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1. Title

1.1 Compliments, Comments and Complaints Policy and Procedure 

2. Scope

2.1  This procedure relates to compliments, comments or complaints received from external customers of the Growth Company. External sources include all customers, learners, young people, parents & carers, Local Authority representatives, employers and other parts of the organisation.  Please note this procedure does not include internal complaints.  Employees wishing to make a complaint you should refer to the Staff Grievance Procedure contained within the HR Staff Handbook on intranet. 

Compliments, Comments and Complaints are defined as follows: 

Compliments: A compliment is any genuine expression of praise or admiration to the service we provide and can be about:

  • An example of how a service received has improved the customer experience
  • Assistance given by individual members or teams of staff or suppliers
  • High levels of customer service received

Comments: A comment is a remark that states a fact or expresses an opinion, which is directly related to the service we provide and could potentially influence service improvement, and can be about:

  • Opinion on how services received can be improved
  • Suggestions regarding staff or supplier conduct
  • Suggested changes to information or procedures

Complaints: A complaint is any genuine expression of dissatisfaction, with or without suggestion for improvement, with the service we provide and can be about:

  • An unsatisfactory level or quality of service
  • The delivery or non-delivery of a service
  • A failure to provide information or give the correct information
  • A failure to follow agreed policies and procedures
  • The behaviour of members of staff or suppliers

 3. Responsibilities

 3.1    Growth Company staff act as an initial focal point for receipt of feedback, to process action, action and close complaints, as well as to notify all complaints immediately to their Line Manager and, for a Level 2 complaint, the relevant Quality Manager who will use appropriate systems to record and report progress and resolution to the appropriate Senior Manager(s) and MDs. It is the responsibility of all staff to adhere to this procedure and to ensure that complainants are treated courteously and in accordance with stated timescales. Where appropriate, staff should assist customers to put their compliment, comment or complaint in writing.

 3.2     Logging of Compliments, Comments & Level 1 (Informal Complaints): It is the responsibility of all staff to log any Compliments, Comments & Level 1 (Informal Complaints) received. Complaints received verbally can be recorded on the Complaints Form. 

 3.3     Logging of Level 2 (Formal Complaints): Any member of staff who receives a (Level 2) formal complaint must inform their line manager and the relevant GC Quality Manager. Staff are responsible for keeping all parties informed of ongoing actions, notifying the relevant Senior Manager of all complaints and evidencing any updates using the appropriate systems. The relevant senior manager has ultimate responsibility for the close out of Level 2 complaints and for ensuring that actions to prevent recurrence are in place. 

 4. Documentation & Systems


  • Complaints Form
  • Complaints Log
  • Service-based work instructions. 


  • Various CRM systems (internal and external)
  • Various SurveyMonkey surveys/questionnaires and related reports
  • Service-based customer feedback questionnaires e.g. satisfaction cards, Your Say, Your         Views cards, exit questionnaires, comments/feedback/suggestion books.

 5.       Policy and Procedure

5.1   Policy

 We actively encourage a culture of continuous improvement.  We monitor and review our performance and services in a systematic manner.  This includes seeking out the views of customers, partners, stakeholders and others with whom we engage. Customer feedback is gathered in several different ways, varying according to the nature of the individual service.


We will ensure that all complaints are dealt with in a confidential manner.

We will ensure that our Complaints procedure is clear and can be accessed readily by external parties; we will also make sure that people can raise a complaint in a variety of formats and be supported in doing so, where necessary. 

We will endeavour to resolve complaints immediately.  Where this is not possible the complaint will be dealt with according to the minimum standards set out in the procedure.

All complaints will be logged centrally and any trends identified will be highlighted to senior management and addressed appropriately, within the timescales set out below.

Corrective or preventive action will be taken in accordance with relevant procedures.  Key outcomes and trends will be analysed and will be reviewed with the relevant senior management team as appropriate.

This policy complements our Quality Policy and meets the requirements of ISO9001:2015.


