Complaints Policy & Procedure
Introduction

Berkshire Community Foundation is committed to providing a high quality service for all of our donors, grant-seekers and other stakeholders. A complaint may come from any source. This policy does not cover staff grievances (see BCF Disciplinary & Grievance Policy) but is intended to cover complaints from external sources regarding any service provided by the Foundation.

A complaint may be received in writing, by email, in person or by telephone. All complaints will be treated seriously and the complainant offered prompt and courteous attention. We can learn from complaints and use them to improve our service.

 

DEFINITION OF A COMPLAINT

A complaint is an expression of dissatisfaction about services received from Berkshire Community Foundation.

 

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT & INITIAL INVESTIGATION

The Chief Executive will acknowledge a complaint within 5 working days requesting further information or clarification on the points made where it is appropriate. The Manager of the service concerned should carry out the initial investigation and keep the Chief Executive informed. The aim will be to achieve resolution at this stage.

The complainant should have a response within 10 working days from the receipt of the complaint as to the outcome of the investigation together with an apology if appropriate and details of any remedial action to be taken.

The complainant should be contacted as soon as practicable if the recommended timescale for a response cannot be met due to staff absence or any other unavoidable reason.

A record of this stage of the complaint investigation including correspondence and research notes will be kept.

 

SECOND STAGE INVESTIGATION

If the complainant is not satisfied with the outcome at the first stage the complaint must be referred directly to the Chief Executive.

The Chief Executive will review the complaint in consultation with appropriate staff and Trustees. S/he will check that the fundamental point of the complaint has been addressed and will respond to any outstanding issues raised by the complainant. From time to time it may be necessary to obtain further information from a third party.

A written response will be sent within 10 working days. It will comprise an explanation, an apology if required, information about remedial actions and an assurance that the complaint has been fully investigated.

If the complainant is still not satisfied then the matter should be referred to the  Governance  committee of the Trustee Board.

A record of this stage of the complaint must also be kept.

 

FINAL INVESTIGATION STAGE

The Governance committee will undertake a review of the complaint and the outcomes up to stage two and the complainant will be notified of the Committee’s decision by the Chairman. Where the Committee considers it appropriate to do so, an investigation will be carried out by the Chairman together with two nominated Trustees.

The Chairman, supported by two Trustees will arrive at a decision, which will be final, within 15 working days of receiving the complaint’s response to stage two. The Chairman will notify the complainant of their conclusions and will provide a clear explanation of the reasons for reaching them.

A record of this stage of the complaint, the correspondence and action taken should also be kept.