VALUES & PRINCIPLES THAT GUIDE BGRC’s APPROACH TO DEALING WITH COMPLAINTS
You have the right to complain if you believe another members conduct or behaviour contravenes the BGRC Code of Conduct. This could be because you think they have behaved in a way that is unsafe, unprofessional, discriminatory, offensive or intimidating, or it could be because they have broken important rules, safety procedures, or policies.
Bridport Gig Club takes complaints seriously and the Board of Directors of BGRC will give your complaint full consideration, with a view to achieving resolution of the issue(s). You should not be harassed, bullied or put at a disadvantage because of making a complaint. However the Club will always encourage open communication and face-to-face discussion in the first instance – where possible and where it is advisable to do so – to resolve grievances without the need for escalation if we can.
BGRC’s process for dealing with complaints in based on the following principles:
- Equality: you should receive a proper response to your complaint, regardless of your age, gender, disability, race, religion, nationality, social status, sexual orientation or political persuasion.
- Fairness: complaints should be dealt with fairly and openly. Unless it would put other people at risk, those affected by a complaint should have a chance to contribute and respond to any investigation.
- Safety and welfare take priority: priority will be given to concerns that affect safety and welfare. Issues affecting children will be treated very seriously and will automatically be communicated to the BGRC Safeguarding Lead.
- Confidentiality: grievances and/or complaints will be treated as confidentially and sensitively as possible.
Sometimes the Directors of BGRC have to discuss complaints with other organisations. If we are worried about a risk to a person or to the public, we might need to pass on our concerns to the right authorities. If necessary, we will get advice from other organisations such as the Local Authority, the Cornish Pilot Gig Association (CPGA) or British Rowing (BR).
WHAT TO DO IF A GRIEVANCE OCCURS
In the first instance the BGRC Directors will always encourage all parties involved in a grievance/complaint to attempt to resolve the issue informally, respectfully and via a face-to-face discussion with all parties involved, without the need for further escalation.
In the event that an informal discussion between parties does not resolve the issue, the impartial involvement of a Captain and/or the Rowing Captain can be requested to facilitate resolution.
Should it not be possible to reach resolution via a discussion involving all parties in the presence of their Captain and/or the Rowing Captain, any member can raise a grievance/complaint via the submission of the BGRC complaint form, sent to the BGRC Board of Directors.
HOW TO MAKE A COMPLAINT
The BGRC Directors and the BGRC Welfare Officer will agree a process for examining, addressing and responding to the grievance/complaint. Discretion will be used if the grievance relates to a Director or the Welfare Officer. The complainant will receive a written response to their complaint from the Welfare Officer, or an elected Director, within 21 days of receipt of the written complaint form.
A BGRC complaint form is available to anyone who wishes to formally register a complaint which assists with keeping the reporting of any issue to a factual summary. We strongly encourage all club members to use the complaint form if this course of action is necessary.
All formal (written) complaints should be brought to the attention of BGRC Board of Directors within a month of the time the said grievance/complaint occurred. Retrospectively reported grievances may not be examined or considered if they are raised after a period of 6 months (or more) has elapsed after any alleged issue arises.
If you are worried about the safety or welfare of a child, yourself, or anyone else inside or outside of the club, you need to speak to the BGRC Safeguarding Lead and BGRC Welfare Officer.
WHO TO CONTACT TO MAKE A COMPLAINT
Complaints should be sent to the Directors. Complaints will usually be handled by the BGRC Board of Directors, Welfare Officer or another relevant Officer.
Complaint forms may be emailed to: firstname.lastname@example.org
WHAT WILL WE INVESTIGATE?
The BGRC Directors will give an initial response to your complaint, to acknowledge receipt, within 5 working days, however we reserve the right to allow 21 days to address any complaint fully.
If the matter is urgent, we will respond more quickly. BGRC will investigate your complaint fairly. This means that we will discuss the complaint with all of the relevant people. We will try to gather any information that may be relevant to handling your complaint, but this may take additional time.
Sometimes we will ask to show copies of information from the investigation to other people to allow them to respond. This is because we believe in fairness and openness. We will not share information if we think that this will endanger someone’s safety or welfare.
HOW WILL I KNOW WHAT IS HAPPENING?
You will be given the details of a person (Director) who will be your point of contact within BGRC. That person will make sure that you understand the process, and will help to answer any questions or concerns that you have. You will be given regular updates on the progress of your complaint, including the outcome.
If there are delays in handling your complaint for any reason, we will keep you informed. If your complaint leads to formal disciplinary action against someone, we will usually inform you about the outcome.
We will not tell you the outcome if that person is a child, or if we believe that telling you would create a risk to other people. In this situation, we will still try to tell you about how you are affected by the action that we have taken.
If you do not believe your complaint is being handled in a sufficiently timely manner, you may contact the BGRC Welfare Officer for impartial advice.
WHAT ARE THE POSSIBLE OUTCOMES OF MY COMPLAINT?
In many cases, we are able to resolve problems informally and this is always our preferred course of action if possible. This might include:
- An explanation or apology
- An agreement to communicate or act differently in future.If an informal resolution is not suitable, then the Directors will look at the information about the complaint. If necessary the BGRC Welfare Officer will act as an impartial, independent, observer. We will make sure that the people looking at your complaint do not include anyone involved with your complaint. If a complaint is upheld, they might decide to take the following action:
- Formal action under the Code of Conduct, which may include a written warning, a period of suspension (including suspension of duty if a complaint is upheld against a club officer), termination of club membership
- A decision to refer the case to another organization, such as the CPGA or Local Authority
- Closure of your complaint without action.
Last updated: January 2020