FHT Accredited Course Providers Complaints Policy and Procedure

Policy Introduction

Federation of Holistic Therapists (FHT) is committed to providing a high quality experience for all learners through its accredited course provider’s training delivery. It encourages a positive environment in which informal contact and feedback from learners is welcomed and where complaints can be dealt with effectively and efficiently. The complaints procedure outlines the processes to be used when a learner has cause for concern.

Aims of the Policy

  • To provide a clear framework to help anyone who is not satisfied with the accredited course provider’s services to raise their concerns and to ensure that the school/centre responds effectively.
  • To ensure that the accredited course provider has systems in place to make improvements happen as a result of a complaint.
  • To encourage prompt resolution at an early informal stage.
  • To ensure that all complaints are dealt with seriously, fairly and sensitively, with no resultant victimisation of a complainant.
  • To raise awareness of the policy and procedures and ensure that course providers understand the processes.

Scope

This document should be used by anyone who wishes to make a complaint about an accredited course provider’s services. Third parties with a close connection to the learner, wishing to complain on behalf of the learner, must produce written agreement from the learner stating that they can act on their behalf.

Definitions

A complaint is an expression of dissatisfaction by one or more learners about an accredited course provider’s action or lack of action, or about the standard of service provided by or on behalf of the school/centre. FHT is not able to offer legal advice or get involved in legal disputes.  Requests for refunds, compensation, services or changes to services, comments, suggestions and questionnaire feedback are not considered as complaints and therefore, do not fall within this process.

Roles and Responsibilities

  • The FHT Accreditation Team receives all formal complaints and is responsible for logging and monitoring the complaints in accordance with the procedures below.
  • The Accreditation Team has a responsibility for receiving complaints, treating them seriously and dealing with them appropriately. In the first instance and wherever possible, complaints should be dealt with informally and promptly by the course provider. All complaints (formal and informal) received by the team must be forwarded to the Compliance Team to be recorded.
  • The Accreditation Team has a responsibility to take a lead role in resolving complaints about an accredited course provider through investigation (when appropriate) and responding to the complainant.

Confidentiality

All complaints will be handled sensitively and with discretion. If a learner makes a complaint against a course provider, that course provider may be informed about the substance of the complaint so that they are in a position to make a response. FHT will not normally investigate anonymous or malicious complaints except in exceptional circumstances and for justifiable reasons. This may be considered if the complainant wishes to remain anonymous in cases of harassment.

Procedure 1

Informal complaints

1.1. It is hoped that most complaints can be dealt with using informal procedure.

1.2. Concerns should be raised in the first instance with the course provider concerned as soon as possible, and not later than 3 months after the incident. If appropriate, a meeting will be offered between the person complaining and the course provider they are complaining about to arrive to an agreed resolution.

1.3. If a complaint is about a tutor or member of staff, it should be referred to the school’s owner.

1.4. If a learner reports a fault with the training environment (e.g. not clean or broken chair etc.) or its surrounding facilities, the tutor is to report it to the building manager or owner at the earliest opportunity.

1.5. At this informal stage complaints may be made by phone or by email.

1.6. All informal complaints, even when satisfactorily resolved, should be forwarded to the Accreditation Team to be logged.

Formal complaints

2.1. Where complaints are very serious or the matter has not been resolved informally, the complainant should raise a formal complaint under the following procedure. Complaints made more than 3 months after the incident will not normally be investigated.

2.2. Filling out a complaints form: The complainant should complete the Complaints Form, having read the complaints Policy and Procedure return to the Accreditation Team.

2.3. Acknowledgement: The Accreditation Team will send an acknowledgment (normally within 5 working days) stating who will be investigating the complaint and that a response will be provided within 20 working days.

2.4. Logging the complaint: The Accreditation Team maintains a log of all complaints, their progress and outcome.

2.5. Investigation of the complaint: The Accreditation Team will carry out the investigation. During this stage the complainant or course provider may be contacted for further information.

2.6. Resolution: The Accreditation Team will consider the complaint thoroughly and will complete an investigation summary to be held on file for record purposes. The Accreditation Team will make a judgement based on evidence gathered and will decide to:

- Dismiss the complaint as unfounded, giving reasons.

- Uphold or partially uphold the complaint, propose an amicable settlement, take appropriate steps to address the issue/s and to avoid a similar problem arising in the future. The outcome of the investigation will normally be communicated to the complainant by the Accreditation Team and a copy of the email/letter will be kept on file.

2.7. Dissatisfied at the outcome of a complaint: If there is dissatisfaction at the outcome of a complaint investigation carried out by the Accreditation Team, the complainant has the right to escalate their complaint to the Complaints Panel. If the complainant is still dissatisfied with the outcome from the Complaints Panel, they can escalate the complaint to the Appeals Panel.

2.8. Quality improvement: The Accreditation Team will ensure that the course provider takes relevant action to change procedures or implement staff training to prevent recurrence of the complaint.

2.9. Monitoring the complaint: The Accreditation Team is responsible for monitoring all logged complaints to ensure they are resolved within the allotted 20 Working days, and will inform the complainant if they are unable to meet the agreed timescale.

HOW TO MAKE A COMPLAINT

Stage 1: How to make an Informal Complaint. Where possible, complaints should be raised immediately with the course provider most directly concerned with the issue. The aim being to resolve the problem directly and informally at the earliest opportunity.

Stage 2: How to make a Formal Complaint. If you find that Stage 1 does not solve your problem, or you feel that it is of a very serious nature, you should make a formal complaint by completing the Complaints Form and returning it to the Accreditation Team. You will receive acknowledgement within 5 working days, and following an investigation into your complaint, we will send a full response within 20 working days of receiving your complaint (unless you are informed otherwise).

Stage 3: How to appeal against a decision. If you find that you are dissatisfied with the outcome of a complaint, you have the right to escalate it, in writing, to the President of FHT.

Support/Assistance

If you have a disability and require assistance with completing the complaints form (e.g. if you require the form in a different format or large font) please contact us by email to accreditation@fht.org.uk or call us on 023 8062 4350 and we will happy to discuss this and offer any assistance we can.