The Poppy Factory Complaints Procedure

What is a complaint?

A complaint is an expression of dissatisfaction, either written or spoken. A complaint can be made by an individual or a group. You may wish to complain if you are not satisfied with the way you have been treated or the service you have received from The Poppy Factory.

Principles of The Poppy Factory’s complaints procedure

  • The Poppy Factory recognises that compliments and complaints are an important part of stakeholder feedback.
  • All complaints will be investigated fully and fairly.
  • Complaints will be dealt with in confidence. The only exception to this is when others could be put at risk by matters referred to in the complaint.
  • If the complainant is not happy with the result of the response to the complaint, he or she will have the right to appeal.
  • The Poppy Factory is committed to ensuring that its services are of the highest quality.
  • The complaints procedure enables The Poppy Factory to respond clearly and properly to complaints and to know when and why people are not satisfied with its services, so that it can improve them.

Who can make a complaint?

This procedure is for clients, organisations, supporters and members of the public who have received a service from The Poppy Factory. It is also for those who wish to make a complaint about the fundraising and/or marketing activities of The Poppy Factory. The Poppy Factory is registered with the Fundraising Regulator and has committed to following the Fundraising Codes of Practice and the appropriate rulebooks. Further details about the Fundraising Regulator are outlined within this document.

Section A – Complaints about The Poppy Factory:

If your complaint is about The Poppy Factory, then there are four stages that you can go through to try and resolve the problem.

If you have a specific requirement for support in making a complaint because you have a disability (for example if you need a sign language or community language interpreter) please let the person dealing with the complaint know and every reasonable effort will be made to provide it.

The four stages are:

Stage one (Informal)

Speak to the individual(s) concerned or their line manager and try to resolve the complaint informally. The individual concerned is required to tell you their name and who their line manager is if you ask them, however, you can also refer to the list below to find out who is the appropriate manager for you to contact.

Department                                                                            Contact

Chief Executives Office / Finance                                         Finance Director

Poppy Factory Production                                                      General Manager

Employability Service / “Getting you back to Work”              Head of Employability Services

Fundraising                                                                             Head of Fundraising

Marketing or PR                                                                     Head of Communications

Poppy Factory Tours                                                              Head of Communications                  

 

Stage two (Formally registering a complaint)

If you are not satisfied with the response you have received at stage one (informal) you should then use stage two of this procedure.

1) Outline the details of your complaint by letter, fax, email, or audio tape and send it to the Chief Executive (CEO), The Poppy Factory, 20 Petersham Road, Richmond, TW10 6UR.

If your complaint is about the CEO then you need to address it to the Chairman of the Board of Council (marked private and confidential), which is ultimately responsible as trustees of the organisation.

Your complaint will be acknowledged by letter within seven working days from the date it is received. The letter will contain the following information:

  1. Name, address and telephone number of the person who will investigate the complaint.
  2. The date the investigation will start.
  3. What support you can receive during the process of the complaint, e.g. in terms of making information accessible, using interpreters etc.

 

2) You will receive a full response to your complaint within 21 working days from the start of the investigation in writing from the person appointed to investigate the complaint. The response will include the following information:

  1. Details of the investigation.
  2. A decision about whether the complaint was upheld or not.
  3. The reason for the decision.
  4. The redress, if appropriate, which will be offered to you e.g. an apology, additional help or directing to other sources of advice or support.
  5. Any other action that may be taken in light of the complaint.
  6. If it is not possible to provide a full answer to your complaint within 21 working days, the letter will outline reasons why and give a date by which a full answer is expected.
Stage three (Appeal)
  • If you are not satisfied with the response to your complaint then outline the reasons for your dissatisfaction by letter, fax, email, or audio tape within seven working days of receiving it to the CEO (or the Chairman if it is about the CEO).
  • An Appeals Panel, normally of three members, including a trustee, will be convened to consider your appeal. The CEO will be responsible for ensuring the panel is appropriately representative. Panel membership will be restricted to people who have had no previous involvement in the complaint
  • Members of the Appeals Panel will:
  1. read through the necessary papers
  2. speak to relevant individuals involved with the complaint
  3. make a final decision.
  • The chair of the Appeals Panel will write to you within 28 working days of receiving your appeal, to confirm:
  1. the final decision about the complaint
  2. the reason for the decision
  3. the redress, if appropriate, which will be offered to you e.g. an apology, additional help or directing to other sources of advice or support
  4. any action that may be taken in light of the complaint.
Stage four (Review of the process)

