How we handle your complaint

TLC: Talk, Listen, Change is committed to providing high quality services and anyone who receives a service from us or has any interactions with our staff or volunteers should be able to tell us what they think. We recognise that there may be times where an individual may feel that their expectations have not been met and when this happens, we want to listen and work with those involved to reach a resolution.

Individuals may want to raise concerns about a range of issues including but not limited to:

  • the quality and standard of our services
  • the quality of our facilities
  • treatment by or attitude of a staff member, student or volunteer
  • inappropriate behaviour by a staff member, student or volunteer

We aim to:

  • Support our intention that all individuals receive a professional and high-quality service from us
  • Provide an approach to complaint handling that resolves the complaint satisfactorily as quickly as possible and avoids unnecessary escalation
  • Provide a fair, transparent procedure for dealing with complaints that ensures individuals feel that their feedback has been heard, understood, and acted upon


It is essential for everyone involved that complaints are treated in confidence. Details of a complaint will be handled on a need to know basis and complaints will be confidential to those who are directly involved in the complaint and to those formally involved in receiving, handling, investigating and reporting on the complaint. When a member of staff is the subject of a complaint, wider details will only be shared with the relevant members of staff which may include their line manager and supervisor (if relevant) and the Head of Service.

We will not share details of complaints with anyone outside of TLC: Talk, Listen, Change unless:

  • We believe that someone is likely to be put significantly at risk by matters referred to in the complaint;
  • There is a need to appoint an outside representative to investigate or advise on an aspect of the complaint or an appeal; and
  • There is a need to refer the outcome of a complaint to an appropriate professional body.

Who can make a complaint?

Anyone who receives a service from TLC: Talk, Listen, Change or has any kind of interaction with the organisation, it’s staff or volunteers may make a complaint.

Complaints will fall into three main headings:

  • Informal Complaints
  • Stage One Complaint
  • Stage Two Complaint

Informal and formal complaints can be made verbally or in writing. We may ask someone to write a statement outlining the details of the complaint to effectively

investigate it. Wherever possible all complaints should be submitted directly by the individual making the complaint.

TLC: Talk, Listen, Change will not investigate a complaint from people acting on behalf of an individual or other stakeholder, (for example relatives, friends, solicitors, councillors or MPs) unless there is clear written consent given by the appropriate individual to third party representation.

Informal complaints

When we receive a complaint, we will try to resolve the matter informally through discussion and negotiation where possible. We will respond to all complaints within 10 working days, where this is not possible, we will notify the complainant, and advise them of the reason for the delay and when we expect to provide a full response. Where the complainant is not satisfied with the informal response or the issue is not resolved, the complainant may proceed to make a formal complaint.

Stage One formal complaints

Where the complaint cannot be resolved informally it then becomes a Stage One Complaint. This will be addressed by a TLC Manager. A decision must be made whether the complaint is related to a staff member or not. If it is related to a staff member it must be escalated to a stage two complaint.

Stage Two complaints

Where the complaint cannot be resolved as it is against a member of staff or a complainant appeals a stage one decision, it then becomes a Stage Two Complaint. This will be addressed by a TLC Head of Service or the Director of Services if the complaint is about a Head of Service. A Stage Two complaint must be made within 10 working days of the Stage One complaint response.

Appeals process

Individuals will be able to make an appeal up to ten working days after the formal complaints process has ended. In a Stage One complaint this would escalate it to

Stage Two. If it is already a Stage Two, then the individual can still appeal if one or more of the following criteria apply:

  • The complainant can provide new evidence that has not been considered
  • If they feel they have been misrepresented in some way