Transition Network Complaints Policy
Transition Network (TN) is committed to delivering our purpose and providing support to the global Transition Movement. One of the ways in which we can continue to improve our work is by listening and responding to the views of people, groups, Transition Initiatives, Hubs and/or collaborators we offer to support or work alongside, and in particular by responding positively to complaints, and by putting mistakes right. If you are unhappy with an aspect of TN’s work or conduct, this policy acts as a guide to raising your complaint and how we will respond and deal with it. Our aim is to resolve any problems, or difficulties, to the best of our ability.
Scope of the policy
This policy or process can be used by anyone who is not currently employed by TN. We define a complaint as any expression of dissatisfaction that relates to us (as a charity and/or with a member of staff or trustee) and that requires a formal response. Our formal complaints procedure is intended to ensure that all complaints are handled fairly, consistently and wherever possible resolved to the complainant’s satisfaction. If something has gone wrong, we will do what we can to put it right and find ways to improve the way we work.
In some circumstances, we may invite the people involved in a complaint to take part in a mediation or conflict resolution process. There would be no requirement to participate. The option would always remain open for the complaint to be dealt with in writing.
Our responsibility will be to:
- acknowledge the formal complaint in writing;
- respond within a stated period of time;
- deal reasonably and sensitively with the complaint;
- maintain confidentiality wherever possible;
- take action where appropriate.
A complainant’s responsibility is to:
- bring their complaint, ideally in writing, to our attention normally within 1 week of the issue arising and no later than 6 months from the date they became aware of the subject of the complaint;
- raise concerns promptly and directly with a member of staff;
- explain the problem as clearly and as fully as possible, including any action taken to date by us;
- allow a reasonable time to deal with the matter;
- recognise that some circumstances may be beyond our control
- clearly state what action they would like TN to take to resolve their complaint;
How to raise a complaint
TN will follow the below procedure to deal with all complaints received. Our aim is to resolve all matters as effectively and sensitively as possible. We give an indication of how quickly we will respond to complaints, but we may need more time to fully investigate complex issues.
Stage 1: Logging a complaint and acknowledgment
In the first instance, if you are unable to resolve the issue informally, your complaint should be submitted in writing via email to firstname.lastname@example.org. If this is not possible you can also call us on +44 (0)1803 865 669.
Please let us know the following details:
- The details of your complaint, the consequences for you as a result, and what you would like us to do to resolve it;
- If your complaint concerns a member of our team, please include the name of the individual concerned;
- Information on whether it is an original complaint or a follow-up to a reply you were not satisfied with;
- Your contact details.
TN will acknowledge receipt of your complaint within 5 working days by reply to your email. We will include details of the process following the submission of your complaints, including timeframes.
Stage 2: Investigation and response
TN will investigate and provide a full explanation within 15 working days of receiving your complaint. If this is not possible we will explain why and give you a date by which you can expect a full reply.
We have nominated a person in our team to manage complaints. At the moment this is Amber Ponton [Admin & Compliance]. If the complaint is about her, it will be handled by Julia Minnear [Team Wellbeing].
If the complaint is about the actions or behaviour of an individual TN trustee or staff member, they will be invited to comment, but will not be an active decision-maker in the process.
Amber Ponton will review and investigate the complaint and may need to come back to you for more information. They will present their findings to TN’s Heart Circle* within 10 working days. The Heart Circle will review the claim and agree actions to address the complaint.
The decision will be presented back to you by our nominated TN team member via email within 15 working days of receiving your complaint.
*TN’s latest shared governance organisational structure can be viewed here.
Stage 3: Appeal
If you are not satisfied with the initial response to your complaint then you can write to us asking for your complaint and our response to be reviewed by TN’s trustees who will have been made aware of your complaint during stage 2 above. Please email your complaint as outlined above in Stage 1, making clear why you are dissatisfied with the response you have received so far.
The trustees will review all available information about your complaint and may decide to make their own investigations. You can expect to receive an initial acknowledgement of your request and then a response within 15 working days.
Unresolved serious complaints
If you have a serious complaint and you do not believe it has been properly resolved by the procedure above, you can contact the UK Charity Commission. You can find full details of how to raise a complaint about a charity on the gov.uk website.