Moray Complementary Therapies - Complaints Procedure
(agreed November 2021)
Please bear in mind that Moray Complementary Therapies (MCT) is a peer Group of practitioners, without a full-time paid staff team. We endeavour to respond as quickly as possible to all communication, but it may not always be possible for us to do so immediately.
Please refer to the timescales outlined in the Responsibilities section
below for guidance on what you can expect.
MCT defines a complaint as ‘any expression of dissatisfaction with the Group, or a member of the Group, that requires a formal response’.
MCT’s responsibility will be to:
- acknowledge the formal complaint in writing (via email) within 2 weeks of receiving it
- respond with an explanation within 15 working days of the date of
acknowledgment deal reasonably and sensitively with the complaint
- take action where appropriate.
A complainant’s responsibility is to:
- bring their complaint, in writing (via email), to the Group at
email@example.com as soon as possible after the issue has arisen. Ideally this should be within 6 weeks, but may be up to 1 year
- explain the problem as clearly and as fully as possible, including any action taken to date
- allow the Group a reasonable time to deal with the matter
- recognise that some circumstances may be beyond the Group’s control.
The Group’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, time scales 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.
Other than in exceptional circumstances, every attempt will be made to ensure that both the complainant and the Group maintain confidentiality.
However, the circumstances giving rise to the complaint may be such that it may not be possible to maintain confidentiality (each complaint will be judged on its own merit). Should this be the case, the situation will be explained to the complainant.
WHAT CAN MCT NOT DO?
Whilst we consider all cases individually, we are not able to:
- consider complaints about non-MCT members
- get involved in matters not related to MCT membership
- arrange refunds or compensation
- give legal advice or get involved in legal disputes.
3. COMPLAINTS PROCEDURE
If you have a complaint about the group
- Contact our Complaints Administrator at
firstname.lastname@example.org ideally within 6 weeks, or up to a year, of the issue arising. Please note: we are only able to progress complaints about therapists who are still in membership of the Group at the time the complaint is received.
- We will respond to acknowledge your complaint. If you are asking for a further detailed response, or for action, we will progress this as soon as possible, and we will let you know in our response what action we are taking, which may depend on the availability of suitable Group members.
If you have a complaint about one of the members listed in our directory:
Most of our members belong to a professional body, which will offer an official complaints procedure. Because MCT is a collection of affiliated practitioners, rather than a professional body in our own right, we have limited resources to handle complex complaint procedures.
If you do experience an issue with one of our members, we
encourage you to let us know. We may be able to support you to make an official complaint to the professional body of the practitioner involved.
- In the first instance we recommend that, whenever possible, you
approach the member concerned directly to raise your issue.
- If you don’t feel comfortable to approach the member directly we
recommend that your next step is to approach the professional body of the member with your concerns. Professional bodies are listed on the directory entry for the member on the MCT website.
- If this is not possible, or the member does not belong to a professional body, please contact MCT with your concern at
email@example.com ideally within 6
weeks, or within a year, of the issue arising.
If you have contacted us with a complaint about a member without a professional body, and would like us to take action
Please be aware that we have limited resources. Although we endeavour to deal with complaints in a serious and timely manner it’s not possible to indicate time-scales for this process in advance.
Stage 1 – Mediation
If you request it, we will arrange for a Mediation session conducted by an experienced practitioner who is either a member of the Group, or a non-member who is familiar with the nature of the work of the practitioner in question, has mediation experience, and who both the complainant and practitioner express written confidence in.
It can take place by video conferencing (e.g. Zoom, Skype) or in person.
Costs of the mediation process, up to a value of £250, will be met by the Group.
If either party chooses to engage additional expertise, for example a solicitor or external adviser, the cost will be met in full by that individual.
If the issue is successfully resolved to the mutual agreement of all concerned, the complainant and the practitioner sign a completion agreement, outlining the agreed actions, signalling the end of the dispute and committing them to any terms that have been agreed during the process, which entails the practitioner agreeing to these terms
Stage 2 – Sanctions
If the issue is not resolved to the satisfaction of both parties by Mediation the complainant can then choose to submit a request for sanctions against the practitioner in question.
These must be submitted to the Group in writing (via email) within 4 weeks of the date of the last Mediation session.
The request will then be considered by a Sub-Panel of the Group which will be arranged on an ‘as-needed’ basis, and will comprise at least two members of the Group.
The Sub-Panel will be empowered to make recommendations and decisions on behalf of the Group.
Sanctions which may be considered:
- Practitioner is required to apologise in writing to the complainant, acknowledging their mistakes or errors in judgment and what they would do differently in future.
- The Committee requests that the practitioner submits a written report to the panel within a certain time period outlining what they have learned from this experience.
- A requirement for further training over a specific time period is issued
- A requirement for additional supervision or mentoring over a specific time period is issued.
- A suspension order is issued for a period of up to two years, usually
accompanied by a requirement for additional training/supervision, with assessment as to readiness for readmission at the end of the agreed period
- The practitioner’s registration with the Group is terminated. No refund of membership fees will be offered in this case.
The Sub-Panel will take into consideration any reports and submissions from the Mediator, practitioner, and complainant.
The practitioner in question will not be present during any formal Sub-Panel discussion of the complaint.
4. COMPLAINTS ADMINISTRATOR
The role of the Complaints Administrator is to support the logistics and administration of any complaint process. The role does not include any sole responsibility for adjudication or decision-making about the outcome of the complaint itself.
- Monitoring the complaints email address and responding to complaints within the time guidelines
- Arranging for any Mediation requested and tracking progress with this
- Arranging for any Sanctions Sub-Panel, if required; collating and distributing any associated documentation or reports to Sub-Panel members in a timely fashion before meetings.
- Keeping the Group informed and updated on complaints and their progress
The role is paid on a freelance hourly basis as required, at a rate of £12 p/h, (or comparable to other Office Bearers).
If a complaint is received about the member holding this role the Group will appoint an interim/alternative Officer to the role for the duration of any complaint process against the original Office Bearer.