Complaints, Compliments and Suggestions Policy & Procedures

Last reviewed:
Next review date:
Signed: Richard Owens – Chief Executive Compassion Acts


Compassion Acts strives to be an open and transparent organisation. We take  seriously our responsibility to use our resources wisely and to treat everyone well. Although we are often proud of our progress and achievements we want to avoid being defensive but rather to use every opportunity to learn and improve what we do.

We also want to ensure we put things right for the person or organisation, making the complaint, whilst maintaining an excellent relationship.

The aim of our policy is to -:

  • To gather suggestions and feedback in the most efficient way possible.
  • To provide a fair and transparent complaints process which is easy to use
  • To ensure that people and organisations know how to make a complaint and how to contact us
  • To make sure that everyone at Compassion Acts understands our policy, procedures and understands what to do when a complaint is received
  • To make sure complaints are investigated in a fair and timely manner
  • To make sure complaints are, where possible, resolved and relationships are maintained
  • To use the complaint and the resolution to help us improve what and how we do things

What are compliments and suggestions?

For the purposes of this policy, Compassion Acts view compliments and suggestions as any feedback which helps us to evaluate, improve and measure the real tangible outcomes of our projects.

The organisation has grown and adapted and it is really important that we measure our activity via not simply via numerical statistics but from qualitative feedback.  There is the opportunity for the feedback to be linked to a name(and potentially a photograph or video) or anonymised.

What is a complaint?

A complaint is any expression of dissatisfaction whether it is justified or not. It can be about any aspect of Compassion Acts people, processes or services which fail to meet the expectations of any individual or organisation.

In most cases complaints can be resolved quickly by speaking to us and we are eager to hear about any aspect of our charity that you find dissatisfactory. We always take complaints seriously and endeavour to resolve swiftly and make adjustments to our processes and services as a result of listening to you.

Our People are trained on our complaints policy and procedure so you can be confident they will know how to handle any complaints we receive.

Any complaints will be handled sensitively and involving only those members of our team who need to know or be involved in any investigation. We will follow any applicable data protection requirements.

How do I make a complaint? How do I submit my compliment or suggestion?

We want to make it simple and a one step process and you can contact us in whichever way is convenient for you

  • By phone – 01704 264505   please state that you wish your comments to be treated as either a formal complaint or as official compliment/suggestion.
  • By email –
  • By post – Compassion Acts, Victoria Centre, 197a Sussex Road, Southport, PR8 6DG
  • In person at our Head Office. Victoria Centre, 197a Sussex Road, Southport, PR8 6DG

What information should I include when making a submission?

  • Your name, address and telephone number so that we know how to get in touch with you
  • What the problem is and how it occurred please give as much information as you can so that we can deal with your complaint promptly
  • In the case of a compliment or suggestion – who on the staff or volunteer team is worthy of particular praise, what did they do to go the extra mile?
  • How the problem affected you
  • What you consider should be done to put the matter right

What happens when we receive your submission?

  • We will acknowledge your submission within 5 workings days of receipt
  • If it is a complaint we will activate the procedure and record your complaint appropriately.
  • We will provide you with the name of the person who is dealing/investigating your complaint
  • We will investigate your complaint thoroughly and fairly
  • We will write to you within 10 days of receiving your complaint outlining the action we have taken to investigate the complaint, the conclusion from the investigation and any action taken as a result of your complaint. We will also include a copy of our complaints process in our correspondence.
  • If the complaint proves complex and we feel we need longer than 10 days to investigate and resolve we will write to you and let you know. We will state our reasons for the elongated timeline and let you know when we expect to finalise our investigations and subsequent outcome.

What happens if I’m not satisfied with the outcome of my complaint

If you remain unhappy with our resolution of your complaint you may make an appeal to the Chair of the Board of Trustees. You must make your appeal in writing, either letter or email, within 10 working days of receiving the outcome of the initial investigation of your complaint.

The Chair of the Board of Trustees will acknowledge your escalated complaint within 5 working days of receiving it. They will let you know who is dealing with the complaint and when you can expect a reply.

Whether the complaint is upheld or not the reply will detail the action taken to investigate, the conclusion from the investigation, and any action taken as a result of the escalation of the complaint. The decision taken by the Chair of the Board of Trustees is final and there is no further route to escalate your complaint.

What happens if I am still not happy with the outcome?

If you are still not happy with the outcome, as a final resort,  you can take your complaint to the Charity Commission Regulator. Information about the kinds of complaints the Charity Commission can involve itself in can be found on their website.

How do you record complaints?

All complaints, date of receipt, the person dealing with the complaint, details of the investigation and the outcome are kept on a complaints log. This is sent to the Board of Trustees, for review, each quarter.

Do you review the Policy and complaints received?

The policy is reviewed by the Board of Trustees every 2 years to ensure it is fit for purpose.

Where, as a result of a complaint, we find a need to improve/update our procedures these will be implemented immediately.

Variation of the complaint’s procedure

We may vary the complaints procedure if necessary to avoid for instance a conflict of interest. If the complaint is about the Chief Executive, for instance, then the Chair of the Board of Trustees will be responsible for the investigation and subsequent outcome.

Document Control - Complaints Policy

Version Date Approved Approved By Main Changes Document Owner



How have we specifically let you down? What are your concerns?


How have we excelled at providing a service to you? Who on our team has gone the extra mile?


How would you suggest we develop our projects? What could we do to make the project more accessible or relevant?

All submissions are acknowledged (within 5 working days) and complaints processed according to our complaints procedure, with a right to further redress with the Chair of Trustees should staff fail to adequately respond.

By post to: Richard Owens, CEO, Compassion Acts, Victoria Centre, 197A Sussex Road, Southport PR8 6DG

By email to:

Registered Charity Number: 1172948           

Information Commissioner:  ZA799867

Financial Conduct Authority: 628248

Policy available in other languages and formats on request.  Call 01704 264505 for any additional assistance.