Complaints

Complaints & Appeals

QMS always tries to maximise client satisfaction.  However, we recognise that there are occasions on which clients might feel that matters could have been handled better.  We have in place a rigorous Complaints and Appeals Procedure which ensures that all complaints and appeals are handled fairly and promptly, the main points of which are outlined below:

General

  1. A verbal or written statement is regarded as a complaint whenever the client expresses dissatisfaction over a QMS decision related to certification;  i.e. granting, maintaining, renewing, extending, reducing, suspending and withdrawing of certification, or any other  unacceptable situation arising out of QMS activities with the client, and the client expects a response.
  2. Complaints do not include matters of a minor nature which can be readily resolved without invoking a formal procedure.
  3. A verbal or written statement is considered as an appeal whenever the client requests a QMS decision related to certification to be reconsidered; i.e. granting, maintaining, renewing, extending, reducing, suspending and withdrawing of certification.
  4. QMS is responsible for all decisions at all levels of the appeals-handling procedure.  Persons engaged in this procedure are different from those who carried out the audits and made the certification decisions.
  5. Submission, investigation and decision on appeals do not result in any discriminatory actions against the appellant.
  6. Upon receipt of a complaint, QMS confirms whether the complaint relates to certification activities that it is responsible for and, if so, deals with it in accordance with the established procedures.  If the complaint relates to a certified client, then examination of the complaint duly considers the effectiveness of the certified management system.
  7. Any complaint about a certified client will also be referred by QMS to the certified client in question at an appropriate time.
  8. The Complaints and Appeals Procedure is subjected to requirements for confidentiality, as it relates to the complainant and to the subject of the complaint.

Complaints

  1. Complaints should be e-mailed to [email protected] .  However, complaints presented by e-mail, telephone or letter to any member of QMS staff will be processed in the same way, provided they have been clearly identified as complaints.
  2. A unique reference number will be allocated to each complaint.
  3. QMS aims to make an initial response, including provision of the unique reference number, within 5 working days.  No guarantee can be made of the timescale for final closure of a complaint, as this depends on the exact circumstances.
  4. The default method of communication is e-mail, although other means will be used if requested by the client.
  5. Complaints are normally dealt with by the Manager of the Department responsible for the activity against which the complaint has been made.
  6. All complaints are tracked to ensure that they are dealt with as promptly as possible.
  7. Where necessary, regular progress reports will be provided.
  8. A final decision will be issued via e-mail.
  9. Confirmation will be provided that a complaint has been closed.
  10. All current and closed complaints opened within the previous month are discussed at QMS’s monthly Managers’ Meeting and corrective actions taken are reviewed for their effectiveness.  Where considered appropriate, discussion may be initiated with the parties involved on whether the subject of the complaint and its resolution should be made public.

Appeals

  1. Appeals should be e-mailed to [email protected] .  However, appeals presented by e-mail, telephone or letter to any member of QMS staff will be processed in the same way, provided they have been clearly identified as appeals.
  2. A unique reference number will be allocated to each appeal.
  3. QMS aims to make an initial response, including provision of the unique reference number, within 5 working days.  No guarantee can be made of the timescale for final closure of a appeal, as this depends on the exact circumstances.
  4. The default method of communication is e-mail, although other means will be used if requested by the client.
  5. The appeal will be dealt with by QMS’s CEO, who will not have been involved in the original subject of the appeal.  The CEO will form an Appeals Management Team, none of whom will have been directly involved in any related audit and certification processes.
  6. All appeals are tracked to ensure that they are dealt with as promptly as possible.
  7. Where necessary, regular progress reports will be provided.
  8. A final decision will be issued via e-mail.
  9. Confirmation will be provided that an appeal has been closed.
  10. All current and closed appeals opened within the previous month are discussed at QMS’s monthly Managers’ Meeting and corrective actions taken are reviewed for their effectiveness.  Where considered appropriate, discussion may be initiated with the parties involved on whether the subject of the appeal and its resolution should be made public.