Compliments & Complaints

Policy and Procedure

1. Our Aim

AED is committed to providing a quality service and working in an open and accountable way that builds trust and respect. One of the ways in which we can continue to improve is by listening and responding to the views of our clients, and by responding positively to complaints, and by putting mistakes right.

Therefore, we aim to ensure that:

  • making a compliment or complaint is as easy as possible
  • we welcome compliments, feedback, and suggestions
  • we treat a complaint as a clear expression of dissatisfaction with our service which calls for an immediate response
  • we deal with it promptly, politely and, when appropriate, confidentially
  • we aim to respond in the right way – for example, with an explanation, or an apology where we have got things wrong, or information on any action taken etc.
  • we learn from complaints, use them to improve our service, and review annually our complaints policy and procedures

We recognise that many concerns will be raised informally and dealt with quickly.

Our aims are to:

  • resolve informal concerns quickly
  • keep matters low-key
  • enable mediation between the complainant and the individual to whom the complaint has been referred

This policy ensures that we welcome compliments and provide guidelines for dealing with complaints from members of the public about our organisation.

2. Compliments

We are always glad to hear from people who are satisfied or who enjoyed or benefitted from AED. Our staff work mainly as volunteers to deliver the events so a thank you is always most welcome. It means a lot to our team.

3. Complaints

The formal complaints procedure is intended to ensure that all complaints are handled fairly, consistently, and wherever possible resolved to the complainant’s satisfaction.

A complainant’s responsibility is to:

  • bring their complaint, in writing, to AED‘s attention normally within 8 weeks of the issue arising
  • raise concerns promptly and directly with a Regional Director in the first instance
  • explain the problem as clearly and as fully as possible, including any action taken to date
  • allow AED a reasonable time to deal with the matter.

4. Confidentiality:

Except in exceptional circumstances, every attempt will be made to ensure that both the complainant and AED maintain confidentiality. However, the circumstances giving rise to the complaint may be such that it may not be possible to maintain confidentiality (with each complaint judged on its own facts). Should this be the case, the situation will be explained to the complainant.

5. Complaints Procedure:

Written records must be made by the COO or Regional Director of AED at each stage of the procedure.


Stage 1

In the first instance, we must establish the seriousness of the complaint. An informal approach is appropriate when it can be achieved. However, if concerns cannot be satisfactorily resolved informally, then the formal complaints procedure should be followed.

Stage 2

a) A formal complaint can be made either verbally or in writing. The attached form should be used if a complaint is in writing. If a verbal complaint is made, a statement should be taken by a member of the Management Team, staff member or a supervisor.

b) In all cases, the complaint must be passed on to the Regional Director. In the event of a complaint about the Regional Director the complaint should be passed to the AED Chair and if the complaint is about the AED Chair this must be passed on to AED Vice Chair.

c) The Regional Director or AED Chair depending on the nature of the complaint, must acknowledge the complaint in writing within one week of receiving it.

d)  One of the above will investigate the complaint. Any conclusions reached should be discussed with the person involved and the AED Chair.

e)  The person making the complaint will receive a response based on the investigation within four weeks of the complaint being received. If this is not possible then a letter must be sent explaining why.

Stage 3

a)  If the complainant is not satisfied with the above decision, then a sub-group of the Trustee Board will be convened.

b)  The sub-group will examine the complaint and may wish to carry out further interviews, examine files / notes. They will respond within four weeks in writing. Their decision will be final.

Complaints Form

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