Complaints policy and procedure for Communicourt Intermediaries
Communicourt welcomes feedback on the service that Communicourt Intermediaries provide.
Complaints concerning significant professional misconduct or incompetence of a Communicourt Intermediary are likely to be resolved through the formal complaint procedure. Other complaints, not relating to matters of professional conduct, can be handled through informal means. Communicourt reserves the right to determine the appropriate route for each complaint.
This complaints policy and procedure sets out how all complaints, both informal and formal, are to be handled.
A complaint may be brought for a number of reasons, including professional misconduct or deficient performance. The Communicourt Intermediary Codes of Practice and Ethics refer to the conduct and standards expected of Intermediaries operating through Communicourt.
Communicourt will not investigate any complaint made against a person(s) who is not a Communicourt employee.
If the complaint concerns an issue for which other procedures exist (for example if it warrants a police investigation) then it will be dealt with under those procedures rather than as a complaint. Communicourt reserves the right to report the complaint to a relevant professional body and suspend these procedures pending a resolution of the issue by that professional body.
All complaints should, whether formal or informal, be reported to Communicourt within 30 days of the incident taking place. However, under exceptional circumstances (for instance where a complaint could not be brought within this timeframe for reasons of legal or other proceedings) these will be considered.
- Informal complaints
Many concerns can be dealt with satisfactorily without the need to resort to the formal procedure. If the complaint relates to an issue other than the significant professional misconduct or incompetence of an Intermediary, it can be the subject of an informal complaint. An informal complaint can be made either via email, our website Contact us – Communicourt, telephone or in written form, and an informal meeting may be arranged to discuss the matter and seek a satisfactory resolution.
All informal complaints should be addressed to email@example.com, by calling 0121 663 0931 or in writing to:
210-222 Hagley Road West
Communicourt will acknowledge its receipt of an informal complaint within 24 hours of it being received. Should the complaint be about a general matter, Communicourt may be able to respond immediately.
Most informal complaints should be subsequently resolved within 3 working days of the complaint being acknowledged. However, should this informal procedure require more time, Communicourt will inform the complainant of this in writing as soon as this is known.
Should these informal procedures appear unlikely to resolve the issue, either the complainant or Communicourt may initiate a move to the formal complaints procedure.
- Formal complaints
All formal complaints should be made either via email, telephone or in written form (if necessary, on behalf of the Complainant) to firstname.lastname@example.org, our website Contact us – Communicourt, telephone by calling 0121 663 0931, or in writing to:
210-222 Hagley Road West,
The complainant should set out the precise nature of the complaint in writing and include the name of the Intermediary, their own name and full contact details. The complainant should keep a copy of this and all other relevant correspondence.
Communicourt will acknowledge receipt of a formal complaint within 24 hours of it being received. Anonymous complaints will not be accepted or acknowledged.
The person(s) to which the formal complaint refers will be served with a copy of the written complaint within 3 working days of its receipt by Communicourt. As appropriate, address/contact details for the complainant will be removed from this copy.
For complaints that relate to specific actions or an issue relating to the professional conduct or competence of an Intermediary, there is likely to be a need for further investigation in order to establish the facts. Communicourt will decide whether an investigation is appropriate and what form this should take.
Stage 1 – Complaint Verification
Communicourt will seek to establish the nature of the complaint and the background to it. This must involve contact with the parties involved to assess and ascertain whether the complaint can be resolved informally. If that is the case, Communicourt will propose an appropriate resolution.
Stage 2 – Full Investigation
If the complaint cannot be resolved through an informal process it will then proceed to be investigated through the full complaints procedure.
Complaints received against an Intermediary are to be reviewed on a case-by-case basis depending on their nature, and suspension of the Intermediary concerned would be considered on an on-going basis as the investigation proceeds. If, at any point during the investigation, Communicourt felt that the interests of defendants would not be served by the Intermediary being allowed to continue to practice, then the Intermediary would be suspended. Communicourt’s decision is final on this matter and suspension may be lifted pending the outcome of the investigation.
A full investigation should be completed within 7 working days, unless there are circumstances which require a longer period of investigation
The complainant will be informed in writing should more time be required and an indication of the likely additional time needed will also be communicated.
Communicourt will decide whether the complaint should be upheld or not.
Communicourt will send a copy of the report to all parties, within 3 working days of the completion of the investigation. Such reports are not intended for publication.
Any party may appeal by setting out the reasons why they are not satisfied with either the investigation or the decision of Communicourt, this must be made within 10 working days of the decision. This notice of appeal should be made either via email to email@example.com, our website Contact us – Communicourt, telephone on 0121 663 0931, or in written form (if necessary, on behalf of the Complainant):
Chair of Communicourt Quality Assurance Board (CQAB)
210-222 Hagley Road West,
The Chair of the CQAB will acknowledge the receipt of an appeal within 24 hours.
The Chair of the CQAB will consider the notice of appeal and determine whether there are good grounds for believing either that the matter has not been investigated in a fair and reasonable manner or that the decision(s) is unreasonable in the light of all the circumstances of the complaint.
If the Chair considers that there are such grounds, an Appeal Complaints Panel will be appointed within 5 working days of the receipt of the appeal being acknowledged.
All parties will be subsequently informed of the appointment of an Appeal Complaints Panel within 2 working days of it being appointed.
The Appeal Complaints Panel will comprise 3 members and, wherever practicable, will include a member with a working knowledge of law and the criminal justice system. The decision of the Chair of the CQAB on membership of the Appeal Complaints Panel will be final.
The Appeal Complaints Panel will meet and will consider the complaint, the report on the investigation of the complaint and the CQAB decision. The Appeal Complaints Panel may consider such representations from others as it deems appropriate, and, in particular, may receive representations in person or in writing from any person regarding the subject of the complaint.
Any party may request to make an oral representation to the Appeal Complaints Panel by informing the CQAB of this within 5 working days of being notified that the Appeal Complaints Panel has been appointed. In such circumstances, any party may arrange for a professional representative to accompany them to the meeting of the Appeal Complaints Panel.
In so far as is possible, the Appeal Complaints Panel will meet within 10 working days of all parties being informed of its appointment.
Having considered the matter, they may:
• Dismiss an appeal (with or without varying the remedial action thought to be necessary to resolve the issue)
• Issue a new report (with or without varying the remedial action thought to be necessary to resolve the issue
• Terminate the complaints procedure by dismissing the complaint
The Appeal Complaints Panel’s action will be communicated to all parties within 4 working days of it meeting and this will be confidential to the complainant and the CQAB.
At the stage at which the Appeal Complaints Panel’s decision has been communicated to all parties, the issue will be considered closed and no further consideration of the complaint will follow. However, if you are still not satisfied with the with either the investigation or the decision of the CQAB please inform us within 10 working days of the decision. This notice of appeal should be made either via email to firstname.lastname@example.org, our website Contact us – Communicourt, telephone on 0121 663 0931, or in written form (if necessary, on behalf of the Complainant):
Chair of CQAB
210-222 Hagley Road West,
The Chair of the CQAB will acknowledge the receipt of an appeal within 24 hours and will then escalate your complaint to The Authority (HMCTS). Should further escalation be required HMCTS will do so by contacting The Witness Intermediary Scheme’s Quality Assurance Board for further investigation/resolution.