Complaints Procedure

Making a Complaint About NIACRO Services


NIACRO’s Complaints Procedure

NIACRO is committed to providing a high-quality service to everyone including those we provide support to, our service users, partners, members and volunteers. This policy is to inform you about how you can provide feedback or make a complaint and to ensure that that you receive an appropriate response in a timely manner. We positively welcome feedback and any suggestions you may have for how we can improve our services and how they are being delivered by our staff members.

We recognise that sometimes issues, concerns and misunderstandings can arise and in most cases a word with the person at the point of service delivery will be enough to deal with the issue. However, we recognise that from time to time there may be occasions when someone may feel that the quality or level of service provided fell short of what they could reasonably expect. We also want to know about these occasions so that we can address the problem, plan to avoid its repetition, improve our services and the overall experience of NIACRO.

If you have feedback or a complaint about our services, a member of staff or a volunteer, we would like you to tell us about it.


Who can complain?

If you are dissatisfied with any aspects of our work or services, we want to make sure that we investigate your complaint thoroughly and provide you with a timely response. To allow us to do this, please provide as much information as possible when contacting us, including:

  • The reason for your complaint
  • Where and when it happened
  • The name(s) of anyone involved (if known)
  • The outcome you are hoping for
  • Your contact details (name, address, daytime telephone number and/or email).

If you are complaining on behalf of somebody else, we will need their express written consent before we can deal with the complaint.  NIACRO will not usually be able to deal with an anonymous complaint.

When Should I Complain?

Your complaint should normally be made no later than 3 months after the date upon which it arose. NIACRO may be able to accept a complaint made after 3 months in certain circumstances, for example if the complaint relates to a safeguarding or some other serious matter. If you need an interpreter or assistance in making your complaint, NIACRO can help you to arrange this.


Who do I complain to?

You should contact Rachel Long, Director of Operations, NIACRO’s designated Complaints Officer.

Email: rachel.long@niacro.co.uk

Phone: 02890320157

Letter: For the attention of Director of Operations, NIACRO, Amelia House, 4- 6 Amelia St Belfast, BT2 7GS.


What happens when I make a complaint? 

The Complaints Officer will acknowledge your complaint in writing and will contact you to discuss your complaint, usually within 3 days of receipt of your complaint. The Complaints Officer shall, in consultation with the relevant manager, make arrangements to investigate your complaint. The Complaints Officer will inform you what steps will be taken to investigate your complaint. Sometimes it may be necessary for the Complaints Officer to delegate the investigation of your complaint to another person employed by NIACRO. If you are asked to attend a meeting you may bring a companion to provide you with personal support.

Your complaint will be treated confidentially but sometimes we may have to involve other parties if necessary, to the investigation of your complaint. If you are complaining about an individual member of staff or volunteer, they will need to be told about it and to be given details of your complaint. They will also need to be given information about the outcome of your complaint. A staff member will be advised to seek support from a colleague or trade union representative.

The Complaints Officer will inform you in writing about the outcome of your complaint usually within 21 days of the receipt of your complaint, or if this is not possible within such further reasonable time.


If I’m not satisfied with the outcome, what next?

If you disagree with the decision of the Complaints Officer, you may ask for the matter to be referred to the Appeals Officer .You should write to the Chief Executive Officer within 5 working days from receipt of the complaint outcome letter, stating why you disagree with the decision on your complaint. 

The Chief Executive may act as or may nominate another person to act as the Appeals Officer. The Appeals Officer will normally contact you within 5 working days from receipt of your appeal letter.  You may be invited to a meeting with the Appeals Officer and if you wish, you may bring a companion to provide you with personal support.

The Appeals Officer will inform you in writing about its decision within 5 working days of the meeting and the decision of the Appeals Officer will be final.


Recording of Complaints

All complaints will be recorded clearly and accurately at all stages and arrangements confirmed in writing. All information from the process will be kept in a secure place by the Complaints Officer (Director of Operations) in line with our Data Protection Policy.



The Complaints Officer (Director of Operations) will maintain a register of information about every complaint, how it has been processed and the outcome in accordance with NIACRO's Data Protection Policy. The Chief Executive will compile an annual report on the Complaints Procedures for submission to the Executive Committee.