Handling Compliments, Comments and Level 1 Complaints


5.2 For Level 1 complaints: The majority of informal complaints are resolved ‘on the spot’ by the person receiving the enquiry. Initial response should be provided to the complainant by the member of staff receiving the complaint face to face, in writing, by email or telephone and within 3 working days.

5.3 Where the complaint is received verbally, the Complaints Form can be used to capture all the relevant details.

5.4 Where the complaint will need investigation or escalation to another member of staff or manager, then the complainant should be notified of this as soon as possible and given an appropriate timescale for when they can expect a response - up to a maximum of 15 working days.

5.5 Anyone making an informal complaint should be advised of their right to make a formal complaint if they remain dissatisfied with the outcome of the initial investigations.

6 Level 2 – Formal Complaints

6.1 Complaints should always be registered formally:

  • When the complaint is in writing or of a serious nature
  • When a complaint cannot be resolved at Level 1
  • As a result of a complainants continued dissatisfaction after Level 1 investigations
  • When a complaint is received via another operating company within the group and/or about    another service.

6.2     In addition, serious complaints must be notified immediately to the relevant GC Quality Manager and/or a Senior Manager, so that they may be escalated internally through the appropriate channels. All Level 2 complaints will be recorded on the Complaints Log held centrally. Serious complaints are defined as (but are not limited to) allegations of:

  • Fraud or financial irregularity
  • Serious breaches of Health & Safety
  • Discrimination (equality)
  • Safeguarding incident
  • Bullying and harassment
  • Professional misconduct

 6.3  Timescales and Standards

 6.3.1 All Level 2 formal complaints shall be acknowledged within 3 working days of receipt, and the complainant advised of the name, address, e-mail and contact number of the person handling the complaint.

6.3.2 At the same time, the complainant will be supplied with a copy of this procedure by the person who received the complaint.

6.3.3 If the complaint relates to an employer/individual for which information is held on a CRM system, the  record must be updated with the nature of the complaint by the person who received the complaint. 

6.3.4 If the member of staff receiving the complaint is also the subject of the complaint, the Line Manager will appoint another member of staff or a manager to handle the complaint.

6.3.5 Following acknowledgement, the investigation should be commenced immediately by the relevant Senior Manager and the complainant responded to, in writing, within 15 working days of receipt of the initial complaint. If this target cannot be met, a written statement of progress should be sent to the complainant and records updated on the appropriate system.

 6.4    Multiple Complaints

6.4.1 When a complainant involves a variety of issues, each separate issue should be identified and treated as an individual complaint.

 7 Escalation/Arbitration

7.1 If complaints cannot be resolved by the relevant Senior Manager, then they may be referred with all supporting documentation, to the Managing Director of the operating division/company concerned for deliberation.

7.2 The relevant Managing Director will respond directly to the complainant within 15 working days, with a decision on the appeal.

7.3 If the decision given by the Managing Director is deemed unacceptable by the complainant, the complaint along with all supporting documentation should be presented to the GC CEO.

7.4 The GC CEO will respond directly to the complainant within 15 working days, with a decision on the appeal.

7.5 If the decision given by the CEO is deemed unacceptable by the complainant, the complaint along with all supporting documentation should be presented to the Chair of the GC  Board.

7.5 The Chair of the GC Board will respond directly to the complainant within 15 working days, with a final decision on the appeal.

  1. Management Information

8.1 From time to time, a report outlining all compliments, comments and complaints,  will be produced by each Quality Manager within operating divisions/companies and forwarded to the relevant Senior Management Team(s), and will include the following analysis of Level 2 complaints:

  • Number of Level 2 complaints received, split by service/sector/operating company
  • Analysis of main patterns and trends areas of complaints
  • Number of complaints satisfactorily resolved and corrective actions taken to avoid recurrence
  • Number of outstanding complaints

 8.2   Any resulting actions from this report will be cascaded to the appropriate Senior Manager(s) for further action.

 9. Version control

 The current version of GC policies is available on the intranet. To ensure employees are referring to the current version, GC recommend employees refrain from printing and storing copies.


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Dave Moy