GWCT Complaints Policy and Procedure

We want to find out about things that have gone wrong so we can fix them, and prevent things going wrong in the future [1]. To help get this right we expect the person making the complaint to:

  • Provide sufficient information for us to be able to understand the complaint, its cause, and a potential resolution, being clear as to the substance of the complaint
  • Be willing to be contacted and engage in the complaints process if necessary
  • Understand that making a complaint triggers a more formal process than a comment

Please provide your name, address and contact telephone number if you email or write to us so that we can get in touch with you easily.  When contacting us, please feel free to let us know how you think the matter could be resolved.

Complaints made in writing should be sent to the Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust, Burgate Manor, Fordingbridge, Hampshire SP6 1EF or by e-mail at info@gwct.org.uk 

Stage One 

1. If you receive a complaint it must be recorded. If you are able to resolve it swiftly you should do so.

2. If the complaint relates to a specific person, they should be informed and given a fair opportunity to respond.

3. If it has not already been resolved, you may delegate an appropriate person to investigate it and to take appropriate action.

4. Whether or not the complaint has been resolved, the complaint information should be passed to your manager within one week.

5. Complaints should be acknowledged by the person handling the complaint within one week.  The acknowledgement should say who is dealing with the complaint and when the person complaining can expect a reply.  A copy of this complaints procedure should be attached.

6. Ideally complainants should receive a definitive reply within four weeks.  If this is not possible because for example, an investigation has not been fully completed, a progress report should be sent with an indication of when a full reply will be given. 

7. Whether the complaint is justified or not, the reply to the complainant should describe the action taken to investigate the complaint, the conclusions from the investigation, and any action taken as a result of the complaint. 

Stage Two 

1. If the complainant feels that the problem has not been satisfactorily resolved at Stage One, they can request that the complaint is reviewed at Director [2] level.  At this stage, the complaint will be passed to the CEO.
 
2. The request for a Director level review should be acknowledged within a week of receiving it.  The acknowledgement should say who will deal with the case and when the complainant can expect a reply.
 
3. The CEO may investigate the facts of the case themselves or delegate a suitably senior person to do so.  This may involve reviewing the paperwork of the case and speaking with the person who dealt with the complaint at Stage One.
 
4. If the complaint relates to a specific person, they should be informed and given a further opportunity to respond.
 
5. The person who dealt with the original complaint at Stage One should be kept informed of what is happening.
 
6. Ideally complainants should receive a definitive reply within four weeks.  If this is not possible because for example, an investigation has not been fully completed, a progress report should be sent with an indication of when a full reply will be given.
 
7. Whether the complaint is upheld or not, the reply to the complainant should describe the action taken to investigate the complaint, the conclusions from the investigation, and any action taken as a result of the complaint.
 
8. The decision taken at this stage is final, unless the CEO decides it is appropriate to seek Trustee or external assistance with resolution.  The complainant can complain to the Charity Commission at any stage. Information about the kind of complaints the Commission can involve itself in can be found on their website at: www.charitycommission.gov.uk

Variation of the complaints procedure

9. The Directors may vary the procedure for good reason.  This may be necessary to avoid a conflict of interest.
 
10. Monitoring and learning from complaints
Complaints are reviewed annually to identify any trends which may indicate a need to take further action.
 
11. Confidentiality - all complaint information will be handled sensitively, telling only those who need to know and following any relevant data protection requirements.



[1] This policy does not cover: contractual disputes, comments made in the media or by similar third parties

[2] In this policy, the GWCT Executive are referred to as Directors. 

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