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Complaints Procedure

Canine Massage Guild Complaints Procedure

From time to time, a client or other stakeholder may feel aggrieved or dissatisfied or believe that a Guild member has breached the code of Ethics and Procedure.

All complaints will be treated seriously and handled in a professional, open, honest, fair and transparent manner. Whenever possible, an informal resolution between parties will be sought in the first instance.

The object is to grow and maintain the professional integrity and credibility of its members to both the clients and other professionals.

No anonymous complaints will be accepted, however, we will make every effort to keep your identity undisclosed if you request us to do so.

All people who are subject to a complaint will be innocent of misdemeanour until deemed otherwise. They have the right to courteous and fair communication/action throughout the process.

All people, about whom a complaint is made, shall be given the opportunity to show that the complaint is not well founded.

Complaints will be processed by the Secretary in the first instance and appeals against the outcome will be handled by the Board of Directors.

PROCEDURE FOR DEALING WITH COMPLAINTS

Complaints must be made in writing (either by letter or by email) and contain the name and address of complainant and the name the Guild member that the complaint relates to

  1. Written complaint received by secretary
  2. Secretary checks membership status of the Guild member that the complaint relates to.
  3. If not a member – secretary informs complainant that no action can be taken by the Guild
  4. Secretary acquires contact phone numbers, postal address and email address (if available) for both parties.
  5. A member of the Canine Massage Guild Committee is allocated to deal with the complaint
  6. Investigating Committee member contacts complainant and Guild member individually to establish the facts of the case. The member will be informed of the basis of the complaint and will be given the opportunity to put their case in response. This formal interview may be by telephone at a pre-arranged time to allow preparation of their defence or to take advice.
  7. If complaint is not deemed reasonable (Code of Practice has not been breached) secretary sends email/letter to complainer and Guild member – The Guild will not support the complaint.
  8. If complaint is deemed reasonable (Code of Practice has been breached) Investigating Committee Member leads debate on course of action to be taken.
  9. Email/letter sent to the Guild member and complainant with Guild’s decision.

COMPLAINT UNSUBSTANTIATED

Guild member and complainant informed. No records will be held on file.

COMPLAINTS VALID

Depending on the gravity of the offence, the Guild member will either be given a verbal warning, a written warning, a final warning, a temporary suspension from the Guild until such time that the situation is rectified (e.g. further training taken or facilities improved) or they may be expelled from the Guild and not enjoy the umbrella of the organisation in the future.

Where the Guild member fails to comply with the recommendations of the complaints procedure within reasonable time, disciplinary action make be taken (e.g. failure to obtain relevant insurance will result in a previously suspended Guild member being expelled).

APPEAL PROCEDURE

A Member who is the subject of the decision to be expelled or suspended may appeal to have the decision of the Guild re-considered. The member must notify the Secretary in writing of the intent to appeal within fourteen days of receiving the Guild’s original decision. A member is permitted to appeal once only with regard to a specific disciplinary matter. The decision of the Board of Directors with regard to any such appeal is final.

The Member will be informed of this requirement via the email/letter which communicates the original decision.

The appeals process will involve a review of all the issues and will:

  • Check that a full and fair investigation was made
  • Assess the reasonableness and fairness of the actions in adherence to the Complaints Procedure.
  • Determine whether the decision was reasonable given the facts available at the time
  • Uphold, alter or overturn the decision

GOOD PRACTICE

  • The Secretary and the Investigating Committee Member will hold accurate written/electronic records and reports.
  • Records will be held for one year and then archived and held for a further 7 years (Where a complaint is not upheld, no record shall be held)
  • Information will be held electronically as far as possible and electronic folders and files backed up at regular intervals
  • Confidentiality should be observed in instances where a complainant gives his/her own personal details but requests that they should not be disclosed to the Guild member.