The Trustees believe that all complaints must be handled with equal care, and that equal access to a complaints process is vital.
Complaints by staff, members and Trustees
First-stage staff and members’ complaints will normally be made to the General Secretary, or, if about or by the General Secretary, to the Chair. They will be asked to put their complaint in writing (by letter or e-mail) but oral complaints will be taken where the complainant is too distressed or is unwilling to commit to writing but has understood that they are making a formal complaint.
Complaints by staff members will then continue to follow the grievance procedure set out in staff contracts.
ACT aims to provide a written response to members within 2 weeks of receiving a complaint. If a member is unhappy with the General Secretary’s response to their complaint, they will be advised how to contact the Chair. If they have already complained to the Chair, then details of a Deputy Chair will be given. Again, ACT aims to provide a written response within 2 weeks. The outcome of this second-stage complaint will be considered final, subject to statutory requirements and obligations.
Trustees who wish to make a complaint about any aspect of ACT and its operation, but who feel unable to raise the matter in a Trustees’ meeting, must contact the Chair in writing, or, if complaining about the Chair, contact a Deputy Chair in writing.
Complaints by beneficiaries
Beneficiaries may complain at any time in writing to the General Secretary, or, if concerning the General Secretary, to the Chair. ACT aims to provide a written response within 2 weeks, in addition to any immediate action to improve the situation or remedy any immediately apparent oversight or error.
If a beneficiary is unhappy with the response to their complaint, they will be able to complain to the Chair or, if the Chair is already involved, to a Deputy Chair. Again, ACT aims to provide a written response within 2 weeks. ACT intends that this second-stage consideration of the complaint will be final, subject to statutory requirements and obligations.
TACT will involve the relevant authorities immediately should there be any allegation of criminal or abusive practices.
Complaints by unsuccessful applicants
Applicants whose cases have been deemed ineligible by the Trustees shall have the right to appeal to the Chair, who will reconsider their case and present her findings to the next meeting of Trustees. The Trustees reserve the right to refine and develop ACT’s policies on eligibility, but will be guided by fairness and openness.