Compliments and complaints policy Introduction Beanstalk strives for high standards and we are committed to respect the views of our beneficiaries, volunteers, donors, schools and other external stakeholders. Feedback from our stakeholders is invaluable in helping us evaluate and improve our work. This policy relates only to complaints received by Beanstalk from external stakeholders or service users. Staff complaints will be dealt with in accordance with Beanstalk’s policy on Grievances. All staff are required to familiarise themselves with this policy. Purpose The purpose of the Compliments and complaints policy is to ensure that: External stakeholders know how to provide feedback and how a complaint will be handled. Complaints are dealt with consistently, fairly and sensitively within clear and acceptable timeframes. Individuals have an effective way to comment on Beanstalk’s work and services. Compliments and complaints are monitored and used to improve our services. Definitions Compliment A compliment is any expression of positive feedback by an external stakeholder. Compliments are valuable, welcome and important. They enable Beanstalk to identify when the services provided are satisfactory, influence our service development and quality assurance and provide positive feedback to our staff. Complaint A complaint is any expression of dissatisfaction by an external stakeholder. Complaints are taken seriously and will be responded to in a timely, fair and consistent manner. They enable Beanstalk to identify when the services provided are unsatisfactory and influence our service delivery and quality assurance. Compliments and complaints procedures Compliments Any external individual wishing to submit a formal compliment should submit this to [email protected] Any formal compliments received will be forwarded to the Director of Marketing and Communications and recorded on the Compliments register. Any member of staff identified as being the subject of or contributing to any matter giving rise to the compliment will be notified within three working days. Complaints Stage One Any external individual wishing to make a complaint should submit this to [email protected]. Alternatively, they can contact the Director of Marketing and Communications in writing. The complaint will be forwarded to the relevant Manager. We aim to resolve issues quickly and satisfactorily. Complaints will be recorded and acknowledged within three days of receipt. We hope that the majority of complaints can be resolved informally by speaking to the person / s involved, either by telephone or face-to-face. The complainant will be advised that if they are not satisfied with the response to their complaint, they may appeal to the Director of Marketing and Communications within 14 days. The complaint will then progress to stage two. The appeal may be based on the following grounds: A failure to follow procedure. The decision was wrong. New evidence subsequently coming to light. Apparent inconsistent approach. Stage Two The Director of Marketing and Communications will appoint a Director or the CEO, as appropriate, to re-investigate the matter. The complainant will receive written confirmation of the outcome of the appeal within 20 working days of receipt. Alternatively the complainant may be invited to a meeting to resolve the issue. Where there are any delays the complainant will be informed of the reasons for the delay. Any decisions and findings are final. Anonymous compliments and complaints Compliments and complaints received anonymously will be recorded and considered. Action may be limited if fuller information is required to ensure a full and fair investigation. Data protection To process a complaint, Beanstalk will hold personal data about the complainant. This will be held securely in accordance with the Data Protection Act 1998. The identity of the complainant will only be made known to those who need to consider the complaint. However, it may not be possible to preserve confidentiality in some circumstances, for example, where relevant legislation applies or allegations are made which involve the conduct of third parties. Monitoring Compliments and complaints are important tools, which along with surveys issued to our Volunteers and user feedback will allow Beanstalk to review the services we provide. They offer a useful source of information about how individuals see our charity and the services we provide. Any information obtained will be considered regularly by the Senior Management Team. Wherever possible, the information will be used to improve and further develop our services.