COMPLAINTS POLICY & PROCEDURE

 UPDATED 11FEB2020

Definitions

Throughout this policy, the term ‘Lighthouse’ shall be taken to mean, collectively:

  • Lighthouse Beaconsfield, Registered Charity No. 1151896 
  • Lighthouse Bletchley South, Regsitered Charity No. 1187747
  • Lighthouse Bourne End, Registered Charity No. 1180779
  • Lighthouse Burnham, Registered Charity No. 1182190
  • Lighthouse Cressex, Registered Charity No. 1183476
  • Lighthouse Hazlemere, Registered Charity No. 1178562
  • Lighthouse High Wycombe, Registered Charity No. 1114541
  • Lighthouse Langley, Registered Charity No. 1181000
  • Lighthouse Mansfield, Registered Charity No. 1164680 
  • Lighthouse Marlow, Registered Charity No. 1178062
  • Lighthouse Princes Risborough, Registered Charity No. 1178119 
  • Lighthouse Shelswell, Registered Chaity No: 1187651
  • Lighthouse Thame & Villages, Registered Charity No. 1179483
  • Lighthouse Central, Registered Charity No. 1169839

Overview

Lighthouse will pursue actively any complaints received in connection with its services, volunteer conduct or organised activities. This procedure sets out what will be done to make sure this happens.

Volunteers will take responsibility to own “problems” and deal with them through the complaints procedure. An important test of good service is that whoever the complainant happens to contact first must ensure that they are sympathetic and listen to the concerns with the aim of resolving the complaint at this first opportunity. Dealing with complaints is the responsibility of everyone.  The approach to complaints should be consistent and of a high standard.

Aims and Objectives of this Policy

  • To enable all volunteers to understand the importance of a speedy and effective response to a complaint. 
  • To ensure a consistent approach to all complaints. 
  • To help identify recurring problem areas so that improvements can be made. 

Definition of a Complaint

A complaint is any expression of dissatisfaction with a service or the organisation or its volunteers that needs a response. 

Responsibility  

The Chairman is responsible for the development and monitoring of this policy and making sure all volunteers know and understand their responsibilities. He/she will also make sure that complaints are recorded, monitored and satisfactorily resolved and reported. 

Procedures  

All complaints are logged and recorded by the volunteer who receives the complaint. This will show the following: 

  • Date and time of complaint 
  • Name of staff member completing the record 
  • Short description of complaint 
  • Action taken 
  • Outcomes 

 Complaints can be received by: 

  • Letter 
  • Email 
  • Telephone 
  • Face to face 

The individual who logs the complaint is responsible for informing the Chairman this has happened and making sure the information is accurate and logged as soon as possible. 

This recording is vital in making sure the customer is not repeatedly asked for information again, should the complaint be escalated. 

Outcomes are recorded when the complaint has been resolved to the satisfaction of the complainant. 

The aim is to resolve all complaints as swiftly as possible. All complaints will be acknowledged via letter/email within 5 working days of receipt. Complainants will be advised in this communication of the complaints procedure and details of who they can speak to about it. This will be supplied at all stages. 

Procedure

There are three stages to the complaints procedure: 

Stage 1: Resolve at the first point of contact  All attempts should be made to resolve the complaint immediately by the person who receives the complaint, at this first point of contact. It is envisaged that the majority of complaints will be resolved at this stage. 

If the complainant decides they are not satisfied, or the member of staff is unable to resolve the issue, then the complaint moves to Stage Two. 

Stage 2: Line Manager 

It is envisaged that all complaints should be resolved and dealt with satisfactorily from the viewpoint of the complainant at this stage. The complaint will be reviewed by an Age Group Leader or Activity Co-ordinator who will investigate and respond to the complainant within 10 working days. 

If the complainant is not satisfied they have the right for their complaint to be dealt with by the Chairman.

Stage 3 Escalated Complaint to Chairman 

Complaints at this stage are considered to be very serious. The complaint is passed to the Chairman to deal with. He/she will investigate the complaint and after gathering all evidence will give an appropriate written response to the complainant within 5 working days. If this is not possible the complainant will be kept updated regularly on progress whilst the complaint is being investigated. 

It is the intention that all complaints will be resolved at this point. 

Complaints about the Chairman 

If the complaint is about the Chairman, complainants will be invited to complain to the other Trustees. In these instances it is the responsibility of the Board of Trustees to resolve the issue. A representative from the Board will send the customer a full written response within two days of its meeting.