External Complaints Procedure
One Million Mentors (hereafter referred to as 1MM) is committed to providing a high-quality service to all people we work with, including young people we support, our partners, volunteers and supporters. The purpose of this policy is to ensure all members of 1MM’s community and members of the public know how to provide feedback or make a complaint and ensure that the feedback or complaint is brought clearly to our attention; that we investigate the complaint; and, where appropriate, take action to correct the situation and to ensure that we learn from the process.
1MM welcomes constructive feedback on its activities, whether positive or negative and understands that, from time to time, people or organisations external to the programme may be dissatisfied or concerned with the way 1MM, its staff, participants, mentors or volunteers have acted. 1MM will respond proactively to all complaints made in good faith, where necessary, by improving procedures, correcting mistakes and learning from experience.
This procedure applies to non-participants on the programme. Participants should refer to the 1MM Mentor or Mentee Complaints Procedure. 1MM staff who want to raise an issue or complaint should refer to the grievance procedure outlined in the staff handbook.
Raising an issue informally
Complainants in the first instance should raise the issue of concern or complaint informally with the 1MM staff most directly involved in the situation. The staff member should, if possible, act to resolve the problem or if unable to, bring the matter to the attention of the 1MM Senior Management Team.
Formal Complaints Process – Stage 1
Feedback and complaints can be submitted directly using the 1MM contact form located here
Or alternatively you can email the complaint directly to firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you are dissatisfied with any aspects of our work or services, we want to make sure that we investigate your complaint thoroughly and provide you with a timely response. To allow us to do this, please provide as much information as possible when contacting us, including:
– The reason for your complaint
– Where and when it happened
– The name(s) of anyone involved (if known)
– The outcome you are hoping for
– Your contact details (name, address, daytime telephone number and/or email).
You will receive an automatic acknowledgement within minutes of submitting the complaint and a response from a member of the 1MM team by the end of the following working day.
We will try to resolve the problem as quickly as possible and provide you with a full response within two working days. However, sometimes we might need some extra time to investigate, in which case we will let you know when you should expect to hear from us.
We aim to resolve all complaints within 14 working days of receipt.
If, for any reason, you aren’t happy with the resolution of your complaint, let us know as soon as possible. Please tell us why you were not satisfied with our response and what you would like us to do to put things right. Please either respond directly to the member of staff you have been liaising with or contact our customer service team as outlined above. Your complaint will be escalated to the CEO. The CEO will review your complaint and respond within 7 workings days.
Formal Complaints Process – Stage 2
If complainants feel that the issue has not been satisfactorily dealt with they may contact the CEO directly through email at email@example.com. The complainant should receive a response within 14 days.
CLOSING A COMPLAINT
1MM will consider each complaint carefully and decide upon an appropriate course of action. All complaints will be reviewed. In some cases, it may not be possible to investigate or substantiate complaints, or it may fall outside of our responsibilities.
If you have made a complaint and provided contact details, you will be informed of any part of the investigation which may involve you directly. However, due to confidentiality and legal restrictions 1MM may not disclose the outcome of the investigation or any information gained during the investigation, for example, 1MM may only report that an investigation has been carried out and appropriate action taken.
All complainants will be responded to as per the procedures and time frames set out above.
If you are not satisfied with our response, you can contact the Charity Commission on 0845 300 0218 or visit their website www.charitycommission.gov.uk for advice.
If your complaint relates to how we collect and use your personal information, you have the right to report your concerns to the UK data protection regulator, The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) www.ico.org.uk.
All complaints related to our fundraising practices can be escalated to the Fundraising Regulator on 0300 999 3407 or on their website www.fundraisingregulator.org.uk. If you receive a response from us about a fundraising matter that you are not happy with, the Fundraising Regulator requires that you notify them of this within 8 weeks of hearing from us.
UNREASONABLY PERSISTENT COMPLAINTS
There are a small number of complainants who, because of the frequency, nature, and quality of their contact with 1MM, hinder our consideration of theirs, or other people’s, complaints. We refer to such complainants as ‘unreasonably persistent complainants’ and, exceptionally, we will take action to limit their contact with our staff and volunteers
The decision to restrict access to our staff and volunteers will be taken by the CEO in consultation with senior management and will follow a prior warning to the complainant. Any restrictions imposed will be appropriate and proportionate. The options we are most likely to consider are:
– requesting contact in a particular form (for example, letters only);
– requiring contact to take place with a named individual;
– restricting telephone calls to specified days and times;
– and/or asking the complainant(s) to enter into an agreement about their future contact with us.
In exceptional cases, contact with a complainant may be terminated without restrictions first being imposed. This will be dependent on the individual circumstances but would be an option if the complainant’s behaviour is particularly severe, or includes threats to 1MM staff or volunteers. In all cases where we decide to treat someone as an unreasonably persistent complainant, we will write to tell the complainants why we believe their behaviour falls into that category, what action we are taking and the duration of that action. We will also tell them how they can challenge the decision if they disagree with it. If we decide to carry on treating someone as an unreasonably persistent complainant and we are still investigating their complaint six months later, we will carry out a review and decide if restrictions will continue.
Where a complainant whose case is closed persists in communicating with us about it, we may decide to terminate contact with that complainant about the matter. In such cases, we will read all correspondence from that complainant, but unless there is fresh evidence that affects our decision on the complaint we will simply acknowledge it or place it on the file with no acknowledgement.
New complaints from people who have come under this procedure will be treated on their merits.
While 1MM will treat any information given to us sensitively, we cannot always guarantee to keep your identity confidential as we may need to disclose your identity if required to do so by law. It should also be noted that your identity may be recognisable to others during the investigation due to the nature of the complaint, although we will endeavour to limit the risk of this where possible.
All complaints will be logged by the customer services team for reporting and monitoring purposes. Details of complaints are kept in accordance with our data protection policy.
Review of External Complaints Procedure
This procedure will be reviewed annually and altered as appropriate.