Complaints Procedure

MARYHILL HARRIERS ATHLETICS CLUB
GENERAL COMPLAINT PROCEDURES and DISCIPLINARY POLICY

Introduction

It is the policy of Maryhill Harriers Athletics Club to promote good relations between the club and its members. As a result it attaches the greatest importance to the principle of fair and consistent treatment of all its members. The club recognises the need for the highest standard of conduct of its members in order that it may achieve its main objectives as stated in its constitution.
The General Complaints Procedures is intended to be a good practice guide
which will apply to most general complaints received by clubs. The purpose of
the disciplinary procedure is to ensure that members know what is expected of them in terms of standards and conduct and that they are made aware of any shortcomings in their conduct at an early stage and given the opportunity and support to address these.

Definition of a Complaint
A complaint is an expression of dissatisfaction about:
a) The conduct, actions or omissions by members of the club, or volunteers for
whom the club are responsible.
b) The conduct or actions of athletes and parents/guardians.
c) The conduct, actions or omissions of the elected general committee.

A formal complaint must be submitted in writing to the club secretary.

GENERAL PRINCIPLES
1 Accessibility
1.1 Members including athletes and parents/guardians should always know how they can raise concerns or lodge a complaint with the club. Complaints
procedures should be easily accessible and well publicised.

2 Efficiency
2.1 Procedures should be as speedy as possible, consistent with fairness to all.

3 Redress
3.1 If the outcome of the complaints procedures show that the club is at fault, it is often sufficient to provide redress in the form of an acknowledgement that the complaint is valid. Alternatively, it may be appropriate to offer one or more of: an apology, an explanation, a promise that the event complained of will not recur, an undertaken to review club policies, constitution or practices in the light of the complaint.

4 Support for complainant
4.1 It is important that the complainant knows that at any stage of the procedure, they can be accompanied by a friend, relative or representative and to know where they can go for information, advice and support, if required.
5. Support for a person complained against
5.1 Persons who may be questioned as part of the investigation of a complaint
must feel that they are being treated fairly, that they will have the opportunity to put their case and that a friend, relative or representative may accompany them at any stage. There is a crucial balance to be maintained between supporting the individual so that his/her rights are maintained and reputation protected, and investigating a complaint thoroughly and impartially.
5.2 The complaints procedure is distinct from formal disciplinary proceedings
for members and this needs to be made clear to all concerned. However, there
may be occasions where a complaint leads to a disciplinary procedure which
puts the complaints process on hold. If so, the complainant should be informed of this, without going into details, and updated regularly on likely further delay.
After the disciplinary process is completed it will be necessary to decide what
further responses to the complainant is required.

6. Confidentiality
6.1 It is very important to treat all concerns and complaints with discretion. It is
vital that members, athletes, parents/guardians feel confident that their
complaint will not penalise them or their child. However, a complainant will
need to be aware that information will have to be shared with those involved in
order that the complaint can be investigated
6.2 It is usual to disregard anonymous complaints, but the danger is that they
may relate to something serious and the complainant may subsequently surface and say that he/she alerted the club. It should be at the Chairman’s discretion to decide whether the gravity of an anonymous complaint warrants a complaint.
7. Record Keeping
7.1 Complaints should be recorded and monitored regularly by committee
members. It is recommended that recording should begin at the point when an
initial concern or complaint cannot be resolved immediately but needs some
investigation and/or consultation with others in the club and a subsequent
report back to the complainant.

General Complaints Procedures
A Guide for Members, Athletes and Parents/Guardians

Stage 1 (Informal Stage)
You should contact the club first and discuss your concerns with a relevant
committee member or club coach. Most problems can be dealt with successfully and promptly at this stage.

Stage 2
To pursue a complaint at this stage, you should make arrangements to meet the Chairman. If the Chairman is unable to deal with the complaint straight away, he/she should be able to tell you what action will be taken. The Chairman should also tell you when and how they will report back to you.If the complaint is not resolved by the Chairman within this stage, the complaint is escalated to Stage 3.

Stage 3
3a) If you have complained formally in writing to the Club Secretary, the club will let you know that it has received your complaint within 5 working days. The complaint should be directed initially to the club secretary who will then arrange for the committee to come together. The elected general committee will then conduct an investigation. However, where appropriate, Scottish Athletics will investigate a complaint on behalf of the club, and report back.
You will be given the outcome of the investigation, in writing, normally within 14 working days of the final outcome of the investigation.

The club can choose to identify a specific member of the general committee to act as the contact point for complaints (normally this would be club secretary, unless the complaint is directly related to the secretary).
3b) If your complaint is about the club Chairman, you can complain directly, in
writing, to the Secretary of Scottish Athletics.

The elected general committee will be the final arbiter of complaints. An appeal may be made to Scottish Athletics, but only on the basis that the club has failed to follow its own procedures, not against the actual decision.

Stage 4
You may believe that your complaint was not handled fairly according to the
clubs own complaints procedures. In this case you can ask Scottish Athletics to investigate. 

 

Review

  • This policy and these procedures will be regularly reviewed :
  • In accordance with changes in legislation and guidance on the complaints procedure or following any changes within Maryhill Harriers
  • In all other circumstances at least every three years (Updated April 2017 and due for review April 2020).