Complaints, Grievances and Appeals Procedures

Introduction

School of Play and Creative Therapies aims to provide quality service in all areas of our work and to champion our organisational values. By listening to students, customers and stakeholders we continually strive to make improvements by responding positively to complaints and learning from mistakes. We therefore welcome your feedback on the service that we provide.

Stage 1:

We strongly recommend that every effort to resolve things informally, often, communication via phone call or email to the person you have been dealing with will allow School of Play and Creative Therapies to put things right quickly.

Stage 2:

If you are still dissatisfied with the outcome of trying to resolve the matter through the informal process noted above or would prefer someone else to deal with the issue, then you may want to make a formal complaint by following the procedure below.

Scope and limitations of the complaints Procedure

The School of Play and Creative Therapies offers training either designed and delivered by the School of Play and Creative Therapies or by a reputable third person/organisation with specialist knowledge in a subject area.

School of Play and Creative Therapies will investigate complaints about:

  • Decisions made about the application and if required interview process
  • Any aspect of your learning experience (teaching, course material, marking and assessment).
  • Complaints against the internal assessment outcome.
  • Allegations of malpractice or maladministration relating to one of our courses.
  • Complaints about conduct within a placement organisation or from a placement organisation regarding professionalism, which has fallen below ethical standards for practice.
Complaints not covered by this policy

There are some matters that cannot be reviewed as a complaint under this policy, these include:

  • Any decisions made under the Complaints and Grievance Process, see appeals.
  • Any matters which are subject to a legal challenge or ongoing legal action.
  • Any complaints about School of Play and Creative Therapies Directors (which are considered under a different procedure – email [email protected] for information).
  • Any attempt to have a previous complaint decision overturned, or where it is reasonable to assume the complaint has a vexatious or malicious intent.
  • Ethical complaint by a member of the public of a qualified therapist, member of the public should be advised to contact the therapists registering body.
Who can make a complaint?

Any person who receives a service from us, this could include any external organisation we work with or anyone who is impacted by the service we deliver can make a complaint.

Complaints may at times be made by a placement organisation or a clinical supervisor about a student. Concerns about a student’s practice would usually be discussed under the training agreement protocol to ensure aims and objectives are agreed for ethical practice which may result in additional support being offered.

How to make a complaint

Download the complaint form from our website at School of Play and Creative Therapies. Complete the form providing us with the following information in as much detail as possible:

  • Your details: name, contact details, your position, if you are making the complaint on behalf of someone else their name and contact details.
  • Details of who the complaint is about, factual details of what happened and when, who was present or witnessed the situation.
  • Any relevant supporting documents.
  • Whether you have already attempted to resolve the problem with the person concerned.
  • What you hope to achieve from the complaint.

Once you have completed the form, please send by email to [email protected]

The School of Play and Creative Therapy take all complaints seriously and will investigate your complaint in a time mammer (time scales can be found below) ensuring full details are clearly presented will prevent delay.

When a complaint is formal, we require all correspondence to be made via email (or dated letter) so we can accurately track by date order all communication. If a legal representative has been appointed by yourself all correspondence will normally be addressed to your representative and we will be unable to engage directly with you in further.

Response times

Receipt of the complaints form will normally be acknowledged within ten working days of receipt.

Within 15 working days. If the complaint cannot be resolved we will appoint a complaints panel, made up of two therapists and a member of the School of Play and Creative Therapies who are not involved in the complaint.

Within 10 working days of the panel being identified the panel will convene and inspect all areas of the complaint, they may decide further investigation is required 15 working days or with the evidence presented they make a decision to uphold the complaint, or it is too complex or the decision of the panel is to close the complaint with or without recommendations.

You have the right to appeal, see appeals process.

If the complaint is deemed too complex for the panel or the complaint is upheld, or the case is closed with or without recommendations you will be notified of the outcome within 15 working days.

Complex complaints will require a panel of three professionals, three external professionals not connected to the case e.g., therapist, counsellor, independent professional with authority.  This process will be completed within 40 working days. If, for whatever reason, it is not possible to deal with your complaint within the published time scale then we will inform you of this and provide a reason.

We are committed to:
  • Looking thoroughly into your complaint
  • Making sure the right person looks into your complaint – an independent person with authority
  • Dealing with your complaint confidentially
  • Trying to resolve your complaint
  • treating you fairly and with respect.

Stage 3:

If you are not satisfied with the outcome of stage 2 and want to appeal the decision you should lodge your appeal in writing, with supporting evidence to substantiate your reason for appeal. Wthin 14 working days of the outcome of Stage 2. No new evidence can be submitted at this stage.

The complaint processes and procedures will be reviewed by a panel made up of people not involved with the complaint, including an independent person. A final written response will be given within 28 working days. This decision is final.

Putting things right

If things have gone wrong, we will:

  • Explain what went wrong
  • Apologise and tell you what we are doing to put things right
  • Consider whether we need to change an existing process, or provide additional staff training, in order to ensure that the same problem does not happen in the future
  • Tell you about the appeals process if you are not satisfied with the outcome of a complaint against School of Play and Creative Therapies.

Stage 4: 

If you are still not satisfied with the outcome of your complaint you can escalate it to CPCAB. Please see the CPCAB Complaints Policy at www.cpcab.co.uk/downloads/Complaints%20Policy%2022-23.pdf

Vexations or unreasonably persistent complaints

The School of Play and Creative Therapies considers the following definition of an unreasonably persistent and/or vexatious complaint may be one where: “There are insufficient or no grounds for the complaint and it is made only to annoy (or for reasons that the complainant does not admit or make obvious) There are no specified grounds for the complaint despite offers of assistance”.

Examples of vexatious or unreasonably persistent behaviour include (this list is not exhaustive):

  • Refusing to specify the grounds of a complaint, despite offers of help.
  • Refusing to cooperate with the complaints investigation process.
  • Refusing to accept that certain issues are not within the scope of the School of Play and Creative Therapies jurisdiction or within the scope of a complaints procedure.
  • Insisting on the complaint being dealt with in ways which are incompatible with the adopted complaints procedure or with good practice.
  • Making unjustified complaints about staff who are trying to deal with the issues and seeking to have them replaced.
  • Changing the basis of the complaint as the investigation proceeds.
  • Denying or changing statements made at an earlier stage.
  • Introducing trivial or irrelevant new information at a later stage.
  • Raising many detailed but unimportant questions, and insisting they are all answered.
  • Submitting falsified documents from themselves or others.
  • Adopting a ‘scattergun’ approach: pursuing parallel complaints on the same issue with various members of staff and/or organisations.
  • Making excessive demands on the time and resources of staff with lengthy phone calls, emails to numerous council staff, or detailed letters every few days, and expecting immediate responses.
  • Submitting repeat complaints with minor additions/variations, which the complainant insists make these ‘new’ complaints.
  • Refusing to accept the decision; repeatedly arguing points with no new evidence.
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