Complaints Procedure

June 2022


1 Introduction

1.1 We aim to maintain high standards in all that we do but recognise that we can sometimes get things wrong, despite our best intentions.

1.2 Creative & Cultural Skills views a complaint as an opportunity, as well as a chance, to put things right for the person making the complaint, and to improve the work of Creative & Cultural Skills. We would not be able to do so or learn for the future if we did not receive feedback when things go wrong. Therefore, we value and take seriously any feedback we receive.

1.3 Generally, the purpose of this Complaints Procedure is to resolve disputes informally without resorting to formal investigation or legal proceedings. We will try to explore every reasonable option to resolve complaints by working with the person making the complaint to agree an outcome which is satisfactory to them and Creative & Cultural Skills.

1.4 Whether your complaint is justified or not, our reply to you will describe the action we have taken to investigate the complaint, conclusions we have reached as a result of the investigation, and any action we have taken or are taking as a result of your complaint.

1.5 We will ensure that all information received and produced in connection with a complaint is treated as confidential and handled sensitively, that only those who need to know have access to that information, and that relevant data protection requirements are all met.

1.6 The information below sets out our Complaints Procedure.

2 Complaints

2.1 A ‘complaint’ in this Procedure means any expression of dissatisfaction in relation to Creative & Cultural Skills that requires a response from Creative & Cultural Skills.

2.2 Complaints may come from those involved in Creative & Cultural Skill’s activities [supporters] or any other person or organisation who has a legitimate interest in Creative & Cultural Skills.

2.3 This Procedure is only for the above type of external complaint, not for complaints or grievances from staff or trustees.

2.4 Whilst complainants are generally entitled to receive responses to a complaint and to challenge any responses received from Creative & Cultural Skills, it will not deal with complaints or challenges where in the reasonable opinion of the Chair of trustees they amount to persistent, habitual or vexatious complaints or challenges.

2.5 Creative & Cultural Skills expects any complainant to be polite and courteous. It will not tolerate aggressive, abusive or unreasonable behaviour or demands.

3 How to make a complaint?

3.1 First Stage: If you have a complaint, you can contact us by phone, email, or letter. To help us investigate and address all complaints, we ask you to provide us with as much information as possible. This should cover:

    • The nature of your complaint
    • Where and when what you are complaining about happened
    • The name(s) of anyone involved (if known)
    • What outcome you are hoping for
    • Your contact details (name, address, daytime telephone number and/or email address)

3.2 Verbal complaints: You can make a complaint by telephone or by speaking to us in person in any of the following ways, during office hours. If your complaint is about any member of staff or trustee, you can phone us on 020 7015 1800 and ask to speak to our Finance Director. They will either speak to you about the complaint or, if they are not the appropriate person to do so, they will arrange for the appropriate person to speak to you on the phone. Alternatively, you can speak (or arrange to speak) in person to the appropriate person about your complaint. If you do not feel that you can approach any of the above verbally for any reason, you can instead write to us as follows.

3.3 Complaints in writing:If you would prefer to write to us, please send your complaint to us as follows:
3.3.1 by letter addressed as follows: Finance Director, Creative & Cultural Skills, Third Floor, Priory Place, New London Road, Chelmsford, Essex CM2 0PP; or
3.3.2 by email to

Once that person has initially received your complaint, we will normally deal with it as follows.

Who the complaint is about Who will investigate and respond to you
Any member of staff (other than the Chief Executive) The Chief Executive
Chief Executive / Trustees Chair of Trustees
Chair of Trustees Company Secretary


3.4 Timescales for all First Stage complaints: We will try to resolve the problem as quickly as possible but if we cannot do this (for example, if we need to investigate further), we will acknowledge receipt of your complaint within the following timescale:
3.4.1 By phone or in person, either immediately or on the same day if you phone us or contact us in person
3.4.2 By email, within two working days if you contact us by email
3.4.3 By letter, within five working days if you contact us by letter

3.5 Our acknowledgement will inform you of when we will next contact you either with a proposed resolution or update. It will also inform you of the name of the person dealing with your complaint. That person will then investigate and deal with it and then respond to you with their definitive reply. You should receive that definitive reply within [four weeks]. If this is not possible because, for example, an investigation has not been fully completed, a progress report will be sent with an indication of when a full reply will be given.

3.6 Second stage: If, for any reason, you are not happy with the resolution of your complaint under the First Stage procedure outlined above, you can bring this to our attention as follows.
3.6.1 by letter addressed as follows: The Chair of Trustees Creative & Cultural Creative & Cultural Skills, Third Floor, Priory Place, New London Road, Chelmsford, Essex CM2 0PP; or
3.6.2 by email to

Please set out clearly the details of the complaint, explaining why you were not satisfied with our response under the First Stage and what you would like us to do to put things right. Your case will then be passed to a panel of at least two trustees (not including any trustee about whom the complaint was made or the trustee who investigated and responded to you under the First Stage). The panel will further investigate your complaint and will contact you with their conclusions and any actions to be taken. You can expect this to take a further ten working days from the date on which we receive your letter or email request to implement the Second Stage.

4 Follow up

4.1 In order for us to make improvements to Creative & Cultural Skills and its activities, we may wish to contact you within [a month] of your complaint being dealt with in order to check that you were satisfied with our resolution. Any information you give will only be used to make improvements to our activities.

5 Taking your complaint outside Creative & Cultural Skills

5.1 [If you pay the levy] The Fundraising Standards Board: If your complaint is about our fundraising work or activities and you are not satisfied with our response, you are entitled to take it to the Fundraising Standards Board. This is the self-regulatory scheme that works to ensure that organisations raising money from the public do so honestly and properly. As a member of the Fundraising Standards Board, we are committed to abiding by any decision they reach on complaints that are escalated to them. Their contact details are:

Fundraising Standards Board, 65 Brushfield Street, London, E1 6AA
Tel: 0333 321 8803

5.2 Charity Commission: If your complaint is about any [other] aspect of our charitable work [other than our fundraising work or activities], you may wish to contact the Charity Commission. However, we ask that, before you do so, you allow us to try and address your concerns. The Commission has guidance on its website as to when to direct complaints to a charity and not to the Commission. Their contact details are:

Charity Commission Direct, PO Box 1227, Liverpool, L69 3UG
Tel: 0845 300 0218

5.3 Office of the Information Commissioner: If a complaint relates to your personal data, it may be appropriate to contact the Office of the Information Commissioner. Again, we ask that you allow us to try and address your concerns. Their contact details are:

Information Commissioner’s Office
Tel: 0303 123 1113