Complaints Procedure


We want to help you resolve your complaint as quickly as possible.

Wessex Reserve Forces’ and Cadets’ Association is committed to providing a high-quality service to everyone with whom we deal. In order to do this we need you to give us any comments about our service, and to tell us when we get things wrong. We want to help you resolve your complaint as quickly as possible.

We treat as a complaint any expression of dissatisfaction with our service which calls for a response. We listen to your complaints, treat them seriously, and learn from them so that we can continuously improve our service.

A complaint is an expression of dissatisfaction, whether justified or not.

Our policy covers complaints about:

  • the standard of service we provide.
  • the behaviour of our staff.
  • any action or lack of action by staff affecting an individual or group.

Our complaints policy does not cover:

  • matters that have already been fully investigated through this complaints procedure
  • anonymous complaints.
  • complaints about access to information where procedures and remedies are set out in legislation, eg Freedom of Information Act, Data Protection Act.

Persistent and or vexatious complaints

Occasionally complaints are received which are persistent, vexatious or are repeated complaints from the same person about the same or similar issues. In some circumstances WxRFCA will refuse to respond any further (or at all) to such complaints.

Our standards for handling complaints

  • we treat all complaints seriously, whether they are made by letter or by email.
  • you will be treated with courtesy and fairness at all times – we would hope, too, that you will be courteous and fair in your dealings with our staff at all times.
  • we will treat your complaint in confidence within the organisation,
  • we will deal with your complaint promptly – we will acknowledge receipt of a written complaint within 5 working days and we will send you a full reply within 20 working days of receipt.
  • if we cannot send a full reply within 20 working days of receipt we will tell you the reason why and let you know when we will be able to reply in full.

Confidentiality

All complaints received will be dealt with confidentially and in accordance with the requirements of the Data Protection Act 2018 and UK GDPR.

How to complain

You can make a complaint by email or post. 

You can send an email to wx-hss@rfca.mod.uk or a letter to the Head of Support Services (Complaint), Wessex RFCA, Mount House, Mount Street, TAUNTON, Somerset, TA1 3QE.

We have a 2-stage complaints procedure. At each stage it will help us to resolve your complaint quickly if you can give us as much clear detail as possible, including any documents and correspondence and stating that you are making a complaint in line with our procedure.  

The stages of the complaints procedure

Stage 1 

This is the first opportunity for the organisation to resolve a complainant’s dissatisfaction, and the majority of complaints will be resolved at this stage. In the first instance, we will try to get your complaint resolved by the head of department the area or team against whom the complaint has been made. Upon receipt of your complaint we will contact the relevant team leader and ask them to deal with your complaint.

Stage 2

If you are dissatisfied with this response you may request a review by the Chief Executive. Your request should be sent to the address given above.

At each stage, please send your complaint or request for review to the Head of Support Services.

Timescales for handling a complaint

Stage 1 – maximum 20 working days

  • acknowledgement within 5 working days
  • full response within 20 working days

Stage 2 – maximum 20 working days

  • acknowledgement within 5 working days
  • full response within 20 working days

Extending time limits

We aim to complete all complaints within the timescales above; however, if a complaint is very complex it may occasionally be necessary to extend the time limit.  If this is the case, we will keep the complainant informed of progress with the investigation, the reasons for the delay, and the new deadline.

Following any stage of the procedure, a complainant has a maximum of 28 days from the date of the final response to request that their complaint be progressed to the next stage. 

Remedies

When we get things wrong we will act to:

  • accept responsibility.
  • explain what went wrong and why.
  • put things right by making any changes required.

The action we take to put matters right (i.e. redress), in response to a complaint, can include any combination of the remedies set out in the list below.  The general principle we follow is that a complainant, so far as possible, be put in the position he or she would have been in, had things not gone wrong.

The remedy chosen needs to be proportionate and appropriate to the failure in service, and take into account what people are looking for when they complain.  An apology is normally appropriate, but other action may also be necessary:

  • a sincere and meaningful apology (explaining what happened or what went wrong) – an apology is not an acceptance of liability under Section 2 of the Compensation Act 2006.
  • remedial action, which may include reviewing or changing a decision on the service given to an individual complainant.
  • service required by complainant (immediately, if appropriate).
  • putting things right (for example change of procedures to prevent future difficulties of a similar kind, either for the complainant or others).
  • training or supervising staff.

Recording complaints 

We will log all complaints we receive so that we can monitor the types of problems, the best way to sort them out and how long we are taking to deal with them. This also helps us to take a closer look at how we can improve our own service delivery.

 

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