PCaSO – Prostate Cancer Support Organisation

COMPLAINTS POLICY  29 Feb 2020

Purpose

This Policy states how the Prostate Cancer Support Organisation (PCaSO) will manage complaints received. PCaSO is accountable to a number of regulatory bodies, including the Charity Commission, the Fundraising Regulator, HMRC (for Gift Aid), and the Information Commissioner. The Trust is also answerable to its members, donors and PSA Test participants, and as a charity, for the public benefit in general. Effective complaints management is essential, to preserve the reputation and integrity of PCaSO. A statement on complaints will form a part of PCaSO’s Annual Report.

Definitions

PCaSO is a registered charity no. 1170536. PCaSO has no state funding (excepting Gift Aid), has no paid staff, and is reliant upon volunteers, including the Executive Committee.

Scope

Complaints can have a wide range of causes and of severity, but each will have an underlying reason, that may be a one-off, or evidence of a systemic failure. PCaSO has historically seen few complaints, but is committed to a high level of service, so any complaint must be considered appropriately as below.

Requirements

A Complaints Register will be maintained by the Executive Committee Secretary, and will be reviewed annually by the Executive Committee, with a focus on any trends or other identifiable weaknesses in processes or systems.

All written complaints should in the first instance be referred directly to the Exec. Committee Secretary to consider appropriate investigation, response and action. However if the complaint is about the Hon. Secretary or his/her actions, then the referral should be to the Exec. Committee Chairman. Verbal complaints should also be referred in like manner, and if reasonably deemed to be serious in nature, the complainant should be asked to provide a written complaint clearly stating the facts and timelines of the underlying issue.

Complaints may in fact relate to other providers rather than being against PCaSO directly. In such cases the complainant should be referred to that body.

In all cases the initial response to the complainant must be one of polite sympathy and of concern to ensure prompt investigation. An instant apology should not be appropriate as this could be deemed an admission of ‘guilt’ leading to claims against PCaSO or its officers.

The Secretary will refer all complaints promptly to the Chairman. However if the Chairman is in fact the focus of the complaint, the referral will be to an alternate Executive Committee member, to ensure independence of enquiry.

Investigation into any complaint should include consideration of corrective and preventative action. Where a complaint involves a breach of regulatory requirement (Charity Commission, Data Protection, Fundraising Regulator etc) then formal ‘Breach’ reporting may be required.

Policy agreed by Executive Committee on 28th April 2020