The CECOPS Complaints Procedure
One of the main aims of CECOPS is to drive up the quality and safety of assistive technology related services. We trust that organisations opting to work with various aspects of our Codes share this aim, and will therefore work to the principles the Codes set out.
To maintain the reputation of the Code of Practice as an indicator of quality, it is necessary to investigate any complaints we receive about individuals or organisations registered with us, where such a complaint is relevant to assistive technology related issues. We operate a ‘strict but fair’ policy where we expect individuals/organisations working with any of our Codes to do so in a professional manner. However, we do acknowledge that even when organisations try to work to the principles of the Codes, they may not always get it right, especially where a Code is being adopted for the first time.
This complaints procedure gives clear and useful information about what we will do if we receive a complaint about an individual or organisation who is a Registered User, Accredited User or Approved Trainer with CECOPS.
What is a complaint?
Anyone can submit a legitimate complaint about individuals or organisations registered, accredited or approved by the CECOPS. A complaint can be made to CECOPS about any of the areas covered in our Codes of Practice.
When registering with the relevant Code, organisations are making a public declaration that they agree to work to the principles of the Code. It is therefore the responsibility of Registered Users to self-regulate and monitor their own compliance.
CECOPS works with an independent inspection body for assessing organisations wishing to become Accredited Users of the Code. There are separate guidelines available for Accredited Users, setting out the processes of failing to achieve or maintain the Code’s standards. If therefore the nature of the complaint relates specifically to Accredited Users this may be passed to the independent regulator.
CECOPS arranges the initial training for those wishing to become Approved Trainers. CECOPS also provides training materials for the trainers to use. Individuals wishing to receive training from an Approved Trainer are required to make the necessary arrangements directly with the Approved Trainer – see Approved Trainer section on CECOPS website.
The training sessions provided by Approved Trainers will have feedback forms provided for students to complete and send back to CECOPS. These forms help CECOPS with quality assurance issues relating to the content of the subject taught, together with the quality of the training. Any complaints highlighted within the feedback forms will be dealt with appropriately.
When a complaint is submitted, the appropriate Director will decide whether it is a matter covered by the Code of Practice.
Complaints submitted will be considered in the first instance by the appropriate Director. The complaint may be brought to the Board of Directors, depending on the nature and severity of the complaint.
Where a complaint is made against a Registered User, Accredited User or an Approved Trainer of the Code, CECOPS will, in the first instance, make the individual/organisation aware of the nature of the complaint. CECOPS will endeavour to ensure all of the relevant facts are carefully considered before taking any action. The respondent individual or organisation will be invited to submit an explanation or defence.
Our main course of action will always be with a view to assisting individuals and organisations registered, accredited or approved, with us to maintain compliance, and in preventing further causes for complaint arising. This could include providing advice; signposting to other services such as training, health-checks on services; agreeing an action plan for improvement.
CECOPS is not a regulatory authority in its own right and is therefore not in a position to enforce compliance or impose legal sanctions for breaching Code requirements. However, CECOPS does reserve the right to withdraw registration/approval status from any individual/organisation guilty of serious neglect, disregard or repeated breaches of the Code requirements. Should this be the case, there will be ample scope to appeal the decision.
Both the complainant and the respondent company may appeal to the Code of Practice Appeal Board against rulings made. The Code of Practice Appeal Board is chaired by an independent legally qualified chairman and includes independent members from outside the industry.
A separate appeals procedure exists for Accredited Users of the Code of Practice. Details will be provided to organisations achieving Accreditation.
How to make a complaint
Click on ‘Contact us’.
Complaints can be emailed to us at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Call 01494 863398 and explain the nature of your call.
Letters can be sent to: Executive Director, CECOPS, 71 Church Street, Great Missenden, Buckinghamshire, HP16 0AZ
Every matter will be dealt with in confidence and will not be passed or disclosed to any third party, except where they need to know as part of the complaint investigation. It may not in all cases be possible to remain anonymous.
The CECOPS Team