Service User Complaints Resolution Policy and Procedures

Service User Complaints Resolution Policy and Procedures

This document sets out what women using the services of Devon Rape Crisis & Sexual Abuse Services (DRCSAS) need to do if they have a complaint about any aspect of the service. It sets out how DRCSAS will deal with any complaint.


We aim to ensure that:

• making a complaint is as easy as possible
• we deal with complaints promptly and politely
• we respond in the right way – for example, with an explanation, or an apology where we have got things wrong, or information on any action taken etc
• we learn from complaints, use them to improve our service and review all complaints annually
• all complaints are handled fairly, consistently and wherever possible resolved to the complainant’s satisfaction


DRCSAS defines a complaint as any issue, concern or problem with an aspect of the service, member of staff, volunteer or Trustee that leaves a woman feeling dissatisfied.

DRCSAS’s responsibility will be to:

• acknowledge the formal complaint in writing
• respond within a stated period of time
• deal reasonably and sensitively with the complaint
• take action where appropriate

Monitoring and Reporting

All complaints will be recorded on the attached complaints monitoring form. The DRCSAS Board of Trustees will receive an annual report of any complaints made each year (anonymised).

How to go about making Complaints

You can make a complaint to any member of our staff or volunteers:

• In person
• By phone
• In writing by post or email

This will then be passed to our Chief Executive Officer Caroline Voaden, or Head of Service Delivery Giselle Follette, who can be contacted via the office or at or respectively.

Complaints Resolution Procedure

Stage 1 – Acknowledgement

We will try to respond to your complaint within 15 working days. This will include acknowledging your complaint and our understanding of the issues, and providing you with a copy of our complaint policy and any other relevant policies or procedures

Timetables will be set and, if we have an address for you, a letter will be sent to you informing you of our time commitment and provide you with the relevant paper work. We will aim for this to happen within 15 working days of the office being informed of a complaint.

The complaint will be passed to the Chief Executive Officer or Service Manager who will then investigate the matter. If the complaint is regarding the Chief Executive Officer then the complaint will be passed to the Chair of Trustees to carry out the investigation. If the complaint is about the Service Manager then it will be handled by the Chief Executive Officer.

Stage 2 – Investigation

We will aim to complete all investigations within 30 working days. However, it may not be possible to meet this 30 working days timetable, for example due to staff absence or office closures. If there are any delays in the investigation, we will inform you of any delay and agree a new timetable with you.

The investigation may consist of any of the following:

Interviews (either in person or via the telephone) with relevant staff and the complainant, a review of materials and policies, any necessary consultation with external experts.

If you are invited to come in and discuss your complaint in person, you are welcome to bring someone along to support you.

Stage 3 – Resolution

The Chief Executive Officer or our Head of Service Delivery will contact you with details of the investigation and any outcomes reached. These may include changes to policy, practice, training and systems or disciplinary action.

Stage 4 – Appeal

If you are still unhappy at the end of our complaints investigation then please write and tell us. The Board of Trustees will review the complaint. They will inform you in writing if they feel that your letter warrants an additional investigation.

Complaints Monitoring Form

1. Information about Person Complaining

Date of complaint
Person receiving complaint

2. Nature of Complaint

Brief details and/or attach any written notes or letter from complainant

3. Informal resolution

Describe what action you took to resolve this complaint

4. Formal Procedure – Stages 2-3

Name and role of person responding to Complaint
Date complaint received
Complaint received in person/email/phone
Date of acknowledgement sent to complainant (target 15 working days)
Date of formal, written response (target 30 working days)
Reasons if responses are outside of target times

5. Appeal – Stage 4

Name and role of person responding to Complaint
Date appeal received
Complaint received in person/email/phone
Date of acknowledgement sent to complainant
Date of formal, written response
Reasons if responses are outside of target times