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Complaints, Comments & Suggestions Procedure

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Policy Statement

The Royal Association for Deaf people (RAD) values complaints, comments and suggestions and will treat all people who make them with respect and understanding.

We encourage people with a complaint or suggestion to try to sort it out with a member of staff of RAD or an RAD manager (see section on Informal Problem Solving below). If you feel you have tried this but it did not work, or you do not feel it would be helpful, please use the RAD Complaints Procedure.

The RAD Complaints Procedure will:

  • Inform the Office of the Chief Executive of all complaints and regularly report complaints to the Trustees
  • Log all complaints in a complaints book
  • Acknowledge all complaints and provide a written response to the complainant at every stage of the procedure
  • Keep copies of all correspondence related to the complaint
  • Meet the costs of sign language interpreting or other communication support required in handling a complaint
  • Provide an appropriately qualified independent person (e.g. advocate) to support the complainant if the person is under nineteen or a vulnerable adult and/or if they request such a person
  • Deal with complaints as openly as possible, given our duty of confidentiality to people who use our services
  • Deal with complaints within the timescales detailed in the procedure.

RAD will not accept anonymous complaints.

Complaints from staff or volunteers are dealt with under the “Grievance Procedure”

Informal Problem Solving

Where possible, we would like to sort things out informally. This could mean:

  • Discussing the issues with the member of RAD staff who you work with or
  • Discussing issues the senior manager for the particular service

It may be possible to sort things out quickly and easily to everyone’s satisfaction.  We suggest you make an appointment to discuss these issues specifically. If you let us know in advance, we will make every effort to provide an Interpreter or communication support at our expense.

RAD Complaint’s Procedure

All complaints are logged in a complaints book. The Office of the Chief Executive will be informed of all complaints received, and will later report them (and their outcomes) to the Trustees. There are four stages to the complaints procedure:

Stage 1: Acknowledgment

  • Logged on Complaints database – date / content of letter
  • Acknowledgement letter written explaining timescale and what happens next
  • Allocated to appropriate Senior Manager with timescale for investigation
  • Acknowledgement letter explaining timescale and what happens next
  • Communication support and/or advocacy (as appropriate) will be offered at RAD’s expense at all stages of the process
  • 5 working days

Stage 2: Investigation

  • Manager will investigate with staff known to the complainant – may involve interviewing all parties
  • The purpose is to understand the complaint, ascertain all the facts and, where possible, to resolve the matter satisfactorily for all concerned or to explain the situation to the complainant’s satisfaction
  • Office of the Chief Executive receives written report from the Manager
  • Interviews / further information may be requested
  • If the outcome is not thought satisfactory, formal complaint (Stage 3) offered
  • Help offered to write up
  • (Stage 3) complaint
  • Manager reports to the Office of the Chief Executive within three weeks of the complaint.

Stage 3: Decision and response

  • The Office of the Chief Executive will send written response with outcome /decision
  • Every attempt will be made to ensure that the Office of the Chief Executive’s decision is understood
  • Letter from he Office of the Chief Executive
  • Explanation of right to appeal to Trustees if the outcome is not thought satisfactory, Appeal (Stage 4) offered
  • Complainant receives reply from the Office of the within one calendar month from receipt of the complaint.
  • Complainant has 5 working days to request an appeal to the Trustees.

Stage 4: Appeal

  • The Office of the Chief Executive will acknowledge receipt of the Appeal within 5 working days
  • A panel of two Trustees, chosen by the Chair will consider the appeal usually at one meeting called a Hearing
  • The Hearing will be held within four weeks of receipt of the appeal (because of the time needed to book appropriate communication support)
  • The Appeal Panel will receive at least a week before the meeting copies of the original complaint, the Office of the Chief Executive’s response, the appeal letter and all other relevant documents or evidence
  • Complainant may be invited, and staff may be required, to attend the appeal hearing
  • Recommendations / decision will be taken
  • The Office of the Chief Executive will write a letter explaining the outcome of the Hearing
  • Acknowledgement of Appeal
  • Verbal decision may be given on day of investigation
  • Letter with outcome / decision from the Office of the Chief Executive – what action is being taken as a result of the panel’s recommendation.
  • Acknowledgement within 5 working days
  • Hearing within 4 weeks of Appeal
  • Letter with outcome to be sent within one week of Appeal

Additional Procedures

If your complaint is about the Office of the Chief Executive or the Trustees of the Royal Association for Deaf People you need to contact the Chair of the organisation who will advise you of the procedure that will be followed and the associated timescales.

For certain RAD services, a complaint can be made to other authorities.

Communication Service: RAD Interpreting


Should you have a complaint about a Communication Professional provided by RAD we recommended that you use our in-house feedback and escalation process; and the RAD Complaints Procedure.

If you are unhappy with the outcome of this process, a formal complaint may be lodged with an external professional body.

RAD provides Communication Professionals registered with the NRCPD and RBSLI.  In the event that you wish to make a formal complaint we will advise on the relevant registration body.

For more details and information about the complaints procedures for the NRCPD and RBSLI please visit:



Community Support Services

If you are unhappy with the outcome of a complaint about the Community Support Service, you can contact and request that the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman to carry out an independent investigation. For more details and information please visit:


If your complaint is about our fundraising activities and we are unable to resolve it to your satisfaction, you can ask the Fundraising Regulator, the self-regulator for fundraising in the UK, to consider it by:

  • submitting your complaint through the Fundraising Regular website at:
  • writing to Fundraising Regulator, 2nd floor, CAN Mezzanine Building, 49-51 East Road, London, N1 6AH
  • calling – 0300 999 3407

The Fundraising Regulator’s complaints process can be found on its website at:

You can contact us in a number of ways:

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