Introduction

Optimum Skills Limited is committed to providing a quality service for its clients and customers, in addition to working in an open and accountable way that builds the trust and respect of all.

One of the ways in which we can continue to improve our service is by listening and responding to the views of our clients, customers and stakeholders and in particular, by responding positively to complaints and by putting mistakes right where necessary.

Therefore, we aim to ensure that:

  • making a complaint is as easy as possible;
  • treating a complaint as a clear expression of dissatisfaction with our service which calls for an immediate response;
  • we deal with it promptly, politely and, when appropriate, confidentially;
  • we respond in the right way – for example, with an explanation, or an apology where we have got things wrong, or information on any action taken etc;
  • we learn from complaints, use them to improve our service, and review annually our complaints policy and procedures.

We recognise that many concerns will be raised informally, and dealt with quickly. Our aims are to:

  • resolve informal concerns quickly;
  • keep matters low-key;
  • enable mediation between the complainant and the individual to whom the complaint has been referred.

An informal approach is appropriate when it can be achieved, but if concerns cannot be satisfactorily resolved informally, then the formal complaints procedure should be followed.

Definition:

Optimum Skills defines a complaint as ‘any expression of dissatisfaction (with Optimum Skills or with a member of staff etc) that relates to Optimum Skills and that requires a formal response’.

Purpose:

The formal complaints procedure is intended to ensure that all complaints are handled fairly, consistently and wherever possible resolved to the complainant’s satisfaction.

Optimum Skills responsibility will be to:

  • acknowledge the formal complaint in writing;
  • respond within a stated period of time;
  • deal reasonably and sensitively with the complaint;
  • take action where appropriate.

A complainant’s responsibility is to:

  • bring their complaint, in writing, to Optimum Skills attention normally within 8 weeks of the issue arising;
  • raise concerns promptly and directly with a member of staff in Optimum Skills;
  • explain the problem as clearly and as fully as possible, including any action taken to date;
  • allow Optimum Skills a reasonable time to deal with the matter;
  • recognise that some circumstances may be beyond Optimum Skills control.

Responsibility for Action: All Staff and Directors of Optimum Skills.

Confidentiality:

Except in exceptional circumstances, every attempt will be made to ensure that both the complainant and Optimum Skills maintain confidentiality.  However, the circumstances giving rise to the complaint may be such that it may not be possible to maintain confidentiality (with each complaint judged on its own merit). Should this be the case, the situation will be explained to the complainant.

Formal Complaints Process:

Complaints procedure is as follows;

  1. In the first instance, the complainant should contact Optimum Skills and make a formal complaint; at this point the administrator will send the complainant the company complaint form (document 1). The complainant should complete the form and return it to the Head of Delivery, or completed online, which will be emailed to the Head of Delivery.
  2. Optimum Skills will send the complainant a case specific written letter in response to the filed complaint.
  3. The complaint will be reviewed by the Head of Delivery they will decide whether the nature of the complaint impacts on the quality standards of delivery or if it relates to other areas of the business which does not affect the assessment process.
  4. Head of Delivery will deal with the complaint accordingly. These involved in the complaint will have the right to attend any scheduled meetings to express their views in person.
  5. If the complaint cannot be satisfactorily resolved by the Head of Delivery, the complainant will be advised of the most appropriate course of action.

Complaints Handling Form (DOC 1)

Optimum Skills recognises that there may be times when individuals, candidates or customers feel aggravated and wish to complain about matters other than assessment decisions (which are handled through the centre’s appeal procedure).

In these instances, the recognised complaints procedure is to complete this complaints report form and submit it to the Head of Quality in a sealed envelope marked ‘CONFIDENTIAL’, or by filling in the online form that will go to the Head of Delivery directly.

Section 1 of this form should be completed by the complainant and forwarded to the registered office at the address shown at the bottom of this form; the complainant should keep a copy of this form.

Please find below a PDF of the Complaints Policy document which can be filled out and returned to Steve via email: steve.kirsopp@optimumskills.co.uk or posted in a sealed envelope marker ‘CONFIDENTIAL’, and posted to:

Director, Steve Kirsopp

Optimum Skills Limited

Block 1, Ground Floor

Bede House

St Cuthberts Way

Newton Aycliffe

County Durham

DL5 6DX

Complaints policy June2019