Those staff will be required to keep the details confidential. If a member of staff treats this information inappropriately, they may face disciplinary action.
What happens next?
Your complaint will be recorded in writing, to make sure that it is followed up.
Some complaints can be dealt with very quickly, without the need for a formal investigation. If this is possible, Action for A-T will do so. You will receive a letter and our response within 14 days. If you are not happy with our response, you can refer your complaint directly to the Chief Executive.
Within 14 days of you making a formal complaint, you will receive a letter acknowledging the complaint and telling you about our procedures.
A senior manager will investigate the complaint. As part of the investigation, it may be necessary to talk to other staff or members of the public who may have further information. A meeting will be held with those staff that were involved in the situation or event you have complained about. If external suppliers were involved, they will also have an opportunity to attend this meeting and supply evidence.
Within 30 days, the department manager will write to you, telling you the results of the investigation. If there is a difficulty with the investigation, or staff disciplinary action has to be taken before the investigation can be completed, you will receive a letter explaining the situation. These may have to be dealt with before the investigation into your complaint can continue.
If your complaint has highlighted changes that need to be made, Action for A-T will take the necessary steps to make suitable changes.
If your complaint involves a fundraising matter, our complaints procedure follows the standards required by the Fundraising Regulator. The regulator will be told general details about your complaint, but you will not be identified.
What happens if I’m unhappy with the result of your investigation?
If you are unhappy with the results of our investigation, you have one month to write to our Chief Executive, asking him to review your complaint.
The Chief Executive will then reply to you within one month, giving his final decision.
If your complaint is about fundraising, you have eight weeks to refer your complaint to the Fundraising Regulator.
The Fundraising Regulator will review your complaint and advise you within four weeks whether any action will be taken.
If your complaint is about gambling-related activity (for example lotteries), you have six months from the time of the activity to refer your complaint to the Independent Betting Adjudication Service (IBAS).
IBAS will act as an impartial adjudicator after the complaint/dispute has been through our own internal dispute procedure. IBAS will review your complaint and write to you and us with their decision.
If you remain unhappy after these steps have been taken, you can refer your complaint to the Charity Commission. This organisation regulates charities in England & Wales. You will need to provide them with our charity registration number, which is 1145303.