The Norfolk Arborist Complaints Procedure

Who can make a complaint?
This complaints procedure is not limited to customers/clients of The Norfolk Arborist Ltd. Any person, including members of the public, may make a complaint to The Norfolk Arborist Ltd about any provision of services that we provide.
The difference between a concern and a complaint
A concern may be defined as ‘an expression of worry or doubt over an issue considered to be important for which reassurances are sought’.
A complaint may be defined as ‘an expression of dissatisfaction however made, about actions taken or a lack of action’.
It is in everyone’s interest that concerns and complaints are resolved at the earliest possible stage. Many issues can be resolved informally, without the need to use the formal stages of the complaints procedure. The Norfolk Arborist Ltd takes concerns seriously and will make every effort to resolve the matter as quickly as possible.
If you have difficulty discussing a concern with a particular member of staff, we will respect your views. In these cases, We, will refer you to another staff member. Similarly, if the member of staff directly involved feels unable to deal with a concern, We will refer you to another staff member. The member of staff may be more senior but does not have to be. The ability to consider the concern objectively and impartially is more important.
We understand however, that there are occasions when people would like to raise their concerns formally. In this case, The Norfolk Arborist Ltd will attempt to resolve the issue internally, through the stages outlined within this complaints procedure.
How to raise a concern or make a complaint
A concern or complaint can be made in person, in writing or by telephone. They may also be made by a third party acting on behalf of a complainant, as long as they have appropriate consent to do so.
Concerns should be raised with Michael. If the issue remains unresolved, the next step is to make a formal complaint.
Complaints against staff should be made in the first instance, to Michael via the office. Please mark them as Private and Confidential.
Anonymous complaints
We will not normally investigate anonymous complaints. However, if appropriate, we will determine whether the complaint warrants an investigation.

Time scales
You must raise the complaint within 14 days of the incident or, where a series of associated incidents have occurred, within 14 days of the last of these incidents. We will consider complaints made outside of this time frame if exceptional circumstances apply.
Scope of this Complaints Procedure
Staff grievances
Complaints from staff will be dealt with under the internal grievance procedures.
Staff conduct
Complaints about staff will be dealt with under the internal disciplinary procedures, if appropriate.
Complainants will not be informed of any disciplinary action taken against a staff member as a result of a complaint. However, the complainant will be notified that the matter is being addressed
Complaints about services provided.
Complaints about the service provided is to be raised via the internal complaint procedure.

If other bodies are investigating aspects of the complaint, for example the police, local authority (LA) safeguarding teams or Tribunals, this may impact on our ability to adhere to the timescales within this procedure or result in the procedure being suspended until those public bodies have completed their investigations.
If a complainant commences legal action against The Norfolk Arborist Ltd in relation to their complaint, we will consider whether to suspend the complaints procedure in relation to their complaint until those legal proceedings have concluded.
Resolving complaints
At each stage in the procedure, The Norfolk Arborist Ltd wants to resolve the complaint. If appropriate, we will acknowledge that the complaint is upheld in whole or in part. In addition, we may offer one or more of the following:
an explanation
an admission that the situation could have been handled differently or better
an assurance that we will try to ensure the event complained of will not recur
an explanation of the steps that have been or will be taken to help ensure that it will not happen again and an indication of the timescales within which any changes will be made
an undertaking to review The Norfolk Arborist Ltd policies in light of the complaint
an apology.
Withdrawal of a Complaint
If a complainant wants to withdraw their complaint, we will ask them to confirm this in writing.
Formal Complaints
Formal complaints must be made to a Director, via the office. This may be done in person, in writing (preferably on the Complaint Form), or by telephone.
The Director will record the date the complaint is received and will acknowledge receipt of the complaint in writing (either by letter or email) within 10 workingl days.
Within this response, theDirector will seek to clarify the nature of the complaint, ask what remains unresolved and what outcome the complainant would like to see. The director can consider whether a face to face meeting is the most appropriate way of doing this.
Note: The director may delegate the investigation to another member of the leadership team but not the decision to be taken.
During the investigation, the Director (or investigator) will:
if necessary, interview those involved in the matter and/or those complained of, allowing them to be accompanied if they wish
keep a written record of any meetings/interviews in relation to their investigation.
At the conclusion of their investigation, the Director will provide a formal written response within 28 days of the date of receipt of the complaint.
If the Director is unable to meet this deadline, they will provide the complainant with an update and revised response date.
The response will detail any actions taken to investigate the complaint and provide a full explanation of the decision made and the reason(s) for it. Where appropriate, it will include details of actions The Norfolk Arborist Ltd will take to resolve the complaint.