Feedback, Complaints and Compliments
Community Matters strives for excellence and aims to continually improve its standards of provision. To support this, we will ask for learners’ and employers’ views and comments about the trainers, materials and course content. Your feedback is very important to us!

We recognise that sometimes we may not get it right, and learners, employers and stakeholders may feel that they have cause to complain about the service they have received.

We will aim to put things right quickly when they go wrong by keeping everyone informed of the progress of their complaint and the results of any investigation.

We are committed to resolving complaints quickly, fairly and effectively as it aims to provide a suitable learning environment that maximises the academic, social and personal opportunities for all its learners.

Any candidate’s concerns about the standards of service provided by Community Matters will be treated seriously and will be used to improve its provision.

Policy Objectives
We seek to ensure that all complaints are dealt with seriously, fairly and consistently. We will ensure that we learn from each complaint to improve future performance and set performance targets for responding to complaints and monitor our performance against these targets.

We will advise our customers of their right to appeal if they remain dissatisfied after their complaint has been through all stages of the internal Complaints Procedure.

We will ensure that all learners, employers and stakeholders are aware of the process for making a complaint and that staff are aware of the process to be followed should a complaint arise.

All complaints will be handled sensitively and in line with Community Matters’ Equality and Diversity policy.

Grounds for Complaint
We will investigate complaints including;
• allegations of unsatisfactory, incompetent, arbitrary or unfair treatment;
• not meeting a given deadline for making a decision; and
• non-compliance with published procedures, schemes or requirements under the Freedom of Information Act or Data Protection Act.

These can also be categorised as:-
1. Access to assessment / tutorials
2. Process of assessment
3. Access to internal verification
4. The handling of an appeal
5. Administrative issues

1. Access to support and guidance
2. Access to internal verification
3. Administrative issues
4. Insufficient time to undertake the function

Internal Quality Assurers
1. Access to support and guidance
2. Insufficient time to undertake the function

We will not, as part of this procedure, investigate:
• contractual disputes;
• complaints that are being (or have been) considered by a court or similar body;
• if the complainant has not exhausted other appeals procedures;
• complaints made more than 28 days after a decision or action;
• complaints considered to be vexatious or malicious.

What We Will Do
We will:
• be receptive to genuine expressions of dissatisfaction
• deal with complaints promptly and fairly
• learn from complaints and make changes where necessary
• promote equality and diversity

Where possible, we will always aim to resolve straightforward issues informally as quickly as possible without the need for a formal investigation.

Community Matters deals with learner comments and complaints in a prompt, efficient and courteous manner.
1. Candidates and staff members will be given a copy of the complaints procedure at induction, which will also be available on our e-portfolio system.
2. Learners can raise any complaints informally (e.g. via face-to-face discussion, email, or phone) with their trainer in order to seek a quick resolution.
3. If complaints can’t be resolved informally learners can report directly to the Quality Assurance Manager. All complaints addressed to the Quality Assurance Manager should be in writing.
4. All complaints will be recorded on the Complaints Report log within 48 hours of the issue being reported to the Quality Assurance Manager.
5. All complaints will be acknowledged within 48 hours of receipt.
6. A panel, made up of the Quality Assurance Manager and Apprenticeship Lead, will consider the complaint within 4 weeks of receipt.
7. We will ensure complaints are handled in a confidential manner, in compliance with GDPR. We will provide a copy of GDPR Policy to learners to inform them of our approach whilst maintaining anonymity where necessary.

The complainant will be given formal written notification within 48 hours of the panel’s decision. The notification will include the decision, supported by full reasoning.
All stages and decisions will be electronically recorded and the timeframe by which we consider complaints will be officially closed.
If the decision/resolution is not to the satisfaction of the complainant then they have the right to appeal within 28 days of the notification of the complaint outcome.

Quality Assurance
Where a complaint is substantiated, Community Matters will take all reasonable action to prevent a reoccurrence. Complaints are logged and reviewed by the Quality Assurance Manager to identify trends / areas for improvement.

Monitoring and review
The policy will be reviewed annually but will also be monitored continually by the Quality Assurance Manager to spot any trends in terms of the quantity or type of complaint being received. This will allow for more substantive changes to be made without having to wait for the annual review.