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Complaints' procedure


BRASS aims to provide service of a standard acceptable to all our clients. If we fail to do this we want to know about it. This will enable us not only deal with the specific problem, but also avoid it happening again.


This complaints procedure sets out how to take up matters if you think the service you have received from us is unsatisfactory.


Ask any adviser for information about the complaints procedure.




This policy sets out the procedures BRASS will follow when we receive a complaint from clients of the service, an organisation or member of the public or volunteers.




This procedure is meant to provide a means to resolve a dispute between BRASS and any complainant. It requires staff and management committee members at every stage to resolve the complaint. Complaints are likely to be in one or more of the following areas:

  • dissatisfaction with our service, such as inadequate work, problems with poor advice,

  • unacceptable delay or failure to deliver a service etc.

  • disputes between user and the organisation regarding policy, procedures or activities.

  • discourtesy or unhelpfulness on the part of staff.


The Procedure


When someone wishes to register a complaint, the following procedure should be adopted.

Where the complaint is against the Drop in Manager, the same procedure will be followed, but with the Chair of the Executive Committee substituting for the Drop in Manager’s role at all stages.


  • Preliminary stage

The complaint can be received either in writing or verbally.


  • Stage 1

The complainant should be invited to discuss the complaint with the Drop in Manager. The Drop in Manager should keep a record of the conversation. The Drop in Manager will endeavour to resolve the matter. If the complainant remains dissatisfied, or where it is not possible to use Stage 1 (for example if it is not convenient for them to phone or visit the office) then refer to Stage 2 below.


Stage 1 should be completed within 2 weeks of receiving the complaint.


  • Stage 2

The complainant should be asked to put their complaint in writing to the Drop in Manager, marked Private and Confidential, providing as much detail as possible.


If the complainant is not able to put their complaint in writing, the complainant will be offered an interview with the Drop in Manager or nominee, to put the complaints in writing, obtain the complainant’s approval for the contents of this, and ask the complainant to sign to indicate they agree with the contents. The complainant may choose to work with a third party at this stage and throughout the process - BRASS should provide a list of potential advocates if the complainant does not have a resource they can turn to.


The Drop in Manager or nominee will then investigate the complaint and attempt to resolve it. If the complaint involves a member(s) of staff the Drop in Manager should offer the opportunity for the member of staff to put forward their account, either by written statement or by presentation to the Panel.


The Drop in Manager will ensure that all complainants receive a response in writing within 10 working days of the letter/complaint notes being received. This letter will summarize what investigations have been carried out and what action, if any, is proposed to resolve the matter. A copy of this letter should be attached to any notes.


If a response by letter is unsuitable, the complainant will be offered an interview with the Manager to provide the response verbally. This meeting should be held within 10 working days as before. A written record of this interview will be kept and signed by the complainant.


If the complainant is still not satisfied at this stage they should ask for the matter to be dealt with under Stage 3 of the complaints procedure.


  • Stage 3

Where the matter is not resolved by stage 2, the Drop in Manager should immediately refer the complaint to the Executive Committee Complaints Panel, sending copies of all written correspondence to Panel members.

The Complaints Panel will comprise the Chair of the Executive Committee, the designated Complaints Officer and one other Executive Committee member.  The Complaints Officer will be responsible for convening the Panel.

The Complaints Officer, or Chair will inform the complainant immediately, that this is being done and that the Panel will also be contacting the staff member(s) against whom the complaint is made.


The panel will review the decision made at Stage 2 and may seek further clarification from any of the parties involved.


The Complaints Panel will notify the complainant of its reasons and decision within 15 working days of having received notice of the complaint. The Panel’s decision will be final.

The Complaints Officer is responsible for ensuring records of the meeting are kept.

The Complaints Officer will be responsible for reporting the Panel’s findings to the next meeting of the Management Committee.


  • Stage 4

The complainant will be notified that if they remain unhappy with the decision the complaint can be passed to an agreed third party for arbitration.

The arbitration will be confined to the following:

  • establishing the complaints procedure has been followed.

  • ensuring that the complaint has been dealt with fairly.


Recording and Monitoring Complaints


All complaints will be recorded and kept on file, including those, which were resolved without being put in writing.

All complaints shall be treated with regard to the Privacy Policy.

The Complaints officer will make a report once a year to the Executive Committee summarizing the nature of complaints received and how they were resolved.


Publicising the Procedure


The Manager is responsible for ensuring that posters and leaflets are displayed in the waiting area and interview rooms welcoming complaints from users, and clearly explain the procedure for making the complaint.


Ensuring the Effectiveness of the Procedure


All Management Committee members will receive a copy of the Complaints' Procedure.

Existing and new workers will be introduced to the Complaints' Procedure via induction and training.

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