Customer Complaints Policy
The Growth Company is committed to providing a high-quality, professional and transparent service to all our customers, participants, learners, service users andstakeholders. Unfortunately, however, there may be occasions when you feel the level of service you receive has fallen below your expectations. Telling us about this gives us the chance to review your concerns and, if necessary, make internal improvements to our systems and processes.
We define a complaint as follows:
Any expression of dissatisfaction, whether oral or written, and whether justified or not, from or on behalf of an eligible complainant about the firm’s provision of, or failure to provide, a professional and fair service.
If at any stage you feel unhappy with any aspect of our service, you must inform us as soon as possible. In this first instance, you should first speak to the member of staff you have been dealing with and explain your concerns. Hopefully, at this point, they will be able to help resolve any issues you may have.
However, if after discussing your concern with a member of staff you are not satisfied you do have a right to make a formal complaint.
If you wish to make a formal complaint, the process is explained below (please note, due to the diverse nature of the services we offer, an individual complaining can be defined as either a customer, a participant, a learner, a service user or a stakeholder):
Making a formal complaint:
- Please complete our complaints form, available for download: GC Customer Complaints Form
- Complete all the required sections of the form and submit the completed form via email to firstname.lastname@example.org or in the post to GC Complaints, The Growth Company, Lee House, 90 Great Bridgewater Street, Manchester, M1 5JW. If you are having difficulty or you are unable to put your complaint in writing, please contact us using the contact details at the bottom of this policy.
What we need from you:
- Please include as much detail as possible about your complaint, along with your name, address, contact number and a convenient time for us to call you to discuss your complaint if you would like to discuss your complaint over the telephone prior to us sending you a formal, written response.
- Why do we need this information? We want to fully understand your complaint and why you feel our level of service has fallen below your expectations. This is to make sure we get the right person handling your complaint, so they can investigate and provide a response as soon as possible. Your data and personal details will be treated in the strictest of confidence and in accordance with our data protection procedure.
Once we receive your complaint:
- Once we receive your complaint, we will send you a prompt response acknowledging receipt. This will be sent to you within five working days, using your preferred communication method (email and/or hard copy letter). This correspondence will contain the name, address, email and contact number of the person handling your complaint. We will give you a complaint reference number that you can quote for future reference.
- You will then be contacted directly by the investigating officer appointed who will introduce themselves. If they require any further information at this point in relation to your complaint, or your complaint is unclear or ambiguous, this will be discussed at this point.
- Following this, we will fully investigate your complaint. The investigating officer will gather all necessary documents, recordings and information to make an independent review of the case. Investigations will utilise all the facts and any previous, related information to produce an unbiased outcome and an expected course of action. Should we require any further information during our investigation process, we will contact you using your preferred method of contact.
- We will then send you a formal written response within 8 weeks from receipt of your complaint. This will outline the details of our investigation, how we reached our decision and any proposed resolution (if applicable). Please note, the 8 week timeframe is the maximum permitted deadline, and we will endeavour to respond to all complaints at the earliest possible opportunity.
- In the unlikely event that we haven’t been able to finalise our investigation within 8 weeks, we will formally contact you in writing letting you know and what steps you can take. For our regulated financial customers, this will include contacting the Financial Ombudsman directly if you would prefer not to wait until we have finalised our investigation.
- Following the issue of our final response, if you are still not satisfied, you can make contact with the relevant contact outlined in our final response document. This individual will then liaise with you directly, as well as independently reviewing your original complaint and our investigation and initial final response.
- For any complaints which have been copied to Third Parties, such as DWP, HMPPS, GMCA etc, only as relevant and necessary will GC inform the Third Party of the overall outcome of the complaint.
- Any customer, participant, learner or stakeholder who makes a complaint is free to stop the process and withdraw their complaint at any point. Any withdrawal of a complaint should ideally be made in writing. We will, however, accept a verbal request to withdraw a complaint. We will subsequently confirm any request to withdraw your complaint to you formally in writing.
- In line with the Equality Act 2010, we will ensure that all complainants are treated fairly and equally and that we will provide adjustments to the procedure as required to ensure that at is inclusive. Steps we may take would be to change the format of our responses to best suit the individual and to ensure that complainants are not disadvantaged as a result of their Protected Characteristics. Where requested, we will support individual complainants to raise their concerns in line with the overall procedure.
- Individuals with complaints have the right to complain more than once about The Growth Company if subsequent incidents occur whilst we are providing a service to them. However, this contact becomes unreasonable when the effect of the repeated complaints is to harass, or to prevent The Growth Company from impartially investigating a complaint or pursuing a legitimate or decision. We consider access to our complaints policy to be important and it will only be in exceptional circumstances that we would consider such repeated use as unreasonable – but we reserve the right to do so in those exceptional cases.
HMPPS Complaints only:
Should you remain dissatisfied with the handling of your complaint, you may complain directly to Her Majesty’s Prison and Probation Service (HMPPS).
Complaints should be sent to HMPPSPublicEnquiries@justice.gov.uk.
If you remain unhappy with HMPPS’ handling of the complaint, complainants can contact the Prisons and Probation Ombudsman
The Independent Case Examiner (ICE) – DWP Programme only:
If you have complained to your Provider as well as The Growth Company and are still not happy with the response you have received, you can contact the Independent Case Examiner (ICE). ICE is impartial, and this allows them to mediate between GC and yourself to come to a resolution. Please note that ICE will only investigate complaints that have gone through the above GC process and have been submitted to ICE within six months of receipt of the final letter from GC.
You can contact the Independent Case Examiner at:
PO Box 209
Telephone: 0800 414 8529
Our contact details:
If you have any queries or you need any clarity on any of the above information, please contact us. Our contact details are below:
The Growth Company
90 Great Bridgewater Street
0161 2281111 - Empty control when contacting us using this method, you will need to state the organisation and / or contact you have been working with to ensure we can direct you to the most appropriate team.