Complaints and Grievances Policy

Dealing with Complaints and Grievances Informally

If you have a grievance or complaint that involves the Society, another trustee, or another member of the Charitable Incorporated Organisation (i.e. a Society member) you should, wherever possible, start by making contact with the society president by email ([email protected]). Depending on the nature of your complaint an informal discussion may be suggested with the anticipation that you may be able to agree a solution informally between you. It is within your right to proceed directly to a formal complaint or grievance if you would prefer.

If your grievance relates to the Society President then you should contact a trustee in a position of responsibility, such as:

  1. Vice President
  2. Treasurer
  3. Vice Treasurer
  4. Chair of EDI (Equality, Diversity, Inclusion) Committee

If you would like an EDI representative to attend any in person discussion then you can request this.

Following informal discussion if you are unhappy with the suggested outcome you should proceed to a formal grievance. Informal grievances will not be logged or recorded. It is expected that informal grievances and complaints will be addressed within 2 weeks.

Formal Grievance

If the matter is serious and/or you wish to raise the matter formally, you should set out the grievance in writing to the Code of Conduct Committee ([email protected]). You should stick to the facts, present any evidence you wish to be considered and avoid language that is insulting or abusive.

The code of conduct committee shall consist of:

  • President 
  • Secretary
  • Chair of Inclusivity and Diversity Working Group

If the grievance is against any member of the committee, please approach a single member of the committee so that an alternative trustee can be appointed to form a three trustee committee to process the incident report according to the Code of Conduct. The code of conduct committee will aim to resolve your complaint within 4 weeks.

Process of Handling a formal Grievance

A formal grievance will be processed according to the code of conduct which includes direction of forming a resolution. If at any stage you are required to discuss your grievance with the committee then you have the right to bring with you another member (or trustee) of the Society.

If the grievance is against a trustee and the grievance is upheld, then the committee will put forward to the trustee board a vote of no confidence against the trustee in which the dispute is raised. The no confidence vote will follow the CIO Constitution guidance on voting. The no confidence is not legally binding; however if the trustee does not stand down then the trustee board must put forward (after a period of 4 weeks to allow for appeals) a formal resolution to remove the trustee in accordance with the CIO Constitution clause 15.2 unless doing so is likely to cause substantial harm to the Society or its members, or to force the disclosure of confidential information. 

Appeal of formal Grievance

If you are unhappy with the outcome of the formal grievance and reject the proposed resolution then you have the right to appeal. In such a case three alternative trustees will be appointed to review your case following the code of conduct process. If no suitable trustees can be appointed due to conflicts of interest, then a committee will be formed by a former Society President (or association Chair) to be made up of previous trustees. The result of this decision will be final.

Complaints Directly to the Charity Commission

If you wish to make a complaint about the Society directly to the Charity Commission you are encouraged to first raise this using the policy set out above.

If you wish to formally complain to the Charity Commission then you should follow the Charity Commission Guidance on Raising Serious Concerns (the link provided gives examples of what constitutes a serious concern): https://forms.charitycommission.gov.uk/raising-concerns/