If once you have been through stages one to three of the complaints procedure, you are not satisfied that The Poppy Factory has followed the process properly and dealt with your complaint fairly (e.g. by giving you insufficient opportunity to represent your view or ensuring all the relevant people are involved in the investigation), then you can outline the reasons for your dissatisfaction by letter, fax, email, or audio tape within 21 working days of receiving the Appeals Panel report to the CEO (or the Chairman if it is about the CEO) to request a review of the complaints handling process, not a further investigation of the complaint.

The CEO or the Chair will make arrangements for a review of the complaint handling process, and will inform you of how the review will be carried out.

The decision of the process review will be final. The Chair or CEO will communicate in writing within 28 working days of receiving your appeal:

  • whether or not the procedure has been followed properly and fairly
  • the reason for the decision
  • the redress, if appropriate, which will be offered to you e.g. an apology,
  • additional help or directing to other sources of advice or support
  • what action may be taken in light of the review.

Time limits

In circumstances where time limits cannot be met due to unforeseen circumstances, complainants will be notified in writing. The reasons for the delay with adjusted timescales will be supplied by the person responsible for handling the complaint.

Accountability

The CEO of The Poppy Factory is responsible for the efficient operation of this complaints procedure. Responsibility for carrying out investigations of complaints may be delegated to appropriate managers in The Poppy Factory, under the authority of the CEO.

Recording complaints

Each member of The Poppy Factory Executive Team will be responsible for ensuring a record of all complaints relevant to their Department is maintained in a format agreed by the Chief Executive’s Office. These will be reviewed by The Poppy Factory Executive Team on a quarterly basis. The Chief Executive’s Office will be responsible for collating information about complaints, and furnishing the Board of Council on an annual basis with details of the totality of complaints received, main reasons for complaints, outcomes and how any underlying problems have been resolved.

Records relating to a fundraising complaint will be retained for at least 24 months from the date on which the complaint was made, except where data protection law requires that the information be put beyond use earlier than this (for example, where the complainant within this timeframe requests that their information be destroyed). 

Section B: Fundraising complaints procedure

The Poppy Factory is registered with the Fundraising Regulator. The Fundraising Regulator is the independent regulator of charitable fundraising. The role of the Fundraising Regulator is to:

  • Set and promote the standards for fundraising practice (‘the code’ and associated rulebooks) in consultation with the public, fundraising stakeholders and legislators.
  • Investigate cases where fundraising practices have led to significant public concern.
  • Adjudicate complaints from the public about fundraising practice, where these cannot be resolved by the charities themselves.
  • Operate a fundraising preference service to enable individuals to manage their contact with charities.
  • Where poor fundraising practice is judged to have taken place, recommend best practice guidance and take proportionate remedial action.

The Poppy Factory demonstrates its commitment to promoting the highest standards in fundraising using the regulators registration badge on our fundraising materials, by fundraising in accordance with the Institute of Fundraising Codes of Fundraising Practice and the Fundraising Promise, which is outlined below. The Poppy Factory will provide the Fundraising Regulator with copies of its fundraising materials if requested to do so and we will cooperate fully with the regulator and the Fundraising Preference Service when it is established in 2017.

If you wish to make a complaint about the fundraising activities of The Poppy Factory please follow the procedure outlined in this document.

If you are dissatisfied with the outcome of your fundraising complaint, you can also refer your complaint about the fundraising activities of The Poppy Factory to the Fundraising Regulator, provided you do so, within two months of receiving a response from The Poppy Factory.   The Poppy Factory will cooperate fully in the event that a Complaint is referred to the Fundraising Regulator and we will comply with recommended remedies from the Fundraising Regulator.

Should you wish to learn more about the Fundraising Regulator you can visit their website www.fundraisingregulator.org.uk

You can find out more about the Codes of Fundraising Practice from the Institute of Fundraising website www.institute-of-fundraising.org.uk