Our approach to handling complaints and feedback

Policy Statement

This Policy Statement sets out Framework’s approach to feedback, complaints and conduct matters that Framework are responsible for dealing with.

This Policy applies to all Framework services. This Procedure applies to all Framework operations – not just services. It was created in consultation with Framework’s staff, the SUAG (Service User Advisory Group), the Service User Forum (SUF) and SEA (Services for
Empowerment and Advocacy).

The Procedure provides details of how to provide feedback, how to complain and how complaints are handled. Framework is committed to providing the best possible standards of service and to maintaining positive relationships with all its stakeholders. It is essential that all feedback and complaints are handled appropriately to ensure that stakeholders feel confident that their opinions have been heard, considered and acted upon promptly and fairly.

Framework will encourage and respond positively to all forms of feedback and will value complaints as an opportunity to learn and continually improve. Our Policy and Procedure for complaints reflect the best practice identified in the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman’s Principles of Good Complaint Handling document. (For information on the principles please go to www.ombudsman.org.uk).


The definitions below are provided to enable a universal and consistent recording of actions
across all of Framework’s services.

Complaint – a formal expression of dissatisfaction with the services provided by Framework. This dissatisfaction can be communicated verbally or in writing and require an investigation and response from the organisation in accordance with this policy.

Feedback – information about a positive or negative experience relating to the organisation which can be used as a basis for improvement or recognition.

Incident – an action by a service user, employee (including volunteers), visitor to a framework premises, Board member that requires the use of formal investigation processes by a number of different managers to address the regulatory and reputational impact.

Service Request – a request by a service user to rectify a problem, which they reasonably believe to be Framework’s responsibility e.g. property repair.

Stakeholder – a service user or any other persons, that wish to provide feedback or comment about an aspect of Framework’s service.

Feedback and Complaints

There are occasions when a service user or any other persons, may wish to provide feedback about an aspect of Framework’s service or operation. This Policy ensures that feedback, where appropriate, is acknowledged. Whether positive or negative it is Framework’s Policy to record all feedback and services should maintain service logs for this purpose. This Policy does not apply to complaints made by Framework members of Staff. Framework employees must raise a complaint by following procedure outlined in the Grievance or Whistleblowing Policy and Procedures.

Objectives for the recording of ComplaintsThe aims of this Policy are to ensure that the complaints process is flexible, prompt, impartial and responsive to the needs of individual complainants, providing a high standard of service. The Policy seeks to ensure that:

  • Everyone has the right to complain
  • Those who complain are listened to and treated with courtesy and empathy
  • Those who complain are not disadvantaged as a result of making a complaint and documentation should give the complainant the confidence and ability to complain
  • Complaints are investigated openly, thoroughly, honestly and are dealt with in a reasonable time frame
  • Complainants are kept informed of the progress and outcome of the investigation
  • Action to rectify the cause of the complaint is identified, implemented and evaluated
  • All staff welcome complaints and complaints are seen as a positive way for the organisation to learn and inform service development and/or improvement
  • Complaints handling complies with confidentiality and data protection policies and is transparent
  • Staff involved in complaints are given support
  • Guidance demonstrating how complaints can be made and what procedures will be followed to resolve them: in appropriate languages, formats and media.

The objectives of recording feedback

The aims of this Policy are to ensure that any feedback provided is used to improve our services. The Policy seeks to ensure that:

  • Everyone has the right to provide feedback
  • Services respond to changes in the community, the population, or the situation to
    make service delivery more effective
  • Framework has an increased awareness of the impact of our services
  • Frameworks approach adheres to our organisational objectivesThe objectives of recording feedback

Application of Policy

This policy applies to anyone who has a comment or concern about any of Framework’s activities including: income generation; all charitable activity; and services delivered. It is the responsibility of all Framework staff to ensure that all feedback is appropriately
acknowledged and resolved.

Assistance and Advocacy

Framework works with disadvantaged client groups and some individuals may lack the skills or confidence to raise a comment or pursue a complaint. Where people have difficulties with literacy or language or require support to make a complaint or provide feedback Framework will offer:

  • the assistance of a staff member of the complainant’s choosing, or
  • the opportunity to make use of their own advocate / friend / relative, or
  • free access to an independent advocacy service

Accountability and Monitoring

It will be the responsibility of Framework’s Operations Director to ensure that the Complaints
and Feedback Policy is operated effectively across the organisation.

Learning from Feedback

Framework views comments and complaints as an opportunity to learn and continually improve. It is the responsibility of the Senior Leadership team to disseminate learning throughout the organisation and to ensure that learning and recommendations for change
are actioned.

Quarterly KPI reporting for comments and complaints will be produced and submitted to the Board, the Organisational Leadership Group (OLG) and the Service User Advisory Group (SUAG). It is the responsibility of Operation Managers to analyse feedback to determine if any action is required. It is then the responsibility of Service Managers to ensure that these actions are
implemented within the service. It is also the responsibility of Service Managers to ensure that all feedback is discussed at Service Meetings. Where appropriate the complainant will receive details of any learning and/or changes implemented as a result of the complaint or feedback.

Procedures recording and templates

The policy is delivered via the use of procedures, templates and electronic recording.
Further information can be accessed via Framework’s intranet.