The Institute takes all complaints seriously and seeks to resolve them as quickly as possible.
As a government body, we are required to follow the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman principles for complaint handling.
Please note this is separate to our procedural review process, which you can read more about here.
1. How to complain
2. Who will investigate
Complaints will be investigated thoroughly, in line with the following principles as set out by the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman:
- getting it right
- being customer-focused
- being open and accountable
- acting fairly and proportionately
- putting things right
- seeking continuous improvement
Where possible, the Institute will aim to resolve straightforward issues as quickly as possible, to help the complainant.
Read more on the complaint principles which guide us.
3. What will be investigated
The complaints adjudicator will investigate complaints about the Institute’s administration, including allegations of:
- unsatisfactory, incompetent, arbitrary, or unfair treatment
- not meeting a given deadline for making a decision
- non-compliance with published procedures, schemes, or requirements under the Freedom of Information Act or Data Protection Act
The complaints adjudicator will not investigate:
- complaints from Institute staff
- contractual disputes
- complaints that are being (or have been) considered by a court or similar body
- if the complainant has not exhausted other appeals procedures
- complaints made more than 3 months after a decision or action
- complaints considered to be vexatious or malicious
4. What happens next
You should receive acknowledgment of your complaint within five working days.
If it is a straightforward issue, which can be resolved without the need for a formal investigation, the Institute will aim to resolve it as quickly as possible, ordinarily within a matter of days.
If it needs to be investigated, you will receive a summary of your complaint within 10 working days of sending it to us. You will have 5 working days to respond to this summary, accepting or rejecting it.
Once a summary is agreed, investigations will be completed within 25 working days, and a final response will be sent to you, the complainant.
All responses will be seen and signed off by a senior civil servant.
If you are unhappy with the Institute’s response, the next step would be for you to request a referral to the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman via your local Member of Parliament.