Complaints Policy

The Community Foundation for Staffordshire tries our best to give outstanding customer experience, but in the unfortunate event that you are not happy then we would appreciate it if you could follow the process stated below.

The Community Foundation for Staffordshire aims to provide a high quality service to all our service users, voluntary and community organisations (VCO) in the city of Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire.  We will listen to, and respect, the views of our contract providers and funders in order to improve and enhance our services.

The Community Foundation is committed to providing the best possible service to our stake holders with whom we work, and we will endeavour to listen to all of them.  We acknowledge, however, that there will be occasions when people may not be happy with some aspects of our provision.

There are two aspects to our complaints procedure;

  1. A complaint against The Community Foundation, its staff, or Trustee Board.
  2. A complaint by a member of The Community Foundation against any other individual associated or organisation.


The Community Foundation has a very open approach to dealing with complaints and these are reported to the board trustees. There may be occasions where in the wider interest of the sector we take up the issue with the relevant agency or organisation.  Our aim is not only to deal with the complaint in isolation but also to take steps in order to avoid repetition in the future.

Complaints by members of staff will be dealt through the grievance procedure.

1. A complaint against The Community Foundation for Staffordshire, its staff, or board members

This Policy exists to make it easy for all service users and stakeholders to tell us when they are unhappy, or indeed have a comment on any aspect of our service. All complaints will be taken seriously and we aim to treat the complainant with respect ad consideration throughout the complaints process.

All complaints must be logged in the complaints book and issued with a complaint number, which must be given to the complainant.

1.1          Informal

At the first instance the complaint should be addressed to the member of staff who has been dealing with the matter.  If the complainant prefers, then the matter will be dealt with by their line manager or the chief executive.   Complaints will be accepted in person, or by telephone or in writing.  Listen to what they have to say, apologise whenever necessary, and try to agree a way forward with them.

Aim to deal with the complaint to their satisfaction immediately; however, there will be occasions when this may not be possible (for example during holiday periods). If there will be a delay, in responding to the complainant, they must be informed.  In any case the complaint should be dealt with, within 7 days.

1.2          Formal

Formal complaints procedure may be used at any time, complainants do not have to go though the informal process first if you believe that the complaint is too serious for that approach.  Once the complaint has been received it must be logged.  Aim to deal with the complaint within 14 days; however, there will be occasions when this may not be possible, in either case the complainant must be kept informed.

1.3          Next Steps

Acknowledge receipt of the formal complaint within three working days, in writing.  Investigate the complaint by interviewing all parties concerned, examining records and ensuring accuracy.  Great care must be taken to concentrate solely on factual information, disregard emotions.

Once the investigations have been completed, findings must be presented to the Chief Executive before replying to the complainant.

Where the complaint is about a member of staff, it must be passed immediately to the appropriate line manager. Where the complaint concerns the Chief Executive this should be passed on to the Chair of The Community Foundation.

Aim to resolve all complaints quickly, and to keep the complainant informed throughout the process. You must ensure the complainant receives a full written response usually within 14 days; in any case no later than within 28 days.

2. A complaint against other Organisations

Record all the details as soon as possible after the event whilst it is still fresh in your mind.  Where possible you must use the relevant organisation’s complaints procedure, where one exists.

At the first instance make your complaint to the member of staff with whom you have been dealing and try and resolve the matter amicably and quickly. You may ask a colleague or the Chief Executive to mediate where possible.

A formal complaint in writing should only be made after consultation and the approval of the Chief Executive.

3. Appeals

3.1          A complainant may appeal against a decision. Appeals should be made in writing to the Chair of the Board within fifteen working days of receiving the final verdict.

3.2          The Chair (or member of the Board as nominated by the Chair) must inform the complainant in writing within twenty-eight days of receiving the appeal as to the decision.

4              Notes

4.1          At all stages the complainant is welcome to have a friend/colleague to accompany them

4.2          Whilst investigating the complaint staff involved may wish to have further discussions with the complainant about the nature of their complaint and may wish to set up meetings with all parties concerned to discuss the complaint.

4.3          At all stages of the procedure written records will be kept and stored in the confidential Complaints File.

4.4          A quarterly report will be made to the board of Trustees regarding numbers and type of complaints. Our annual report will also detail the number and nature of complaints we have received.

5              Suggestions

The Community Foundation welcomes all comments and suggestions, and tries to take account of these where possible when planning work, future strategy and representation etc.

6              Feedback & Complaints

The Community Foundation welcomes comments and suggestions as these will help us in developing and improving all aspect of our work.