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Raising a concern or complaint with ARTICLE 19

In order to raise a concern or a complaint about ARTICLE 19 we use a process that can be used for any expression of dissatisfaction, whether justified or not, about any aspect of ARTICLE 19.

We view complaints as an opportunity to learn and improve for the future, as well as a chance to put things right for the individual that has made the complaint.

Complaints may come from persons or organisations who have a legitimate interest in ARTICLE 19. A complaint can be received verbally, by phone, by email or in writing.

You may use our contact form on the site here.

PLEASE NOTE: the complaints policy does not cover complaints from staff, as such concerns should be shared using the appropriate internal ARTICLE 19 policies, such as the Whistleblowing Policy.

Our complaints policy is designed to:

  • Provide a fair complaint procedure which is clear and easy to use for anyone external to ARTICLE 19 wishing to make a complaint.
  • Publicise the existence of our complaints procedure so that people know how to contact us to make a complaint.
  • Make sure all complaints are investigated fairly and in a timely way.
  • Make sure that complaints are, wherever possible, resolved and that relationships are repaired.
  • Gather information which helps us to improve what we do.

All complaint information will be handled sensitively, informing only individuals who need to know and following any relevant data protection requirements.

Whilst complaints will initially be handled by the Human Resource team, overall responsibility for this policy and its implementation lies with the Senior Management Team (SMT).

Policy to Resolve Complaints

Stage one

a) In many cases, a complaint is best resolved by the person responsible for the issue at the centre of the complaint. That person may then be able to resolve the issue swiftly and should do so if possible and appropriate.
b) On receiving the complaint, if it has not already been resolved, the SMT will delegate an appropriate person to investigate it and to take appropriate action.
c) If the complaint relates to a specific person, they will be informed and given a fair opportunity to respond.
d) Complaints should be acknowledged by the person handling the complaint within 14 days. The acknowledgement should say who is dealing with the complaint and when the person complaining can expect a reply. A copy of our complaints procedure should be attached.
e) Ideally complainants should receive a definitive reply within 28 days. If this is not possible because, for example, an investigation has not been fully completed, an update should be sent with an indication of when a full reply will be given. Whether the complaint is justified or not, the reply to the complainant should describe the action taken to review the complaint, the conclusions from the review, and any action taken as a result of the complaint.

Stage two

a) If the complainant feels that the problem has not been satisfactorily resolved at Stage One, they can request that the complaint is reviewed by SMT.

b) The request for SMT review should be acknowledged within one week of receiving it. The acknowledgement should say who will deal with the case and when the complainant can expect a reply.

c) The SMT may investigate the facts of the case themselves or delegate a suitable person to do so. This may involve reviewing the paperwork of the case and speaking with the person who dealt with the complaint at Stage One.

d) If the complaint relates to a specific person, they should be informed and given a further opportunity to respond.

e) Anyone who has been involved in Stage One should excused themselves from the SMT review (Stage Two) but they should be kept informed of what is happening.

f) Ideally complainants should receive a definitive reply within 28 days. If this is not possible because for example, an investigation has not been fully completed, a progress report should be sent with an indication of when a full reply will be given.

g) Whether the complaint is upheld or not, the reply to the complainant should describe the action taken to investigate the complaint, the conclusions from the investigation, and any action taken as a result of the complaint.

h) The decision taken at this stage is final.

External stage

The complainant can complain to the Charity Commission at any stage. Information about the kind of complaints the Commission can involve itself in can be found on their website.

Last updated September 2019.