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    Complaints Procedure

    Complaints Procedure

    Guide to NCDV Complaints Procedure

    NCDV seeks to provide a high quality, caring and informed service. We are constantly working to ensure the service we provide best meets the needs and concerns of our service users. If you believe you have not received the level of consideration and information you expect, we ask you to tell us about it. Your complaints provide us with information about where you think we are going wrong, and also what you think of us. We take your complaints seriously and will investigate them so we can respond appropriately to you and learn and improve our service.


    • A complaint for the purpose of this policy is an expression of dissatisfaction about the service, whether it is found to be justified or not.
    • Our policy covers complaints about;
      1. the standard of the service we provide
      2. the behaviour of staff working on the helpline or casework team
      3. the conduct of 3rd parties arranged by NCDV*
    • Our complaints policy does not cover;
      1. comments or dissatisfaction about our policies or policy decisions
      2. matters that have already been fully investigated through this complaints procedure
    • We will not investigate complaints raised more than six months after the initial contact unless there are exceptional circumstances as to why the complaint could not have been brought forward within this timescale.
    • If you do not wish to provide your information when making a complaint we will be unable to provide feedback but will always conduct the same thorough internal investigation into any issues raised.


    The following will tell you:

    1. How to complain to NCDV
    2. How we will deal with your complaint
    3. What to do if you remain dissatisfied


    How to Complain

    In the first instance a complaint should be submitted in writing to either [email protected] or to NCDV, Edgeborough House, Upper Edgeborough Road, Guildford, Surrey, GU1 2BJ. If for any reason this is not possible for you then you may request a reasonable adjustment and a manager can call you to receive your complaint verbally when one is available.

    To help us deal with your complaint effectively you should include details of what the problem is, how it occurred, how it has affected you and what you consider we should now do to put the matter right or prevent it happening again. You should also include details of the time and date of your call if applicable, your name and a contact number or address so that we may respond to you.

    How will you deal with my complaint?

    Complaints often differ in nature and complexity and in dealing with any complaints made in accordance with the Complaints Procedure we will seek to apply three basic principles.

    • To investigate as quickly and impartially as possible.
    • To provide you with a full response outlining the findings of the investigation and wherever possible resolving the matter to your satisfaction.
    • To keep the steps of the Complaints Procedure, as set out below, separate from each other.


    What are the steps of the Complaints Procedure?

    • We will acknowledge your complaint within 3 working days of its receipt. – If by post it shout be date stamped with a company stamp.
    • A manager will investigate the complaint, speaking directly with the party who the complaint is regarding.
    • Having spoken to all relevant parties, the manager will respond to the complainant within 14 working days from the date of receipt. If we need longer to investigate the complaint the complainant will be contacted within those 14 working days from the date of receipt and notified.
    • The response may include the following depending on the circumstances and investigation findings.
    • An explanation and apology
    • An explanation of our policy
    • An indication of changes made as a result of the complaint
    • Notification of any disciplinary action taken against the employee
    • Notification of any conversations had with any relevant 3rd party
    • Advice regarding complaints made about any 3rd parties


    What if I am still not satisfied?

    If you feel that the situation has not been satisfactorily dealt with, the final appeal may go to the Board of Directors. They can be contacted by the same means as above.

    A representative of the Board will respond to the complaint within three weeks from the date of receipt, if they cannot respond within three weeks the complainant will be notified.

    There will be no further opportunity to appeal against the Board’s decision.

    If you are still not satisfied following the determination of a board member, you can raise your concerns with the Office of the Regulator of Community Interest Companies by clicking here.

    If the complainant wishes to complain about a separate issue they must follow the complaints procedure from the initial stages as outlined above.

    Details of complaints are kept on file for twenty-four months.

    This policy was updated on the 22nd of December 2022 and will be reviewed on a regular basis

    *Please note complaints regarding 3rd parties should be directed to them in the first instance however NCDV will always provide advice and take steps where possible to help find a resolution.

    **For complaints regarding data breaches or how we have handled your data please see our privacy notice or ask for a copy to be sent to you via email or post by calling us on 0800 970 2070.

    By Fiona Bawden, Times Online (8th May 2007)

    “Steve Connor, a student at City Law School, is a man on a mission. Six years ago he was a fairly directionless 27-year-old. Today, as well as taking the Bar Vocational Course, he is chairman of the National Centre for Domestic Violence, a ground-breaking organisation that he dragged into existence after a friend could not get legal help to protect her from an abusive partner.

    Connor’s route to the Bar has been circuitous. In 2001 he returned from a year in Australia (he says that he would not dignify describing it as a gap year), and took a job as a process server in South London. The job (“I just saw it advertised in the paper”) was not quite as dull as it sounds. On one occasion he was threatened with a machete, on another, he was nearly stabbed by a man he had arranged to meet on Clapham Common to serve with a non-molestation order: “He’d seemed really friendly on the phone…”

    The turning point in his life came when a friend, who was being abused by her partner, turned to him for support. Connor went with her to the police. She did not want to press criminal charges so the police suggested that she visit a solicitor to take out a civil injunction. “We must have seen 12 solicitors in a morning. We just went from one to the next to the next to the next. Everyone was very eager to help until we sat down to fill in the forms for the legal aid means test,” he says. The woman, who had a small child, did not qualify for public funding. But, Connor says, her financial situation as it appeared on paper did not bear any relation to her financial situation in reality. “She had a part-time job and she and her partner owned their home. Yet she didn’t have any money. Her boyfriend was very controlling and controlled all the money; he kept the chequebooks and didn’t let her have access to the bank account.”

    The injustice of the situation got under Connor’s skin. “I just couldn’t believe that there was no help available to people who did not qualify for public funds but could not afford to pay.

    I just kept feeling that this must be able to be sorted if only someone would address it.”That “someone” turned out to be him.

    In 2002, thanks entirely to Connor’s doggedness, the London Centre for Domestic Violence was formed. It started out with him and a friend, but is now a national organisation, covering 27 counties, and has helped approximately 10,000 victims last year to take out injunctions against their partners.

    NCDV now has nine full-time staff, 12 permanent volunteers and has trained over 5000 law and other students as McKenzie Friends to accompany unrepresented victims into court. We have also trained over 8000 police officers in civil remedies available regarding domestic violence. The National Centre for Domestic Violence (NCDV) has branches in London, Guildford and Manchester and is on track to have branches in 16 areas within the next two years.

    NCDV specialises exclusively in domestic violence work and could be characterised as a cross between McDonald’s and Claims Direct. The high degree of specialisation means that its processes are streamlined: clients can be seen quickly and the work is done speedily and cheaply. “Sometimes, we will have one of our trained McKenzie Friends at a court doing 10 applications in one day,” Connor says.

    Clients are not charged for the service. NCDV staff take an initial statement: clients who qualify for legal aid are referred to a local firm; those that don’t get free help from the centre itself. It runs on a shoestring, heavily reliant on volunteers and capping staff salaries at £18,000 a year.

    Steve expects to qualify as a barrister this summer and hopes that having a formal legal qualification will give the centre added clout. “We are already acknowledged as experts and consulted at a high level, so I thought it would be helpful if I could back that up by being able to say I’m a barrister,” he says. He is just about to complete a one-year full-time BVC course at the City Law School (formerly the Inns of Court Law School) and, all being well, should be called to the Bar in July. Although Connor sees his long-term future as a barrister, he says that he has no immediate plans to practise. “I want to get NCDV running on a fully national level. Then I may take a step back and have a career at the Bar.”