Complaints Policy

1. Our Aim

The MBS Group Ltd (MBS) is committed to providing a quality service and working in an open and accountable way that builds trust and respect. One of the ways in which we can continue to improve our service is by listening and responding to the views of our clients and stakeholders, and in particular by responding positively to complaints, and by putting mistakes right.

Complaints can be raised at any time as needed, however we will reach out to clients at the conclusion of each search to request that open and honest feedback be given to an independent evaluator in the form of a debrief call. This forum can also be used to raise any concerns or suggestions for process improvements in the future.

MBS aim to ensure that:
• making a compliment or complaint is as easy as possible
• we welcome feedback and suggestions
• 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

This policy ensures that we welcome compliments and provide guidelines for dealing with complaints from members of the public about our services, facilities, staff and volunteers.

2. Definitions

A complaint is defined as any expression of dissatisfaction; however, it is expressed. This would include complaints expressed face to face, via a phone call, in writing, via email or any other method. All staff should have sufficient knowledge to be able to identify an “expression of dissatisfaction” even when the word “complain”, or “complaint” is not used.

3. Purpose

We are always glad to hear from people who are satisfied with the services we offer. All compliments are recorded, acknowledged, and a copy is sent to the relevant service manager to provide feedback to the member of staff or service.

4. Complaints

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

5. Responsibilities

MBS holds responsibility for:
• acknowledging the formal complaint in writing.
• responding within a stated period of time of 2 business days.
• dealing reasonably and sensitively with the complaint; and
• taking action where appropriate.

A complainant’s responsibility is to:
• bring their complaint, in writing, to the attention of MBS, normally within 1 week of the issue arising.
• raise concerns promptly and directly with a member of staff in MBS
• explain the problem as clearly and as fully as possible, including any action taken to date.
• allow MBS reasonable time to deal with the matter, and
• recognise that some circumstances may be beyond the control of MBS.

6. Confidentiality:

Except in exceptional circumstances, every attempt will be made to ensure that both the complainant and MBS 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 facts). Should this be the case, the situation will be explained to the complainant.

7. Complaints Procedure:

Written records will be made by MBS at each stage of the procedure.

Stage 1

In the first instance, staff member(s) must establish the seriousness of the complaint. 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.

Stage 2

If the complaint cannot be resolved informally, the member of the public should be advised that a formal complaint may be made, and the following procedure should be explained to them. It may sometimes be appropriate for a different member of staff, preferably a member of the Management Team, to make this explanation.

a) A formal complaint can be made either verbally or in writing. If verbally, a statement should be taken by a member of the Management or Operations Team, staff member or a supervisor.
b) In all cases, the complaint must be passed on to the Head of Operations. In the event of a complaint about the Head of Operations the complaint should be passed to a Managing Partner.
c) The Head of Operations or Managing Partners, depending on the nature of the complaint, must acknowledge the complaint in writing within 24 hours of receiving it.
d) One of the above will investigate the complaint. Any conclusions reached should be discussed with the staff member involved and their Line Manager.
e) The person making the complaint will receive a response based on the investigation within four weeks of the complaint being received. If this is not possible then a letter must be sent explaining why.

Stage 3

a) If the complainant is not satisfied with the above decision, then the Managing Partners will be notified and involved further.
b) The Head of Operations will examine the complaint and may wish to carry out further interviews, examine files / notes. They will respond within four weeks in writing. Their decision will be final.