UKAHPP Organisational Complaints Procedure

INTRODUCTION

The UKAHPP is committed to providing a professional service through supportive working relationships with all those who come in contact with the organisation. From time to time the organisation, its officers or representatives may fall short of these expectations and give rise to disappointment about the organisation or the quality of its public relations. The UKAHPP Board of Directors (the Board) welcomes feedback about the organisation

In the first instance and in effort to resolve matters quickly, anyone with a concern about the organisation or the conduct of any of its representatives is advised to raise the matter with the individual(s) involved.

If this is not appropriate or if the matter cannot be resolved, concerns can be raised by writing to the Board of Directors. However, in some cases it may be necessary to raise a formal complaint.

There is a separate Complaints Procedure for matters relating to the practice of UKAHPP members with service users and for disputes between members.

Consideration of complaints will be dealt within the prescribed time frame. In the event of extenuating circumstances which require an extension of this time frame, the individual panels may request the Board to grant an extension.

The purpose of the UKAHPP Organisational Complaints Procedure (the procedure) is to ensure that complaints about the UKAHPP are subject to just, fair and impartial investigation to reach, where possible, a satisfactory outcome.

The procedure will be discharged in accordance with the organisation’s governance and any applicable legal and regulatory requirements. Suitably experienced independent lay representation external to UKAHPP will be included on all Investigating and Appeal Panels.

Information about how to raise aconcern or make a formal complaint will be published on the UKAHPP website.

The procedure applies to complaints about UKAHPP as an organisation or the conduct of its officers, employees, workers, subcontractors and volunteers when representing the organisation in an official capacity.

In accordance with the UKAHPP Memorandum of Association(s) the objects of the Company (including this procedure) shall not extend to the regulation of relations between employees and workers or organisations of employers and organisations of workers.

Complainants are encouraged to identify themselves as anonymous complaints cannot normally be considered under this procedure.

There are three parts to this procedure:

  1. Informal Discussion
  2. Formal Investigation
  3. Appeals Process

1. INFORMAL DISCUSSION

1.1 All organisational complaints must be made in writing to the UKAHPP General Secretary via the UKAHPP registered office, giving a clear and detailed outline of the complaint (date, time, place etc) and the personnel involved.

1.2 If the General Secretary is the subject of the complaint, the complaint should be addressed to the Board of Directors at the UKAHPP registered office.

1.3 The General Secretary, the Chair of the Board of Directors (the Chair) and the Chair of the Ethics Committee will determine if the complaint falls within the remit of the procedure and whether there is a case to answer.

1.4 If the office of General Secretary, the Chair of the Board of Directors or Chair of the Ethics committee is vacant or if any officer is not available due to prolonged absence or if they are the subject of the complaint – their appointed vice chair or nominated deputy (approved by the Board of Directors) will discharge their duties.

1.5 A complaint must be received within one year of the occurrence complained about.

1.6 The General Secretary will write to the complainant within 28 days of the receipt of the complaint, with a copy of the procedure and an outline of the steps taken to address the complaint.

1.7 If the circumstances complained about do not constitute an organisational complaint, the General Secretary will explain to the complainant in writing the reason(s) why there is no case to answer.

1.8 If there is a case to answer the General Secretary, the Chair and the Chair of the Ethics Committee will personally look into the complaint or appoint an officer or a group of officers of the UKAHPP best suited to look into the complaint impartially.

1.9 The General Secretary will notify the complainant, within 28 days of receipt of the complaint, of findings and the actions taken to resolve the complaint.

1.10 The complainant will be given 28 days, from the day of notification (1.6) to inform the General Secretary if they are satisfied with the outcome.

1.11 If the complainant is satisfied with the outcome the complaint will be closed.

1.12 If the informal stage of the procedure has been exhausted without achieving a satisfactory outcome, Alternative Dispute Resolution, such as Mediation or Adjudication may be offered as an alternative method of resolving the complaint.

1.13 If the informal stage of the procedure does not resolve the compliant; or if Alternative Dispute Resolution has either been ineffective or refused; or in exceptional circumstances where the General Secretary, the Chair and Chair of the Ethics Committee, consider the first stage of the procedure to be inappropriate, the Formal Investigation stage of the procedure will be invoked.

  1. FORMAL INVESTIGATION

2.1 The Formal Investigation stage of the procedure will be considered open once the complainant has notified the General Secretary that they are not satisfied with the outcome of the first stage of the procedure and of their intention to progress the complaint through the Formal Investigation stage of the procedure – or when invoked by the General Secretary, the Chair and the Chair of the Ethics Committee under 1.13.

2.2 The General Secretary, the Chair and the Chair of the Ethics Committee will appoint an Investigation Panel to look into the complaint and responses to the allegations.

2.3 The Panel will include a Board member, a member of the Ethics Committee, an Ordinary Member of UKAHPP and a Lay Member, unconnected with the complaint – as a minimum.

2.4 Investigation Panel members will appoint a chairperson to lead proceedings and liaise with the Board of Directors and General Secretary as necessary.

2.5 Within 28 days of the Formal Investigation stage being invoked, the Investigation Panel will meet to consider the complaint and determine if the UKAHPP as an organisation or any of its personnel have breached any UKAHPP Code or procedure.

2.6 Investigation Panel members will determine whether it is necessary for the complainant, witnesses, a representative of UKAHPP or its personnel to attend a hearing.

2.7 The Investigation Panel will complete its deliberations with 2 months of its first meeting.

2.8 If it is not possible to complete the investigation within the set time frame the proceedings can be extended by 28 days with approval of the Board.

2.9 The complainant and any UKAHPP personnel implicated in the complaint will be notified if proceedings are extended.

2.10 The Investigation Panel’s findings and its recommendations, including any sanctions, will be communicated in writing to the General Secretary, who in turn will communicate the findings to the complainant, the Board and any personnel subject to the complaint within 28 days of receipt.

2.11 The Investigation Panel is responsible for any room bookings and for securing financial approval from the Board before booking accommodation or incurring any other costs.

2.12 The UKAHPP is not responsible for travel or any other expenses incurred by the complainant or witnesses at any stage of the procedure.

  1. APPEALS PROCESS

3.1 The Appeals Process can be initiated if the complainant or those personnel subject to the complaint believe they were not given a fair hearing because the formal investigation process had not been implemented in accordance with the procedure.

3.2 The Appeals Process can also consider whether any further reasonable action could be taken by the organisation or its personnel to bring about a resolution to the complaint.

3.3 All appeals must be made in writing to the General Secretary and within 28 days of the General Secretary’s notification of the Investigation Panel’s decisions. The appeal must state how the investigation process had not implemented in accordance with the procedure.

3.4 The Appeals Process will be conducted by an Appeals Panel convened by the External Moderator to further include a suitably qualified independent lay person and an experienced practitioner of good standing without links to UKAHPP.

3.5 The Appeals Process will examine all documentation pertaining to the complaint including the appeal request containing the reasons for being dissatisfied with the investigation process and any other related information.

3.6 The Appeals Process will be concluded within two months of the appeal being made in accordance with 3.3.

3.7 The conducting officer or the Appeal Panel Chairperson will submit their findings and recommendations to the Board of Directors for approval.

3.8 he General Secretary will communicate the ruling on the appeal together with an explanation for that decision to the complainant and personnel subject to the complaint within 28 days of completion of the appeals process.

3.9 This decision will be final.

Maintaining Records of Complaints

Brief details of complaints will be recorded on a Complaints Log which will be kept in a confidential file. The Complaints Log will not include sensitive data that could be used to identify individuals.

Approved 17 March 2016