Statement of Policy

The Education and Skills Partnership (ESP) is committed to providing a quality service for its members
and working in an open and accountable way that builds the trust and respect of all our stakeholders.
One of the ways in which we can continue to improve our service is by listening and responding to the
views of our staff, customers and stakeholders, in particular, by responding positively to complaints, and
correcting and mistakes.

Therefore, we aim to ensure that:

  • Making a complaint is as easy as possible
  • We treat 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
  • recognise that many concerns will be raised formally 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: ESP defines a complaint as ‘any expression of dissatisfaction that relates to ESP 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.

Responsibilities and Organisation

ESP responsibility will be to:

  • Acknowledge the formal complaint in writing
  • Respond within a stated period of time
  • Deal responsibly and sensitively with the complaint
  • Take action where appropriate

A complainant’s responsibility is to:

  • Bring their complaint, in writing, ESP’s attention normally within 8 weeks of the issue arising
  • Raise concerns promptly and directly with a member of staff in ESP
  • Explain the problem as clearly and as fully as possible, including any action taken to date
  • Allow ESP a reasonable time to deal with the matter
  • Recognise that some circumstances may be beyond ESP’s control

Confidentiality

Except in exceptional circumstances, every attempt will be made to ensure that both the complainant
and ESP 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 being judged on its own
merit). Should this be the case, the situation will be explained to the complainant.

Monitoring and Reporting

The Board of Directors of ESP will receive annually an anonymised report of complaints made and their
resolution

Formal Complaints Procedure

Stage 1

In the first instance, if you are unable to resolve the issue informally, you should write to the member of
staff who dealt with you, or their manager, so that he or she has a chance to put things right. If your
complaint concerns a member of ESP staff, you should write formally to the individual concerned. In
your letter, you should set out the details of your complaint, the consequences for you as a result, and
the remedy you are seeking.

Stage 2

If you are not satisfied with the initial response to the complaint, then you can write to ESP Head of HR
and ask for your complaint and the response to be reviewed. You can expect the Head of HR to
acknowledge your request within 5 working days of receipt and a response within 15 workings days.

ESP’s aim is to resolve all matters as quickly as possible. However, inevitably some issues will be more
complex and therefore may require longer to be fully investigated. Consequently, timescales given for
handling and responding to complaints are indicative. If a matter requires more detailed investigation,
you will receive an interim response describing what is being done to deal with the matter, and when a
full reply can be expected and from whom.

Final Stage

If you are not satisfied with the subsequent reply from ESP Head of HR, then you have the option of
writing to the Managing Director of ESP, stating the reason why you are dissatisfied with the outcome.
You must do this within 15 days of receiving the written response from ESP Head of HR.
The Managing Director (or their nominee), will respond normally within 15 working days to inform you
of the action which will be taken to investigate your complaint, and when you can expect to hear the
outcome of the investigation.

Contact:

Jason Hargreaves
Managing Director

ESP Ltd
Williamson House
Wotton Road
Ashford
Kent TN23 6LW