It is club policy that this procedure will be adopted in a manner so as to make those wishing to register a complaint or grievance to feel they may do so safe in the knowledge it will be dealt with fairly and that they should feel free to raise their concerns without fear of victimisation or reprisal.
It is further considered to be appropriate that wherever possible such matters should be dealt with amicably within the club itself, where appropriate bilaterally between the aggrieved party and the person believed by them to be the cause of the issue or concern.
How to Make a Complaint
Rather than allowing an issue or concern to fester, it is strongly advised that any person suffering a grievance should raise it promptly as soon as the issue manifests itself:
i) Discrimination, harassment or abuse
No person should be subjected to discrimination, harassment or abuse. If you believe this behaviour is occurring, please make a complaint:
Complaints should be submitted in writing to firstname.lastname@example.org.
If your complaint involves suspicions of harm against a child, please immediately call Chloe Connell, Chief Welfare Officer on 07908 626331.
ii) Training Sessions or Matches
If your complaint is about training sessions or match games, do not raise these directly with the coach at training sessions or pitch side before/during/after matches. All complaints should be made in the first instance to email@example.com.
iii) Any other complaint
If your complaint is about leadership or an aspect not covered above, please email either firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
Stage 1 – Informal review
As soon as an aggrieved party is clear about their concerns they should inform their parent representative who will offer advise or discuss with the appropriate management committee member.
All club officials are charged with making themselves available to listen to such concerns objectively and, where the concerns are legitimate and appear to be in breach of club policy, to remedy the issue as soon as is reasonably practicable. Should the concern not be considered legitimate for good reason and such reasons are clearly stated to the aggrieved party who accepts the explanation then no further action is required.
In the event the parties are unable to reach such an agreement the procedure will proceed to stage 2.
Stage 2 – Formal review
Any formal grievance must be submitted in writing to the Head Coach if in relation to Coaching or Club Secretary if in relation to operations.
Upon receipt of a written grievance the recipient (Responder) will:
- Acknowledge receipt of the grievance within 7 days of its receipt;
- Consider the significance of the grievance (with other designated responders where appropriate) in order to determine an appropriate course of action. Should the grievance be considered serious it will be referred directly to the Welfare Officer.
- Where a decision is made to progress the complaint within the club the Responder will inform the person(s) against whom the complaint is made and provide detail of the allegations or complaint. The accused person will be invited to provide a signed written statement in response to the allegations within 7 days of receipt.
- Upon receipt of the accused person(s) statement the Responder may request written statements from other relevant persons/witnesses to obtain corroborative evidence.
- Then, depending on the nature or significance of the complaint, the Responder may either:
- Attempt to resolve the situation by implementing an action which is fair, reasonable and proportional to the complaint, or
- If the matter cannot be resolved it should be passed to the next higher designated authority namely the Chairman or Club Secretary.
- Responders will aim to respond fully to all grievances within 14 days of receipt of the original grievance or, where that is not reasonably practicable, to provide an alternative timescale within that timeframe.
- Once an action has been determined the accused person(s) will be notified in writing of the course of action to be taken and the aggrieved party will be informed about the outcome of the enquiry.
- In the event the grievance is upheld and action is taken against the accused person(s) they will have the right to appeal within two weeks of receipt of the letter describing the course of action and Stage 3 of this procedure will then be implemented.
- Should a grievance not be upheld, the aggrieved party will have the right to appeal within 7 days receipt of the letter describing the outcome and Stage 3 of this procedure will then be implemented.
Stage 3 – Escalation or Appeal
Appeals will be made in writing to the Chairman within 7 days of the Stage 2 decision. Such appeals must include the original grievance, the documented response and clear justifications for the basis of the appeal explaining why the outcome was flawed.
Upon receipt of an appeal the Chairman will:
- Review the submission and determine whether there is a clear case of error or not. In the event the appeal is considered frivolous or argumentative the appeal may be rejected at this stage without further review. Where the Chairman considers the appeal may have merit he/she will:
- Appoint one other club committee member, or one other club member who may have relevant expertise or perspective and/or the welfare officer, to review the appeal in a closed meeting with the Chairman (the Appeal Committee).
- Following such meeting the Appeal Committee will arrange a formal review with the appellant, the accused Person(s) (should they not be the appellant), any witnesses the Appeal Committee consider necessary and any person(s) the appellant/accused person(s) may wish to represent or assist them. The date of such review will not be set so early as to prevent adequate preparation, nor so late as to incur inappropriate delay. Normally such reviews will take place behind closed doors.
- Chair the Appeal Review inviting submissions from all relevant parties, directing discussions and summarising the events/issues as described by the parties present.
- Wherever possible, following such review, the Appeal Committee will either uphold the original decision or reject it. Exceptionally they may consider it appropriate to modify the original determination in which case such ruling may itself become subject to Appeal.
Last updated 07 November 2018